Friday Night Dinner Parties

Like I’ve said before, private chefs are the way to go. Unfortunately for Husband and I, private chefs are not yet built in to the monthly budget, so for last night’s dinner party, we had to slum it up and cook ourselves[1].

File Jan 16, 12 28 15 PMEven without a private chef, the feast was impeccable, and the wines were divine[2]. We started with a spread of cheeses, bread and olive oil[3]. Whole Paycheck Foods has this great little basket at the cheese counter with small packages of cheese bits. I usually grab a few I’ve never heard of and give them a whirl; it’s a cost effective way to do some cheese tasting. To soak up the bread and cheese, we started with red wine, one of my favorites, the Sterling Vineyards Celebration Red Blend[4].

We kicked off dinner with a lobster bisque[5] which I paired with one of the best white’s I’ve ever had. I sampled it last year with my friend over at The Wise Old Dog and his friend, Zev Rovine, who imports the stuff. Zev gave us the lowdown on his natural/organic European wine finds[6] and I ended up with a bottle of 2013 Cheverny[7] blanc by Domaine Philippe Tessier,[8] a blend of hand-harvested Sauvignon (80%), Chardonnay (15%) and de Orbois[9] (5%).

File Jan 16, 1 05 03 PMIt was more of a full bodied white, with a nice mouth feel that engaged your whole palate. The words that came to my mind as I sipped was stone fruit. Now, I know that people use this term to describe wines, but I didn’t know whether there was actually a fruit out there called “stone fruit” or whether it was a term used when you get both fruity and mineral notes from the wine. The latter is what I experienced. Turns out that “stone fruit” is a thing in and of itself; it’s essentially any fruit with a big pit in the middle. You know, nectarine, peaches, cherries, etc. So while I didn’t necessarily get any actual stone fruit flavors, this was both stoney[10] and fruity. Not sweet by any means, it perfectly complemented the creamy bisque. If you can find this near you, grab it. It’s a no-brainer at around $20. I’m heading back to the Wise Old Dog this week to stock up.

File Jan 16, 1 04 46 PMNext up was the main course. Husband’s pièce de résistance, which I paired with a selection off my Wine Bucket List. The ideal meal. Filet mignon topped with foie gras pâté[11] paired with a bottle of 2013 The Prisoner, a big California red blend. Heaven. It was a party in my mouth. A kickin’ party. An epic party. For real. The meal was to die for, each filet was cooked exquisitely medium-rare. Husband really outdid himself this time. I can’t figure out why anyone would want to eat a filet without a slathering of pâté on top[12]. And the wine. Oh the wine. It was a delight. Deep, juicy and big. Truly full bodied goodness made from a blend of six grapes, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono[13]. The blend was complex, there was a lot happening, dark fruit with a hint of smokiness in the back. It complemented the feast to perfection. You can pick up a bottle for around $45, and while this is not yet in my “every day drinking” repertoire, it’s a superb special occasion bottle.

We ended the evening with Beethoven and Vivaldi[14]… ok, and a wee slice of chocolate torte and a white port. I’ll fill you in on the port soon; it was too epic not to devote some serious blog space to. Another Friday evening in the books with friends. Cheers!

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Wine Glass Aftermath #handwashonly

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] Note that when I say “cook ourselves,” I mean, I pick up a dessert and Husband cooks. WineEsquire can fry and egg and make some toast, but that’s about it. Speaking of which … #breakfast
[2] That’s where I come in. #wino
[3] And some cardboard crackers for my girl Chrissy who’s #glutenfree. She said they were good, but I suspect that’s only because she’s forgotten what good tastes like.
[4] A LastBottle find from a few months ago. Sadly I’m down to my Last Bottle. …See what I did there?
[5] While this may not have been homemade exactly, suffice it to say it was delicious. Where’d I get it, you ask? Alas, I cannot divulge all my dinner party tricks.
[6] Talk about the life. This guy spends six months out of the year finding organic and sustainably grown wine all over Europe, making friends with the producers and eating amazing food, then he returns to the US to sell his loot to deserving winos like me.
[7] Cheverny is a French wine region (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC) in the Loire Valley.
[8] To be honest, I forgot about buying this particular bottle and when I was picking a wine for the soup course, I found this on the bottom of the wine rack. I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t like it, so I did a bit of Googling and decided to go for it. What a good idea.
[9] I had to use The Google for this too. It’s a white grape varietal grown mostly in the Loire Valley.
[10] Stoney is actually not a word, and I could have said “there was a lovely balance of stone and fruit,” but I didn’t, so just go with it. #linguistics

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Turns out the most delicious meal ever doesn’t photograph well…

[11] Adapted from this recipe. If you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try. P.S. Sorry for the poor non-existent food photos. Although, maybe it’s better this way. Turns out when you have to shop, cook, prepare, serve and clean the dinner party yourself, it’s a wee bit more work then when a chef does it, leaving less brain capacity for photo opportunities.
[12] I mean, maybe if you have a problem with clogged arteries it’s not a good idea. Note to Readers: This blog in no way constitutes health, fitness or dietary advice. #disclaimer #lawyerlife
[13] Another one I had to Google. Also known as douce noir, or sweet black, it’s a rarer find in the US and is produced in very small quantities in California. Its Italian origins began in the early 1800s but it migrated over to Argentina where it is now widely planted.
[14] Because, what else do you do after such an epic meal?

One thought on “Friday Night Dinner Parties

  1. Great article and I love the idea of doing it Fridays. I would enjoy being invited somewhere on a Friday night myself, it’s a great way to end the workweek. You laid out nicely how it can be done when the prep work is mapped out properly, and it’s doable then. Very cool!!!

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