Saturday, March 15, 2008
The monthly "Wine & Dine" group met tonight at Franco's Italian Restaurant in Cypress. I have eaten at this establishment before but it was a new place for the group to get together.
Since I had not attended a dinner with this group in several months, due to previous commitments, it was nice to see "the old familiar faces" again along with a couple of new ones.
We started off the dinner with "Shrimp Franco" - shrimp sauteed with green onions, garlic, basil and a wine sauce. The flavors of this dish were excellent. I had brought a bottle of 2004 Clos Pepe Chardonnay and it paired beautifully with it.
Along came fried zucchini with a marinara sauce and a ranch sauce. The zucchini was sliced very thin and was not greasy at all. This is the type of dish I can do without. It tasted really good, but I always equate this dish with a bar appetizer. I had two pieces and that was it.
The soup was up next, a carrot ginger soup that was very good. It also paired well with the 2004 Clos Pepe Chardonnay.
Eggplant Rollatini came out of the kitchen. I am not an eggplant fan but this was so good, The eggplant was stuffed with ricotta cheese and topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and then baked,. It looked like lasagna when it was served and was very tasty.
Crab stuffed mushrooms topped with mozzarella appeared. Good but I do like the ones I make better.
A "special" vegetarian pizza was served. It was garlic heaven. Along with the mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach and onion, it was so loaded with garlic that it left you breathless. Of course no one could smell the garlic on you because they ate it also. The secret to eating garlic is to make sure your dinning/sleeping companion has eaten it also.
The entree was Fettuccini Alfredo with Steak Diane. The New York steak was slices thinly and had a delectable sauce.
A platter of vegetables appeared and looked delicious was by this time I was so stuffed that I passed on it. We could have eliminated two dishes (the fried zucchini and the stuffed mushrooms) and still would have more than enough to eat.
They brought out a plate of several different kinds of Italian cookies, which is all you needed for dessert.
I did not keep a list of all the wines as the table was long and it would have been a pain to walk around and note the, The entire list will show up on CJ's list. Their was a Dutz Champagne which is one of my favorites, as I like a "yeasty" champagne. I brought a 2004 Stolpman Sangiovese (which was emptied) and the 2004 Clos Pepe Chardonnay. There also were a couple of Chianti's brought, a Prosecco and a Ponte Rose Spumante (too sweet for me to have more than a small amount.
CJ brought a 2002 Sea Smoke Southing. He decanted the wine but it still had a very bitter taste to it on first sip. I poured some in my glass and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, by then it had opened up and was decent. The fruit was starting to go on it. The after finish was not there. We came to the conclusion, if you have any Sea Smoke Pinots, do not expect them to be long cellaring wines. Best to drink then within a couple of years of bottling. This is apparently a young drinking wine. The problem was not in the cellaring of the wine, as CJ has a large refrigerated wine storage to keep his wines at the optimum temperature.
Looking forward to next months "Wine & Dine" get together at Duong Son's in Westminister. My favorite Chinese restaurant.
I'm off to China this week. Hopefully I will have some good food dishes to report on. I know the wines are not good but the Chinese do make very good beer.