Friday, June 27, 2010
Delius Restaurant hosted a Hartford Court Wine dinner this evening. Jeff Ward from Regal Wines, the distributor and Margaux Pierog from Hartford Court were in attendance. Both young, very personable people.
Hartford Court makes a variety of Pinots along with Chardonnay and Zinfandel mainly in the Sonoma, Carneros areas.
Things started off slower than usual in getting the food out. Delius was busy tonight and they had a small disaster in the kitchen. Seems they couldn't find the Himachi that was to be served with the first course. After a few minutes the first course arrived tableside.
Pan Seared Scallop with Gingered Cured Himachi, Meyer Lemon Caviar and Pistachio foam. The scallop was cooked to perfection and the flavors married extremely well with the 2007 Laura's Chardonnay, Russian River Valley. The Chardonnay was a tad oaky for my taste but the oakiness went away after they wine warmed up a little and the scallop was eaten. Sometimes oaky works for me if it is not overwhelming.
Second Course - Duck Confit Ravioli, Brunoise of Mireproix, Smoked Mushroom Broth and Dried Cherry Gelee. Served with a 2006 Laura's Edge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast.. Very good pairing and the smoked mushroom broth was to die for. It had such intense flavor. My bowl was dry when the waitstaff took it away.
Third Course - Spice Rubbed Port Tenderloin, Manchego-Potato Galette, Cardamon Scented Baby Carrots, & Pan Jus. This dish was paired with 2006 Sevens Bench Vineyard Pinot Noir. The wine was outstanding and again another great pairing by Dave.
Fourth Course - Pan Roasted Lamb Loin, Oven Dried Teardrop Tomato and Currant Cous Cous, Braised Parsnip, Micro Arugula and Demo-Glace. Good lamb altho I personally prefer the chops or rack. The Cous Cous had excellent flavor and the parsnips added that small touch of sweetness. Wine was a 2006 Hartford Zinfandel, Russian River Valley. This again was a very good pairing.
Dessert was interesting. I did notice some people not finishing theirs but I downed mine. A Chilled Passion Fruit Soup with Yogurt Honey Spheres. The flavor of the "soup" was fresh and clean with just a touch of sweetness and the Yogurt Honey Spheres busted in your mouth and let out such a good flavor. Yes it was different but I felt the flavor was very good. I think you could use this "soup" as a starter for dinner. It wasn't overly sweet and it was refreshing.
I feel this dessert was a little on the cutting edge and not everyone is ready for this new style of cooking. But I am always game to try new and interesting things. Some are winners and others are not, but until you taste something how do you know if you will like it or not. People have such a preconceived idea of what they like and don't like they are never willing to break away from their very small, confined comfort zone and venture into unknown territory. My theory is try it once, if you don't like it there is no law that says you have to eat it again. But if you never try how do you know ?