1/16/07 Wine Dinner at IRON HORSE INN

Tonight we attended a Wine Dinner at the IRON HORSE INN. Wendy and I have been attending most of the wine dinners there for the last four years or so, and this was a particularly enjoyable one, as it contained one of the best single courses & pairings we’ve had there.

First Course:
Baby arugula salad, pomegranate vinaigrette, almond crusted goat cheese, roasted beets
2005 First Love White Wine
I am a fan of goat cheese, and this course highlighted the ingredient well. Chef Chris loosened the goat cheese with some cream to make it softer. The roasted beets were beautiful and delicious. The wine, a white blend, was decent on its own and improved with the food.

Second Course:
Blue cornmeal fried lobster tail, dueling sweet & spicy pear puree
2005 Mallee-Sands Chardonnay
The fried lobster tail with two colors of sauce around it was a simple, dramatic presentation. The lobster was tender and flavorful.

Third Course:
Candied Bing cherry duck breast, sweet potato puree, maraschino cherry drizzle
2005 Pure Love Meritage
Truly a highlight of this meal and of the wine dinners at the IRON HORSE. A lovely duck breast was properly prepared to get rid of most of the thick fat layer, then roasted and candied before being set atop sweet potato puree. A maraschino reduction was drizzled around. The Meritage (rhymes with “heritage”) wine was perfect with this course. This one, I hope, is destined for the regular menu.

Fourth Course:
Char-grilled Ribeye, wild mushroom citrus compote, asparagus, black tea Concord grape reduction
2004 Mothers Milk Shiraz
As difficult as it was to follow the superior duck course, this course made a good attempt. I thought the flavors of the compote weren’t as unified as they could be, but I understood where Chris was heading. The Shiraz was wonderful.

Banana Fosters Crème Brulee
2004 Carol Shelton Late Harvest Trousseau Gris
Chef Chris is exploring brulees of different types (a fact that Wendy is very happy about). These desserts tend away from my preferred dessert styles (fruit tarts and the like), but they’re still very good. The Trousseau Gris was really good without being overly sweet.

The IRON HORSE INN present Wine Dinners at 7:00pm on the third Tuesday of most months (usually not in December). Five courses with paired wines are $60 per person. Vegetarian menus available with advanced notice. Reservations strongly recommended.

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