Rondo's Wine Dinner, Tuesday June 12, 2007

Rondo’s RestaurantOn Tuesday, June 12, 2007, Wendy, Ted, and I participated in a Wine Dinner at Rondo’s Restaurant in Western Hills.

The theme was “Summer Quaffing Wines from Tin Roof Wines, California” (with wines from Glazer Distributors), and the menu was as follows:

First Course
Chilled Cucumber, Mint, and Melon Soup
Sauvignon Blanc, 2006
This course turned out to be the weakest of the evening, both in individual components (the soup wasn’t great and the wine wasn’t great) and in pairing. The cool soup was refreshing, but the flavors weren’t distinct and the soup & wine simply did not pair well.

Second Course
Baby lettuces from Sallies Organic Farm with Fresh Mozzarella Crostini, Basil Oil, and Rainbow Trout
Chardonnay, 2006
This was one of my favorite courses of the evening. The lettuces were very tasty without being overdressed and losing the fresh flavor of the lettuces. The crostini was good, and I really enjoyed the trout. While Wendy & I are not fans of Chardonnay, we found this one to be more than acceptable. Ted, on the other hand, really likes chardonnay — “the oaky-er the better!,” he said.

Third Course
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with White Bean Puree, Rosemary, and Roasted Grape Tomatoes
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005
In my opinion, the most overall successful course & pairing of the evening. The plates were attractively presented, and the flavors of the perfectly-cooked pork, the bean puree, and the tomatoes went very well together, and complimented the wine very nicely.

Fourth Course
Grilled Skirt Steak with Mango Chutney and Barley Salad
Syrah Cabernet, 2005
Our table was divided about this course. We all enjoyed the flavor of the skirt steak, but some of us thought that the barley salad’s texture was off-putting while others of us enjoyed it. The mango chutney was spicy, so this dish had some heat to it, which stood up nicely to the wine. One thing we all agreed upon: this course should have been served warmer.

Fifth Course
Strawberry Shortcake served with Farmer John Branstrators local & organically-grown strawberries
Rose’, 2006
Strawberry shortcake is a dessert that I never seem to think of, but when it is served to me, I always enjoy it. The shortcakes were perfect — not too heavy nor too sweet. The strawberries were at their peak of freshness & sweetness, so the dessert was wonderful for a warm summer evening. We all felt that the Rose’, while moderately enjoyable on its own, was a poor pairing for this dish. The dessert was sweeter than the wine which brought out the wine’s vinegar flavor.

It was certainly a pleasant evening. The wine dinners at Rondo’s are very affordable — only $35 for everything (tax & tip not included). We’ll go back!

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