Sunday, January 09, 2011

One of the best meals I had in Dallas in 2010

...wasn't Italian

At the end of the year, a small group of wine and food lovers gathered at one of the hottest scenes in town. Nosh? Close, but no cigar. La Fiorentina? I wouldn’t stake my bet on that guess. Lucia? Nice try, but that’s a half-baked guess.

No, this was an adventure into the French countryside, compete with oysters and Champagne, a duo of roasted ducks with winter root vegetables, a bevy of cheese and desserts and French wines, starting with Champagne. And while I love all the aforementioned restaurants that made their debut in 2010, this meal made a serious stab at five-star dining.

Kumamoto and Chelsea Gems from Pac-NW and La Saint Simon from PEI
It was an underground dining event, very small, very intimate. I don’t usually fall for these kinds of posts, but one of the best meals I had anywhere in 2010 was on Dec 31.

Oysters, from both the Pacific and Prince Edward Island, were flown in and shucked by yours truly and an able assistant .

The ducks flew themselves in and landed in the roasting pan, very fat and happy. The bread was homemade, a "chapeau" to Chef David Uyger’s inspirational baking, some of the best in the city. And this bread, in my opinion, was right there. Bread is next to cheese as one of my fatal addictions. Oh, my-oh-my, what a way to go.

And the wine? Well, we are heading into Super Bowl territory here in the Dallas area, so there is a lot of buzz about the parties that are rolling this way the end of the month. I’ll miss most of them, as I’ll be in Friuli freezing my butt off and drinking Tocai (how derisory it feels to call it Friulano) and not missing any great meals with the COF-Bloggers. But we had to test some of the wines, courtesy of a couple of friends of mine in the biz.

All in a day's work - even the last day of the year
We were bestowed with a bevy of super fine Champagnes to evaluate (with potential blog and newspaper posts) for readers as to what they might be drinking at those soon to be famous Dallas-Ft. Worth Texas Super Bowl parties.

The Champagne lineup:
  • Aperitif- Ruinart Blanc des Blancs NV
  • w/ the oysters- Krug Grande Cuvee MV (multi-vintage)
  • w/ itself- Dom Perignon 2002 ( dressed in Andy Warhol Blue)
  • w/ the duck- Pol Roger Brut Rose 2002
  • w/ the dessert and cheese- Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rose Brut 2002

We also had a perfectly aged Hermitage from Paul Jaboulet, La Chapelle 1985, which was in top form, along with a mighty nice 2007 Cotes du Rhone Rouge from Domaine Catherine Le Gœuil, which more than held her own in the company of the Hermitage and the duck.

Great chef, great meal, great friends, great wine, great times. Hey, some folks in some towns have their secret speakeasies. I’m a food and wine guy. On the wine trail in Italy (and everywhere else) I wander after those once in a lifetime meals and happened upon a place that is, and will remain, one of my favorite hideaways in town.

duck fat ~ pass the 'taters!


Diane Teitelbaum said...

Was this a restaurant? Sounds more like Villa Cevola.

Do Bianchi said...

I can get you in the speakeasy bro! ;-)

The wines alone for your "meal" were mouth-watering and the pairings took it over the top... good stuff... we'll have to go extreme in Italy! thanks for the shout out...

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