Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dinner For Two at The Shetler's House

The mood was set by Melissa. She had an elegant table setting with slim runners laid perpendicular to the length. She sat us ladies on one side and the gents on the other. That way we sat facing our husbands across our own little runner. It was well done.

The wine was difficult again…they asked for a Cabernet Sauvignon not from Napa. There are places in the world producing Cab, but they usually use it as a blend. Some regions try to grow Cabs, but Napa has set the flavor expectation. It was a challenge.

The first appetizer was Grilled Vegetable and Fruit Kabobs.

Second Appetizer was a rustic little Grilled Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Fresh Mozzarella, Ricotta, topped with an Arugula Salad. Oh man was that good! I thought I’d be happy with two or three of those little pizzas … until the main course came out.

Mark made Beef Wellington with little Valentine hearts on top of each one. The plate was pre-brushed with a cabernet reduction.
There was also seared Sea Scallops and Roasted Asparagus. The scallops were melt-in-your mouth tender.

Dessert was actually artwork. He made Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with White Chocolate Filling and Chocolate Pinot Noir Sauce. Of course it was shaped like a little heart.

The wine created a problem from the beginning. Let me say that normally us couples rarely vote for the same bottle (i.e...Joe chooses one, I choose another and so on). This time we had a three way tie. Each couple voted for the same bottle, so there were two votes per bottle. We tried a couple of different vote separators, but we still had a tie. So for the first time in six years we couldn't send the medal home with the winner.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Switzerland at the Wade's Residence

First thing to greet us was a darling rustic table laden with cheese fondue and yummy things to dip in it…pearl onions, Swiss sausage (which were strange looking), Brussels sprouts, and pickles. An old painting done by Denise’s father was a quaint backdrop. They even had meat and cheese laid out to look like a Swiss cross.

As always her table setting was adorable.

Our salad was fabulous. I really liked the combo of flavors from the oranges, avocados, and fennel.

At this point I was struggling with liking all three pinots! Strange isn’t it? I think the food matched the special characteristics of the pinot well.

The main course was Zurcher Geschnetzeltes Rosti (German for sliced meat Zurich style). This is a slightly crunchy potato pancake, with thinly sliced veal and mushrooms in a rich cream sauce.

Dessert was of course fondue… Swiss-chocolate with strawberries, bananas, chopped up croissants, and homemade marshmallows.

I have to admit when they told me I had to bring a Pinot Noir I was not thrilled. Typically I don’t like pinot, unless it’s super expensive and then it’s just okay. So I sent Joe to Trader Joe's to buy a recommended bottle.The Shetlers took home the coveted gold plastic medal with a 2012 Sonoma Loeb. The Wades came in second with Moniz Family, 2012. We came in dead last with 2013 Meiomi. I did like ours best without food pairing, but it didn’t hold up to the meat dish.