For our first week of the 2011 summer season, Chuck and Bibber have created another mouth-watering menu for your dining pleasure, and I’ve selected wines to match. This week’s selections feature highlights from our new summer menu and some other favorites with some summer sippers from the wine list.
The dinner is available from 6:00-9:30, Monday, June 13-Thursday, June 16. Call for reservations at 995-4111 and be sure to let us know you want the Personal Wine Dinner.
Yellow watermelon topped with a salad of red watermelon, red onion, citrus ginger vinaigrette, arugula, and Mexican cotija cheese.
Chablis, Olivier LeFlaive “Les Deux Rives”, Burgundy
Chicken with Montana Grains
Seared chicken breast, Montana grown purple barley and kamut, Risotto style, fresh roma tomato, caper, garlic demi glace, grilled oyster mushroom.
Rocky Mountain Elk
Grilled medallion with fig demi glace, fingerling potato and baby summer squash with sage butter.
Pinot Noir, Writer’s Block, Mendocino
“Loble’s Cowboy Custard”
Chocolate espresso cowboy custard, brandied Flathead Valley cherries, cinnamon ancho sugar cookie, candied bacon.
Shiraz, R Wine Chris Ringland “Ebenezer”, Barossa Valley
As we come into summer (the odd snowstorm notwithstanding), our culinary team focuses on the fresh and fruity flavors of our new Summer Salad. The duo of watermelon, snap of the citrus, ginger and red onion and the subtle richness of the cotija cheese all remind me of the crisp, fruity and minerally whites of Chablis. The lemon, Granny Smith apple and bracing minerality all work as a nice foil to the fresh summer flavors in the salad. Plus, I always welcome the opportunity to bring Chardonnay to the table in an alternative style to what perhaps many wine drinkers are used to.
With our Main Course, we always like to offer a choice between a red meat and the lighter-bodies fish or poultry. Always a wine matching challenge, it seems that no matter whatever I select, one of the dishes ends up being the lesser match. With these selections, the match was easy. The chicken with its garlic demi glace, oyster mushroom and rustic grains seek the earthy fruityness and firm acidity of a full-bodies Pinot Noir. The Elk, with fig demi and hints of sage play off some other aspects of Pinot’s many layers. Wanting a fairly robust Pinot, I looked to Mendocino, and the Writer’s Block, sourced mainly from the DuPratt and Lolonis vineyards, fit the bill nicely.
Bacon is all the rage lately, and, coincidentally enough, so is Syrah. Syrah (and its concommittant Australian rendition, Shiraz) really complements the flavors of our menu especially. Syrah typically exhibits layers of black fruit, spice and smokiness–even with shades of roasted meat or bacon. Many of the Australian versions utilize an extracted, fruit-forward style that I thought would carry perfectly the bold “Cowboy” chocolate, bacon and ancho pepper flavores in this week’s dessert. The highly-rated Ebenezer Shiraz from the storied Chris Ringland’s R Wine has gobs of big, dark fruit and hints of peppery licorice. This wine comes to us via the demise of Australian importer Grateful Palate, Chris Ringland’s famous (or infamous) partnership with Dan Phillips. As the company is being dissolved and warehouses cleared out, some screaming deals have presented themselves. When the Ebenezer came available for a deep, deep discount, I immediatly thought of our Personal Wine Dinners and grabbed all they would give me.
We thank you for being our guests. I hope you can find a chance to come in next week and enjoy Bibber’s handiwork.
David O’Connor (DOC)
Managing Partner and Wine Director