I have the most amazing night to remember! My dinner with the Opus One Winemaker, Michael Silacci and their East Coast Rep, France Posener truly met every criteria on the list of what is “a night to remember!” I was joined by my friend Rob and together we sat through more than five hours of intelligent and fun conversation, of overindulgence in some of the most delicate, sensual, decadent dishes, of fine wines, of outstanding service, and ultimately of absolutely an evening to remember for the rest of my life.
The restaurant of choice was L’Espalier. L’Espalier is a wonderful, truly elegant, awe inspiring restaurant. A place where you go to celebrate something amazing and you want to make it special and a gift to yourself and others.
As we were enjoying banter and small talk, the decision was made that we would have the six course Summer Degustation with wine pairings. I am not sure of all the wines we had except for the Opus One 2007 and 2008 as Michael was in charge of ordering them and of course they were all delightful.
Our dining experience started with a few Amuse-bouche(s) from the chef of two things I can’t remember the name of but I know they were delicious and a lobster shot, which was quite interesting, especially as none of us really knew how to eat it until we were told it was to be “shot.”
We then had the Maine Lobster paired with a glass of sparkling rose. The lobster was rich and creamy and swimming in buttery goodness. It was amazing!
Next was the Foie Gras paired with Tokaji wine. I struggle sometimes with the richness of Foie; however, paired with this sweet, syrupy wine and layered onto crusty pieces of bread it was heavenly.
Our next course was the halibut and one of my favorites. This dish was paired with a chardonnay that was startlingly different from others I have tasted. Its aroma was of a buttery, oaky chardonnay, but the taste was fresh, clean and a little effervescent – a “Gemini” as Michael called it. The halibut was wonderfully flaky and just melted in your mouth. With the squid and mild anchovy puree it was delicious.
By far, the most outstanding dish for me of the evening was the Rack of Lamb with ratatouille paired with not one but two Opus One wines – the 2007 & 2008. Just delicious – no other words!
Do you think I am finished yet? Nope – more to come. The Grande Fromage. A tasting of seven cheeses from the mild to strong to blue to stinky to “the challenge!” I love all cheese, nothing is a challenge for me. Paired with a lovely Tawny Port, I was a very happy and extremely full diner.
Seriously, I was not sure I could handle anything else but there was still more to come. Next we had a very interesting palate cleanser of three different types of cucumber inspired foods. A cucumber jelly, cucumber ice-cream and cucumber pop rocks – do you remember those? A very fun way to cleanse the palate.
Finally, we ended our dining experience with a dessert plate of decadent delights to tantalize any taste buds and they did tantalize mine, especially the raspberry ice cream.
More than five hours later and after having the most wonderful dinner, paired with exquisite wines, having had delightful conversations with Michael and France, the Sommelier, Erich Schlieb, the wonderful waitstaff and of course the Chef/Owner, Frank McClelland we finally bid our farewell to each other.
Truly a night to remember!!!!