Saturday, January 14, 2012

Grower Champagne and Truffle Dinner c/o McCrossen's

In the last days of 2011, LW and I made our way to McCrossen's for their big champagne and truffle event. We arrived on time, but a lot of other folks didn't, so I ended up getting a glass of wine while we killed time. This was a nice red, I liked it very much.
Eventually it was go-time. The first course was Champagne Thierry Triolet, NV paired with a roasted sea scallop with citrus, Bordier seaweed butter and julienne truffles. I believe LW said of the first champagne "it tastes like money" but that may have been the second? I took photographs of most of the bubbly, but they all looked pretty much the same, so I'm not bothering. The scallop was similar to other scallop dishes we've had at the cheese/wine/food events. Good, but not quite it was one of the first plated, but last to be taken out or something. Still tender and tasty, but I would have liked it more if the temperature had been up just a bit. Of all the courses, this was the one where the truffle element didn't come through quite as much. For me, anyways.
Next up was a Champagne Brut Reserve, Henri Billiot Fils. Paired with Coeur de Cochon Pithivier with creamed salsify and Perigueux sauce. The sauces on all of these dishes were off the hook. It doesn't look like a lot in any of the photos, but each slurp or scoop was just rich, rich goodness personified. Only not personified. Foodified.
Hearty and rich, wonderfully flaky outside. Mmm. I think I may have literally used one of my fingers to get the last of the sauce from the plate to my belly.
On to the Champagne Brut "Tradition," Gaston-Chicquet paired with sauteed foie gras with picked prunes, Sauce Foyot and sliced truffles. I'm a sucker for foie gras, so it probably won't come as any big surprise that this was my favorite course. I also liked the prune element, as I'm most familiar with foie being paired with cherries or balsamic...or both in some combo, so trying something slightly new and different was neat-o. Rich. Fatty. Melty madness. Just. So satisfying.
The final course was Champagne Rose de Saignee Brut, Rene Geoffroy, and went along with Wild Scottish Pheasant "Demi-Deuil" with potato fondant and truffles. The potato fondant. My goodness me. LW asked T. what he had done to them, and he said something about cooking them in butter for six hours. This made me laugh and laugh, partially because of the champagne, and partially because of course butter made it so good...but also of course if I tried to cook potatoes in butter for six hours, I would get nothing like the results of this dish. Butter is your friend, but only if you know how to wield it. Because we all wield friends. The pheasant was plentiful and tender. Perhaps not my favorite game/fowl, but that's a reflection of my preferences.
Last up were assorted desserts including pistchio brittle, a truffle, a macaron, and something else. I was so stuffed and champagne giddy by this point that I didn't really have the wherewithal to properly investigate. I recall the brittle being tasty and crunchy. I need to develop a better appreciation of macaroons, so many other people love them and yet I'm just sort of 'meh.'
A whirlwind. It was very cool to try some above average champagnes, and the dishes that shined, shined bright. Thanks to the whole McCrossen's staff for a great meal and evening.

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