Huge thanks to all the guests who joined us for this weekend’s Spain-inspired dinner! We had an overwhelming response for this event, and we wish we could’ve accommodated everyone on the waiting list. For those of you who weren’t there, here’s how it went down.
We welcomed everyone with one of these:
Christmas in August
1 1/2 ounces Aviation gin
1 ounce Santa Claus melon agua fresca
1/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 ounce black pepper simple syrup
Garnish with dehydrated jamón chip (dry on a Silpat in a 170 degree oven for 3-4 hours).
Once everyone arrived, we kicked off the meal with our amuse–a mussel poached in fino sherry and served with salsa verde and smoked paprika.
Our first course was inspired by an amazing breakfast my friends Jenna and Deroy served me a few years ago. We baked morcilla (blood sausage) into the base of a savory bread pudding, topped it with finely diced dates, and served it with a 64-degree sous vide egg. So simple but so good–and a perfect match with the 2000 Lopez de Heredia “Viña Gravonia” Crianza Blanco Rioja.
For the second course, we served a Monterey squid with deconstructed romesco and poured a 2010 Bodegas Muga Rosado that mellows out a lot during its brief period in oak. This is one of my personal favorite summer wines–it’s very similar to the Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia aged rosé that we’ve served at two past dinners, but at an incredibly wallet-friendly price.
The third course was actually three mini-courses in one. Pintxos are typically served as bar snacks, often with sherry–but since the three we chose were a bit heavier than our first two courses and required a weightier wine (the Lustau Almacenista Vides Palo Cortado, a beautifully light and nutty sherry from Jerez de la Frontera) we decided to break the rules and serve these later in the meal. The three bites we offered: (1) a skewer with sauteed calf liver and a caramelized shallot in a sherry vinaigrette, (2) a croqueta of arroz negro (rice colored with squid ink) and stuffed with wine-washed goat cheese, and (3) a toast with garlic white bean puree, a boquerone (lightly cured Spanish white anchovy), blood orange, and black olive dust.
For our fourth course, we served a seared veal short loin with Catalán-style baby chard, a pine nut puree, and garbanzo and blood orange gremolata. We paired it with the 2008 Tajinaste Tinto Tradicional from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. This wine is 100% Listan Negro, which is a grape native to the Canary Islands. The volcanic soil there gives this light-bodied wine a bracing black pepper spice that worked as a nice counterpoint to the richness of the veal and the acid in the gremolata.
And then we served cheese.The red swipe on the plate is a savory red wine caramel with thyme. The cheese in the top right is a Garrotxa, which is a tangy goat cheese that (fun fact) the Mythbusters guys deemed perfect for cannonballs. The gooey blob next to the caramel swipe is a funky soft Serra de Estrela sheep’s milk cheese from Portugal. We paired this with an incredible madeira that blends wines 10-60 years old–the Rare Wine Company Historic Series Boston Bual.
We finished things up with Dan’s dark chocolate and Cointreau truffles. To see those, you’re just going to have to join us for dinner.
Thanks again to everyone who was there, and everyone who patiently took a spot on the waitlist. We’ll be announcing our next dinner this week–make sure you’re on the mailing list to get first dibs. Cheers!