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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Boathouse Spanish Wine Dinner

Last night we treated ourselves to a wine dinner at Boathouse Restaurant at Rocketts Landing.

The food and wine were both outstanding and paired perfectly thanks to the expertise of their Director of Wine, Michael Avery, and their talented Executive Chef, Todd Richardson.

First course: Chapel Creek Oyster Ceviche with citrus mignonette paired with Marques de Gelida Brut Cava - Spain 2007. This sparkling wine was yummy, and the oysters so fresh and light tasting with a hint of citrus.

Second course: Surry Peanut Stew with Surryano Ham, paired with Pazo de Arribi Godello Castile-Leon, Spain 2010. O.M.G. The best stew I've had in a long time. I could have eaten a lot more of it. The wine paired with this dish was excellent (so good we bought a bottle).

Third course: Manakintowne Frisée Salad with cherry tomato potters, spiced cashews, and Virginia apple vinaigrette paired with Lagar de Cevera Albarino - Rias Baixas, Spain, 2010. This was so delicious - fresh and light - loved the stuffed tomatoes. Wine was wonderful too.

Fourth course: Braised Rabbit, Beet Chow Chow, Parsnip Chips, Smoked Surry Sausage paired with Finca Sandoval Syrah-Monastrell Mancheula - Spain - 2007. I've NEVER eaten rabbit before. This was so succulent and rich. Not at all like chicken, which a few people at the table said it would taste like. It was BETTER than chicken - more moist and tender. The wine was excellent.

Fifth course: Herb Rubbed Polyface Pork Loin, Red Potato Tortilla, Rhubarb Ginger Jus, and White Asparagus. Paired with Tres Picos Garnacha Campo de Borja, Spain – 2010. Excellent! I love pork and this made me love it even more. Wine was outstanding (so good we bought a bottle of this too).

Sixth course: BonnyClabber Blue Goat Cheese Ice Cream, Honey Hazelnut Crisp. Paired with Lustau Delux Cream Capataz Andres Jerez-Sherry - Spain NV. Blue Goat cheese ice cream? It was spectacular! So good. Sweet and creamy - a creaminess that only cheese can impart. Set atop this wonderfully thin crunchy cookie. The sherry was really good - although I'm not a sherry drinker. But the hubs is and he didn't let my glass go to waste. 

Afterwards, many of the guests headed upstairs to the Boathouse Restaurant for more spirits and conversation. While we did join in, I only had a large glass of water - after 6 glasses of wine, I was starting to feel it - even with all the yummy food in my tummy. We had a lot of laughs.

We've attended several wine dinners in the area and I believe this is really the best one yet. Highly recommend!! Everything, including the waitstaff who so pleasantly and diligently kept our glasses full and tables cleared, was fantastic.

For my photographer friends - the event was at night and the dining light was very dim (perfect ambiance for the dinner - not so perfect for photographing). Had to use my 50mm 1.4 (which as you can see gave me a lot of wonderful bokeh), cranked up the ISO, and carefully snapped each photo while I held my arms in tight to prevent camera shake. I've become unusually interested in photographing in dim light. I love the way bright lights and heavy shadows play off each other in the final B&W image. Challenging.

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