Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dr. John said it best...

Something about small restaurants grabs my attention. Vizard's redefines small and I could not be happier with my dining experience there. The wines were from Medlock Ames (Ames was in attendance).

Began with a glass of rose. Unlike the blush color of most roses, this wine had an almost copper tint to it. Good start.

First course arrived with a great chardonnay. Rather than stand by the California directive that all chardonnay's must have an oaky, buttery profile, this wine stood out for its delicate approach to a classic grape. First course was a lobster gnocchi with a smattering of mushrooms. Now, usually at these dinners that means if your dish has lobster in it, congrats you won, now do the dishes. Here enormous chunks of lobster rested their head on pillows of potato. Almost a unanimous choice for dish of the evening.

Next a cassoulet salad. Read that last sentence again. Duck Confit, pork belly, white beans, and escargot, (Holy Crap are you kidding me) plated onto a salad of frisee. The heat from the cassoulet heated the frisee and took some of the bitterness out of that green. Wine missed the mark, it being a Red Blend. With something as soulful and deep as a cassoulet salad, a wine with a smoother finish would have perhaps paired better. Not a bad wine, maybe a tad immature. As some have said about myself.

Now, veal tournedos encrusted in whole grain mustard with sweetbreads and a sauce flavored with spices and chocolate. The spice of the dish, which was really the mustard, worked really well with the tenderness of the veal. The sweetbreads were fried perfectly. Little nuggets of thymus gland, so good the I want more impulse took over. Wine was a merlot. Ames began his discussion on this merlot by once again telling everyone that just because Sideways (a terrible movie in my opinion) told American's Merlot is shit, does not mean it is. And this Merlot proved that.

Spinalis. I had no clue what this was so let me explain. It is the cap end of a rib eye. Tender as a filet with the marbling of a rib eye, this is one hell of a cut of meat. The plate was finished with some fried oysters. I think Chef Vizard was going for a play on a carpetbagger steak. Whatever he attempted it worked. Just an amazing all around dish. This course was paired with a Cabernet. Big, juicy and just that slight of hint of tanin. I really loved this wine, we made out.

Ended things with a cheese course, which I really liked as it meant I did not have to wake up in the middle of the night and stare at the ceiling.

Now, usually at these dinners the food is about par. Which is ok, the kitchen is taxed to turn out 45 plates of food at the same time. Well, last night the food broke the mold. All the food hit birdie or even eagle status. I anxiously await a return to Vizards and I suggest you go as well. That kitchen cooks. You know it is a succesful dinner when discussion centers around everyone's favorite dish; and each person argues persuasively for different dishes.

The Pope could not make it and we had to sub a different couple at the last minute. But our table had a great time. So thanks to everyone who made it and thanks to Medlock Ames and the staff at Vizards. We had great company, delicious food, interesting new wines, and an evening to remember. Such a night...

Eagle on the evening, Birdie-eagle on everything.

Mark your calendars for July 17th. Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Dinners.

1 comment:

Bucket said...

It was a great night that was punctuated by our wonderful scantily clad photographer!