Monday, February 25, 2013

Truffle Feast

We had great hopes for last year's truffle dinner, with terrific wines selected and a impressive menu created by Freddie Bacou at the Hotel Quercy.   Unfortunately it was the truffles that let us down:  a prolonged "deep freeze"in February robbed the truffles of the aroma and their taste.  We, nevertheless, managed to have a nice, convivial dinner.

A milder winter this year led us to believe that this truffle dinner would be different, and I convinced a few friends to give it a try.

A champagne hour whetted everyone's appetite for the truffles and meal to come.

We were divided into four tables of approximately 8 diners each, and while the food would be the same, the wines were brought by the individual members of the wine club.  For the anglophone table, I opted for chardonnay-based white wines and reds from the Piedmont region of Italy.

The menu was expertly designed to feature, but not overwhelm, the truffles:
Truffled cauliflower soup and truffled boudin blanc
Truffle souffle
Bar with truffled risotto
Beef with truffle sauce and celeriac mousse
Truffled brie and panna cotta
Pumpkin pie, rhubarb crumble and pineapple sorbet.

I may have overdone the wine menu with a different wine with each course:
three whites (2008 Chateau Haut-Serre Albaresco, 2007 Mercurey from Burgundy, and a 2005 Poulli Fuisse), two reds (2005 Fontanfredda Barolo, 2007 Marchesi di Barolo Barbera) and a sweet wine (2003 La Magendia jurancon from Lapeyre).  The Albaresco, Barolo, and jurancon were the favorites, pairing beautifully with the meal as well as being delicious in their own right.

After such a feast, we took a moment to remember that Bosco was with us...

and to thank the two Freddies who masterminded this successful dinner.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Double Birthday Party

It's surprising how little we go out to dine at restaurants these days.  With the cool and wet weather we have been having, its often just easier to stay home by the fire and eat in.  But when it turned out that both Ros and Rob Hudson shared birthdays within a few days of each other, we were galvanized to make an event of it.  But before we could make our pilgrimage to our favorite restaurant, the Auberge de Bardigues, Ros and Kiff took ill.  Normally that might have quashed our outing.  Nevertheless, the reservation had been made and Rob was still going to be in town, so we still managed to pull together a convivial group for our Saturday lunch.


Birthday boy, Rob



The food at Bardigues was great as usual, with starters of a spinach soup with scallops and oysters and a duck plate...

main courses with pork and cod...

a bountiful cheese course...

and a choice of desserts: baked apple or molten chocolate cake.

The wines were great, a dry Jurancon, and a Minervois from the Languedoc served by our favorite waiter.

Everyone was happy... (except perhaps Ros and Kiff who were resting at home.)