Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Night's Dinner: More Loire Valley at The Dogwood

Last night was our second trip to The Dogwood for their Merry Mondays wine club dinner and once again, it was pretty great. The menu:

Course 1
Split tasting:
Gigamoto Pacific oysters &
Seared sea scallop with Asian summer vegetable stir fry
Paired with:
Domaine de la Garreliere Touraine Cendrillon Sauvignon blend 2008 &
Domaine de Geurande Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie "Le Vigneau" 2009
Course 2
Split tasting:
Country pate with house pickles (and a grainy mustard cheese) &
Pan-roasted mussels with Madras curry and local sweet corn soup
Paired with:
Domaine Huet Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec Vouvray Cenin Blanc 2008 &
Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon Chenin Blanc 2009
Course 3
Trio of heirloom tomatoes with chevre cheese crostini
Paired with:
Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Sauvignon Blanc 2008 &
Domaine Merlin Cherrier Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Course 4
Blackberry barbecued Duroc pork chop with sweet potatoes and greens
Paired with:
Domaine de la Garreliere Touraine Rouge Cabernet Franc 2008 &
Les Rocher des Violettes Touraine Rouge Cot Vieilles Vignes Malbec 2009

Yeah, they do a pretty good job putting together a menu.

Everything was really lovely and it's fascinating to taste multiple wines with a single dish (or, in the cases of the split tastings, to compare two wines with two dishes). That structure, combined with the nice little packet of information everyone receives, make the dinners satisfying on an intellectual level.

But they aren't all dorky wine talk and of course they're satisfying on a more fundamental level, as well. They are really, genuinely fun. Plus, the food is awesome. The star of last night's meal was the sweet corn soup with curry and mussels. The curry provided exactly the right balance for the super sweet corn - the end result was seriously delicious.

This dinner (and the region) is dominated by white wines, which makes it interesting for us, since we mostly drink red. Interesting, but of course we still end up liking the reds best. Last night, our favorite was (unsurprisingly) the Malbec - though the Washington state pinot noir the chef cracked open after dinner was a close second for me.

Which brings me to the company. The food is fantastic and the wine is thoughtful and delicious, but the dinners are fun because of the people. The Dogwood's owners, Bridget and Galen Sampson, are super easy to talk to and they care so much about food and about what they're doing with the restaurant. They're really excellent hosts - we've left both dinners planning our next visit and excited to eat there again.

1 comment:

Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore said...

AAAAAAAAAAH this looks so fantastic!!! I really really really need to do this someday. Glad you had fun!!


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