September 25, 2011

Diner Amîcal – Rouge Restaurant – Sunday, September 25, 2011

The opening event of the fall season found us returning to Rouge Restaurant.  It was a gorgeous evening and so our hosts had set up a tent on the lawn of their spacious yard for our dinner.  As guests arrived, we were treated to our choice of beverages.

Guests mingled in the restaurant, under the tent or out in the garden.  Service staff wove their way through the guests with trays of marvelous hors d’oeuvres. They consisted of :

Foie Gras Angolotti with Tomato Consommé
Oyster Shooter with Horse Radish Pearls and House Chipotle Vodka
Truffled Elk Carpaccio with Enoki Mushrooms
“Peking” Style Duck with Lobster Mushrooms
Mirin and Soy Cured Albacore Tuna with Wasabi Foam

At one point during the Reception, a limousine arrived with a number of very happy guests.  It seems someone was celebrating a very special birthday.

Rouge placed in the top 100 restaurants in the world according to the S. Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurants.  As a result, the event was immediately over-booked.  This was the reason for the tent, as the restaurant does not normally have room for our Bailliage.  Even then, we were comfortably close.  The tables were set in red linen, with appropriate glassware and silverware for the occasion.

The first course was a beet and blueberry cured lobster “Gravlax”, Canadian caviar and pickled Sea Asparagus. It was accompanied by a crisp 2009 Chablis from Domaine Testut, 1er Cru, Montee de Tonnerre.  This was followed by blackened Catfish with “Biscuit and Grits”  and served with 2009 Rippon, “Off-Dry” Riesling from Central Otago.  I have sampled biscuits and grits several times, hoping to find them edible.  These were wonderful!

Third up was a rectangular presentation of Foie Gras & Peach, layered together with a Quince butter.  To the left was a Torchon of Amaretto cured Foie Gras resting in a burnt orange gastrique.  To help enjoy this dish, was a glass of 2009 Maculan, “Dindarello” of Moscato, Veneto.

Our fun for the event was a freshly prepared Cucumber Consommé topped with a sweet pea foam and to the side, a Rhubarb Sorbet.  Michael prepared the sorbet at the front for us all to see.

Then came the rabbit served two ways.  A sweet bread stuffed rabbit loin rested on the rabbit leg “Head Cheese” and swam in a tasty broth of Jus Natural.  A Nastursum flower petal graced the pair.  A 2009 Shea Wine Cellars Pinot Noir from Willamette was a perfect mate for this dish.

nother bit of fun was the frozen Watermelon Lolly, served with a candied lime zest.  The lime provided a pleasant zip to the watermelon.  Then came the highlight of the meal.  A duo of Pork Tenderloin and Pork Jowl with garden fresh cherries and Rösti.  The wine was 2008 Domaine de Nalys, Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  Heaven on the plate and in the glass – need I say more?  Actually, I must comment on the knife that we used for that course – a most interesting instrument with an Ivory handle and intricate carving on the top edge of the blade.

The cheese course, always a delight and always a source for discussion, was a tasty Celtic Blue cheese soufflé with a gingerbread crisp, candied pistachio and bee honeycomb served with a Domaine Pinnacle, sparkling ice cider fro Quebec.  This worked surprisingly well as a pair.  To finish the evening, we were served an ice cream sandwich a la Rouge.  The glass in the centre of the tray held a serving of warm liquefied chocolate, which was poured over the sandwich.  A mouth-pleasing sortilège was served with the course.  This is a maple syrup infused Canadian Whiskey from Quebec.

The staff was brought out to a standing ovation.  To end the event, David Tetrault, Bailli Délégué and Cindy Findlay, Bailli Regional presented the plates to Executive Chef Michael Dekker, Maître Rôtisseur, representing the kitchen staff and General Manager Andy Macdonald, representing the front of the house.  In all, we enjoyed another very successful evening event.

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