“Wine is proof that God loves us.”
With our 14th anniversary upon us, The Girlie’s separation anxiety beginning to abate, and with the uber-able Aunt Pammy at the helm, The Wife and I actually crossed the threshold into the outside world yesterday evening. Like, by ourselves and with no one else, at all. Just like real grownups. For the first time in well over a year.
Slightly nervous about our atrophied conversational abilities, dull palates, and general lack of adventure, we were relieved that we could talk, taste, relax, and enjoy ourselves. It was wonderful to look back over many years to realize that the place we find ourselves is not what we would have expected or predicted; our life together is better than we imagined it would be. Sometimes one finds that the unfamiliar wine poured for you seems to change as you drink it, until you ask for another taste of its surprising goodness. Sometimes, the sommelier knows that you won’t appreciate the really good stuff until a little later in the meal.
At only two weeks of age, we could still smell the mahogany and the leather at proof. Founded upon a gigantic private wine collection, this understated vision of culinary brilliance serves the wine first, followed shortly by small tastes of the very finest of ingredients combined into unbelievable plates of perfect pairings. The tasting menu featured some of the very best wines we’ve experienced, along with:
- roasted corn soup with pastrami-spiced raw wild king salmon, garnished with seasoned croutons
- roasted beet salad with Asian micro greens, hazelnuts and Pipe Dreams Farm goat cheese
- Alaskan halibut that was perfectly roasted– caramelized crust with buttery flesh beneath– and laid over fennel, young leeks, heirloom tomatoes and garlic confit
- grilled hanger steak, creamed spinach with the most intriguingly flavorful smoked bacon, and a shallot vinaigrette
- an 8-piece cheese course, featuring a 4-year old Dutch Gouda and an aged French Bleu, both of which possessed the most delicious crystalline texture that my tongue has ever felt
- buttery peach cobbler with ginger ice cream
With the meal framed with two minerally champagnes as an aperitif and a taste of sumptuous Muscat at dessert, we found ourselves transported outside of ourselves, laughing with each first bite and shaking our heads in wonder as we completed each course. And then, in a perfect expression of Stavlund family values, we departed from this exquisite meal to ride the Metro home. We may be weird, but I like being us.