Dinner with Friends

There’s nothing like dinner with friends … especially good friends .. and especially when dinner is prepared by someone else. Our friends, the Nathensons, hosted a eight-course meal. It was an auction item we won as a group during an Animal Rescue League fund-raiser last year.

On a snow Saturday night, a trio of couples ( including Sharon and myself ) and two friends all gathered and dined on a delicatable menu prepared by Culinary Queens. The ladies pricked the wine combinations. I would love to show pictures, but our server is down for some reason this morning. Stuill, here’s how the menu played out:

Course One:
Sun Dried Tomato Cheesecakes
with Basil Oil Drizzle
Haute Cabriere,
55% Chardonnay / 45% Pinot Noir

Course Two:
Seared Scallops
with Roasted Garlic Sabayon
2006 Carmel Road Chardonnay,

Course Three:
Culinary Queen’s Signature Salad
2006 “J” Pinot Gris

Course Four:
Creamed Carrot Soup
with Basil Oil and Crème Frâiche
2005 J. Vidal Fleury, Cotes-du-Rhone

Course Five:
Intermezzo Granita of Lime and Jalapeño

Course Six:
Grilled Salmon with Lime Butter
Beef Tenderloin with Port Sauce
Green Beans with Lemon Butter
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
with Caramelized Leeks
Steltzner Cabernet Sauvingon,
Stag’s Leap 2004

Course Seven:
Lemon Sabayon in Pine Nut Crust with Honeyed Cream Sauce
Ice Wine, Inniskillen

Course Eight:
Cheeses and Assorted Breads
1970 Sandeman Port

I have to tell you: it was one of the most fantastic dining experiences I have had in quite a while. You have to undertstand. I spent the last moth buying a home, selling a home, moving and trying to help WTAE win the morning ratings war. I have not had a nice sit down meal in weeks. This was relaxing, pleasurable and – thanks to the wine – a little bit louder than most meals I have had.

Still, it’s nice to have dinner with good friends and be able to talk about everything under the sun and, when it is all said and done, not have to wash a single dish. Sure it was pricey, but the money all went to the Animal Rescue League and the folks at Culinary Queens could not have been more professional and more engaging.

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