A couple of week's ago I was reading a local online paper and saw an advertisement for a new dinner/wine pairing called The Traveling Table by Angela, the STLWinegirl. The dinner was a 3 course meal paired with wines picked out by Angela for $60. I sent it out to a couple of friends and we chose to go last night.
Our dinner was held at Cielo at the Four Seasons. If you have never been to the Four Seasons, they have a gorgeous outdoor terrace and would be perfect for a night out with your honey.
Here is Executive Chef of Cielo, Fabrizio Schenardi, explaining our first course.
Throughout the meal Angela took the time to educate us on the wines and why she chose them with each course.
First course: Risotto with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Mozzarella
Paired with: Benvolio Pinot Grigio, Friuli-Venezia Guilia Italy
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this dish or not because I am not a basil fan but I thought it was really good. I have only had risotto a couple of times but when I think of risotto I usually think of it being creamy instead of tomato-y (is that a word? LOL). I thought it was really cool that the basil in this dish was cut from the herb garden that is grown on the rooftop terrace and all of the ingredients were fresh and local. After quite a few bites I did think feel like this dish would have been even better if there were just a couple of pieces of shrimp. Don't ask me why because I'm certainly not a food critic but I was just kept thinking that shrimp with the tomato risotto would taste great. While it doesn't look like it in this picture, this portion was huge!
Jami, Susan, Janice, and Julie
Sue and Me
Second course: Duck Breast with Missouri Blueberry and Grappa Sauce served with a corn budino
Paired with: Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont Italy
When we saw that the main course for this particular Traveling Table dinner was duck breast, a few of us were a little skittish about it. I had never had duck until last night and it is certainly not something that I would order if I were to go out to dinner. My first bite of the duck was . . .chewy and I honestly didn't know if I was going to be able to get eat it. After that first bite I took the skin off, though, and I enjoyed it.
The chef described the corn budino as a corn flan. I would describe it as cream cheesy type of a dish with cream-style corn in it. (I'm sure the chef would really appreciate that-ha!)
I absolutely loved the crunchy potato, rosemary, thing that came with the meal. I broke it apart and ate it with both the duck and the corn and it really gave each bite that extra crunch that I was needing.
This wine was fantastic and my favorite of the evening. It was definitely quaffable . . .a new term I learned last night that means stands on its own and you would want to drink it anytime.
Third course: Ricotta and Amaretti Cheesecake with Limoncello Sauce
Paired with: Zardetto Prosecco, Veneto, Italy
The dessert was beautiful and tasted fantastic. I kept getting a basil or herb taste in my mouth but I learned that it was actually the amaretti. To me, this was the most interesting pairing of the night. While I am not a champagne/sparkling wine person, it was actually really good paired with this dessert and tasted totally different than it did when I drank it by itself.
Here is Pastry Sous Chef, Peter Whitley, explaining the dessert to us.
We had 6 ladies in our party and it was so much fun. Here we are with the STL Winegirl in the middle.
There were about 20 people who signed up for the dinner last night. I was lucky enough to sit by a really nice lady and her husband and to sit across the table from a new friend, Michelle. Michelle has a St. Louis food blog (check it out HERE) and has attended the STL Winegirl events for a couple of years now. They put up with us rookie girls asking tons of questions and giving our blunt opinions about the food and wine.
Janice and Me
STL Winegirl, Angela, and Me
Jami and Me
Last glass of the night
I had such a good time at the dinner. I love the fact that I tried things that I would never order and I love that I was able to meet new people and learn more about the fascinating world of wine. What I loved most, though, was just getting to have some girl time. Can't wait to do it again!