It was open seating, so we chose two seats on one of the table, across from 3 older ladies celebrating a birthday and upcoming retirement. At the head of the table sat Marie Vanderford, the Patz & Hall wine educator for the dinner. Not only did we enjoy each wine and dish served, but the company could not have been better. The 6 of us had such a great evening together!
Chef Matthew started off our evening by welcoming us and talking us through the menu for the evening. Then as each course was served, Marie walked us through the wine served with it. So let’s get to it.
HALIBUT | melon, sea asparagus, watercress, honey sake vinaigrette | paired with Sonoma Coast 2013 Chardonnay (blend)
The halibut was so perfectly cooked, that it was instantly my favorite course. Flaky fish, spicy crust, with a light and slightly sweet vinaigrette. It was a light start to dinner, and paired so well with the Chardonnay blend. Marie explained that blends are created using the same varietal from a number of different vineyards. What this does for the consumer is provide for a consistent wine profile. This Chardonnay was light with a woodsy end.
KING CRAB | chawanmushi, shiitake, scallion, cashew | paired with Dutton Ranch 2013 Chardonnay (single)
Look at that crab! This dish was interesting. What looks like a creme brulee is actually the savory Japanese custard called ‘chawanmushi’. Super light, and a nice combo with the generous portion of king crab. I’m not a fan of shiitake mushrooms, so I skipped those. This was a perfect dish to precede the next course. The single-blend Chardonnay paired with this course, however, was the favored Chardonnay at the our end of the table. Crisp, almost peachy undertones.
TEXTURES OF DUCK | tea smoked, star anise, huckleberry chutney | paired with Sonoma Coast 2012 Pinot Noir (blend)
Duck, duck, duck. There’s duck confit inside the eggroll (yum), roasted duck ontop, with a delicious berry chutney. While this dish was quite rich for me, the combination with the Pinot Noir blend was so perfect. The chutney on the plate totally brought out the warm, earthy, cherry notes of the wine. And if I remember correctly, Roy’s is the only place in Chicago that you can find this bottle of wine!
SALT & HERB ROASTED FILET | baby veggies, dark cherry shoyu reduction | paired with Jenkins Ranch 2013 Pinot Noir
If you follow my food posts, you’ll know by now that I am a huge carnivore. So needless to say, this was my favorite course for both the food & wine pairing. The filet was cooked to a perfect medium-rare, accompanied by roasted veggies and a delicious reduction. The single blend Pinot Noir was SO perfect with the filet. Yum.
For dessert (not pictured), was a chocolate concoction with some peanut butter and salted caramel flavors. The leftover Pinot from the filet course paired really well with the dessert course.
I was thoroughly impressed by the pairings of this dinner. Chef Matt and the Patz & Hall team did a great job of showcasing each wine, and also showcasing the skills coming from the kitchen.
It was a pleasure meeting Marie, too! She was so knowledgeable and has such a passion for sharing her knowledge. When I make my way out to Napa, I’m adding Sonoma to the list and definitely going to visit the Patz & Hall winery.
Thanks to Nikki Lee of Roy’s for hosting us! I’m going back for a dinner on the awesome patio before warm weather leaves Chicago.