I waited for this Opus One wine dinner for months!
By definition, opus is a grand-scale creative work, and there’s not many who do grand scale better than Cafe L’Europe owners Ron Milton and Joe Balzano. Everything was grand at their recent Opus One wine dinner and mind you, it was a Wednesday evening! Men were dressed in black tuxes and women wore their best gowns for an exclusive wine dinner. Rose petals were appropriately laid on tables, our menus were wrapped in black linen napkins to resemble a black tuxedo jacket.
We were treated to a first course of Black Opal Caviar accompanied by 2007 Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne! I had to be careful with it being a school night for this one. Cristal was conceived of in 1876 by Zaro Alexander II and consists of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The 2007 vintage is highly regarded and we could taste why! Our second course was plentiful lobster thermidor. Oh my. It was a healthy size of creamy brandy infused Maine lobster with Gruyere crust. It simply melted in your mouth. With this course, we were poured a 2006 Opus One Proprietary Red. Silky, smooth and rich. It also went down so easily. What a compliment to this exquisite course. It is always so appreciated when the chef and winemaker truly take the time to make exceptional food and wine pairings. Our third course consisted of Carre D’Agneau (rack of lamb) from Australia with Forrest mushroom pudding and a red wine reduction. The perfect finishing was a cheese trio of raspberry Brie wheel on toast point, a Granny Smith apple Roquefort and candied pecans, which was swirled with Overature by Opus One. Tres magnifique!
Throughout the evening, guests were treated to sweet music by opera singer Joe Ryan and Sarasota Orchestra core violinist Margot Zarzyka. And just to keep things extra interesting, one of the restaurant servers, Cassandra Calo, brought out her bagpipes for guests to enjoy! The Opus One representative graciously brought a small orchid in individual Opus One vases for each guest to take home.
We departed happily entertained and plumply full. When is the second?
April 2017 RealTALK: https://issuu.com/scene_magazine/docs/april2017/110