Eat Well. Do GoodPosted: November 13, 2010
Today was my first experience at a cooking demonstration.
I received an e-mail from Living Social for a deal to The Dogwood Restaurant, and when I saw it a local and sustainable restaurant, I knew I had to check it out.
The theme today was San Francisco and Berkley and we were presented with menus and mimosas upon entrance.
The chef is also the owner and he began by explaining their aim for sustainable, seasonal and local foods in their restaurant.
I really liked the kale behind him, but it made for weird lighting.
Funny enough the first course was California Persimmons, pickled fennel, baby greens and California Olive Oil.
These persimmons did not taste like the ones I had previously and I finally found out why! I was not letting them ripen enough (I had waited a week). Apparently it is hard to get them here ripe on the vine. I guess I have to wait until I get to Cali to actually enjoy them in their full splendor. I really liked the pickled fennel that was lightly soaked in Chardonnay vinegar, sugar, salt and a bit of the fennel greens.
We also had a wine pairing with every course and the Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay was my least favorite of the day.
The next course was a caramelized onion tart with blue cheese and fresh thyme.
I am not good at pastry so it was very interesting to see the many steps that go into combining basically flour and a lot of butter. You do not want your butter to get warm!
This was good and very crispy due to the fact that they use a pizza stone to make their tarts instead of a tart pan. I would have liked a bit more of a bold punch from the onions, but they cheese was very good and I was happy to see the greens show up.
The wine pair with this was a Bonny Doon Ca’del Solo Estate Vineyard Albarino
This was much better than the first white, but I am just a much bigger fan of reds.
This basic fish stew was much more than that. It had sherry, red pepper flakes, clams, mussels, scallops from the coast of New Jersey, white fish and shrimp.
This was paired with the Flowers Pinot Noir, which was really delicious.
Last but not least was a Ghiardelli Bittersweet Pot de Crème
They made this look so easy! Their secret it to add a little bit of Brandy for flavoring. I couldn’t even taste it.
I was so full by this point, I could only eat half. I didn’t want to walk away feeling sick after having enjoyed delicious food.
Overall I think the food was good, but the demo could use a little polishing. I had to ask about the wine pairings and they didn’t have enough seats set up for people – you were supposed to RSVP. The servers were very attentive and a great mix of people. I sat with a nice group and they gave me some restaurant suggestions for around the area.
Time to go make some turkey meatballs for dinner…I wish I had the other half of my pot de crème for dessert!