February 22nd 2011
On Saturday night we went out to dinner with some friends. As we walked through the door, we had thrust into our hands a cocktail called a French 75. This cocktail was created in 1915 at the Paris landmark by barman Harry MacElhone. The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery gun. This was certainly one way to get the evening underway.
It seemed like the chef had been in the kitchen all week preparing the most amazing dinner. The first course was a seafood tart – I apologise for not knowing the culinary term for this dish, but it was fantastic. This was served with a 2004 Puligny Montrachet Domaine Jean Marc Boillot. I love the 2004 white Burgundies; lots of lovely mineral grip and drinking very well.
The following course was I think the best mushroom soup I have ever had. Hugely concentrated, apparently you need to dry the mushrooms out for days to get a soup this concentrated. Whatever was done it certainly worked. We drank 2006 Chablis Grand Les Preuses Billaud Simon. I love good Chablis. It was still quite young but had good intensity and power. It will evolve over the years to come.
The highlight of the evening was the steak and kidney pudding, yes the steak and kidney pudding. It really was fantastic. It could have been mistaken for a treacle sponge apart from the colour. I have never had anything quite like it. It was the finest steak one could buy and the gravy must have been reduced for at least 24 hours. This was served with 1995 Ch. Latour, which may well be a first for both. What a great pairing – the Latour worked so well with it’s amazing broad flavours and its powerful character. It really was an impressive wine and very spoiling.
Finally we had a choice of two puddings. By now I’m totally full and opt for the rhubarb and just a taste of the chocolate mouse. This was paired with 2001 Ch. Lafaurie Peyraguey, Sauternes. This was an epic year and another great pairing.
Cheese was on the menu but I’m afraid by now there was no room, so I settled for a glass or two of 1970 Taylors, which was also fabulous.