Saturday, May 12, 2007

Savory Tastes Cafe, Part 3

(Originally posted on 9/27/06)

On August 29, Savory Tastes Cafe held a wine dinner that concentrated on seafood.

Peeky Toe Crab cocktail with Chateux Le Sarte Graves
Oysters on the Half Shell with a Spanish Cava
Sal De Mer with Domaine Fournier Sancerre
Choice of Entree: Wild Salmon with Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir or Dover Sole with Pilott Puligny Montrachet
Dessert includes bite size versions of the usual excellent Savory Taste desserts

We attended this wine dinner, and had an excellent time as we always do at Savory Tastes. The food, wine and service were of top quality. Once again, I highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.

We began out meal with the Peeky Toe Crab cocktail. This consisted of a mound of crab pieces that had been seasoned with scallions, red peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper. The seasonings were light and only enhanced the sweetness of the crab. This was one of the most flavorful crabs I can remember having in quite some time. This dish might end up on their Fall menu.

We next had 3 different oysters on the half shell. Each one was very good and noticeably different in taste. I just ate them with a bit of lemon juice, rather than adding any horseradish. The oysters were paired with a Castellar Cava, the same Spanish Cava we had at our private wine dinner.

Next was the Sal De Mer, a salad with shrimp and scallops. This was a tasty dish with just a light dressing on it. It seemed that the chef was making all of his dishes with only light accompaniements to let the natural flavors of the fresh seafood come out.

Then the entrees were a Wild Salmon and a Dover Sole. Both were good sized pieces of fish, again with only light sauces and seasonings, and tasted great. The salmon was accompanied by a Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir, a superb pinot. I have always enjoyed the Bethel Heights pinots and this did not disappoint.

For dessert, we had three small desserts, including a new chocolate cake. This was an excellent cake, moist, the right amount of sweetness and a savory chocolate flavor. Another big hit!

By the end of the evening, I was pleasantly stuffed. And everyone accompanying me was quite pleased with the entire dinner. No one had any complaints and we all look forward to their next wine dinner, as well as their new fall menu (which should arrive about October 1).

(Originally posted on 11/4/06)

Last evening, I went to Savory Tastes Cafe to sample some of the items from their new fall menu. I had seen the menu online and was intrigued by a number of the new dishes.

As I decided what to eat, I began with a glass of wine, Trinitas Mataro Old Vines, Contra Costa County, California ($8 a glass). This was a new wine for the restaurant, and Doug, their wine guy, recommended it to me. Mataro is another word for the varietal also known as Mourvedre or Monastrell. is one of my favorite varietals so I was excited to try this new wine. And I was quite pleased with its taste. It was complex, with dark cherries, and maybe even a bit of chocolate. It was not too heavy or tannic so it would go well with many different foods. I had several glasses over the evening, and it continued to please me. And went well with all of the different dishes I ordered. I will definitely look around to try to buy some of this wine.

I decided on ordering several appetizers, to better sample the diverse new dishes on the menu. I began with the Peeky Toe Crab Martini ($13), which consists of Peeky Toe Crabmeat from Desert Island, Maine tossed in a Light Lime Vinaigrette. It comes in a martini glass. This was a superb dish, with chucnks of sweet crab and a light vinegarette that did not distract from the taste of the crab. There was an ample portion of crab though I could have easily eaten three more of these. I highly recommend this appetizer.

I then ordered the Hawaiian Tuna Poke ($11) which consists of square chunks of Sushi Grade Yellow Fin Tuna combined with Soy, Ginger, Sesame Oil Seasonings sitting atop a lettuce leaf, and with a drizzle of Chili Sauce Mayonnaise around the edges of the plate. The tuna was delightful, with a silky smooth texture and obviously quite fresh. Personally, I felt the tuna was perfect without the need for the mayonnaise. The soy and ginger added just the right amount of flavor. Those though who want more of a spicy tang would enjoy the mayonnaise.

I moved on to a cup of Fish and Sweet Potato Soup ($4), which consists of a pureee of Sweet Potatoes, Cod, Haddock and a hint of Oregano. This soup was almost bisque-like and was very flavorful, with the sweetness of the potato standing out. I might have preferred it better if it had at least a few chunks of fish in it. But, it definitely is a good choice for a cold night.

After that, I chose the Veal Involtini with Grilled Peppers ($12) which consisted of three Veal Scaloppines, rolled with Prosciutto, Sage and Provolone, seared and accompanied by Grilled Peppers and Veal Au Jus. This was another superb dish! The veal was very tender, the prosciutto and provolone were very flavorful. With three rolls, you get an ample dish of food. I savored every mouthful of this. Another highly recommended appetizer!

I finished the evening with the Seared Long Island Duck Breast ($12), which consists of slices of duck breast served over a Jerk-seasoned, infused toasted, Israeli Cous Cous and splashed with a spicy Mango sauce. There was more duck on this dish than I have seen on many duck entrees elsewhere. The slices were thick, meaty and tender, with only a small bit of fat on each piece. The mango sauce is mild on the mango but makes for an intriguing addition. The Cous Cous look like tiny peas but are very tasty and plentiful. This is another highly recommended appetizer!

At this point, I was well stuffed so did not order dessert. But, I was immensely pleased with my meal, and will definitely return to sample some of their new entrees, as well as to have some of those appetizers again too.

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