Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my semi-regular column where I briefly mention some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.

1) In celebration of my birthday, we were to go out to dinner with a couple of good friends. I was allowed to choose any restaurant I desired, so I carefully pondered over a myriad of choices. Obviously, I wanted to select a place which everyone would enjoy as well as a place that I would especially savor. Not an easy task when there are so many good restaurants in the local area. In the end, I chose Prezza, a top-notch Italian restaurant in the North End. My prior visits to Prezza had thoroughly impressed me and I had faith that my dining companions would be impressed as well. None of them had ever been to Prezza before, but I knew they all loved Italian cuisine.

We ordered numerous appetizers and entrees, sharing our dishes with each other so we could all sample a variety. The food was once again superb and everyone loved what they ate, from the Wood Grilled Squid and Octopus to the Veal Porterhouse. I especially enjoyed the Sweet Corn Raviolini (with rock shrimp, pancetta, toasted corn, white wine and parmigiano cheese) which had definitely an exciting sweet corn taste. The Roasted Black Figs stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in prosciutto with aged balsamic was another amazing dish. To accompany our food, I ordered a couple Vietti wines, a Nebbiolo and a Barbera, which also pleased everyone.

Service was excellent, and our server, Nicholas, well-paced our meal so we could relax and enjoy every course. They certainly made my birthday celebration a joyous and delicious event and I am extremely glad that I selected Prezza. The food was hearty, creative and very satisfying. Once again, I give Prezza my highest recommendations. It is consistently excellent and such consistency elevates it to the elite of Boston restaurants.

2) Troquet is another consistent restaurant where you are very likely going to be impressed. I recently had another amazing dinner there, with a few great friends and fellow food/wine lovers, including Adam, Dale and David. Currently, Troquet is having a special wine blowout, selling off some older wines and miscellanous others from their cellar at extreme discount prices. Great food and inexpensive wines? Hell yeah!

The four of us went through eight bottles of wine, and the prices ranged from only $10-$30. Some of the bottles cost what you might expect to pay for a glass of wine. Such incredibly low prices for some older vintage wines. A wine lover's dream. Our list of wines included:

2008 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Gris de Gris Rose
1983 Meursault Perrieres Pierre Morey
1970 Concha Y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon
1975 Lungarotti Rubesco Riserva Monticchio Torgiano
1983 Porta Dos Cavaleiros Reserva Dao
1998 Domaine La Bouissiere Gigondas
1997 Kongsgaard Napa Valley Merlot
2004 Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck Spatlese Riesling

All of the wines were still good, and my top favorites were the Lungarotti, Concha and the Meursault. We enjoyed these wines with a tasting menu, showcasing some of the best of Troquet. And the dinner was capped at the end with a superb Blueberry Souffle, pure decadent pleasure. The wine sale is still going on but won't last much longer so make reservations now!

Besides the excellent food and wine, the meal was best enhanced by being with such good people. It would not have been the same if I were there alone. In reflection, it was a near perfect evening, marred only by Adam's late arrival, due to lengthy plane delays. I certainly wish his flights had been on time so he could have enjoyed more of the dinner with us. You should also check out Adam's excellent post about this dinner.

Two great meals, with a perfect combination of good food, good drink and good friends. That is one of the greatest joys of life.

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