I and 27 other guests were dazzled by Guest Chef Michael Blake and the expertise of the restaurant staff last night at The Wishing Well Restaurant during the Growers Champagne Dinner. Chef Blake is the Executive Chef for the lucky resident artists at Yaddo here in Saratoga, NY.
What is a Grower’s Champagne? As we know, Champagnes are sparkling wines made in Champagne, France. The big Champagne houses, let say for example, Moet & Chandon, get their grapes from many growers in the Champagne region. A Grower’s Champagne is made from grapes only grown at an Estate’s own vineyard making these wines unique and a true farm to table experience. Some estates even take it a step further and produce Champagne from only one type of grape and/or one vintage.
Now that you know how special these Champagnes are, we can get down to the food pairing! Let me tell you about this meal…. five courses and five champagnes. It started out with passed appetizers and paired with a Blanc de Blanc Brut. I was pleasantly surprised to see a sprouted lentil croquette which pleased the plant-based side of me! It was so good with a radish charred garlic yogurt. I need to make these….
A perfect Amuse Bouche to get your palette jumping was this Island Creek Oyster with white soy yuzu and a cucumber ‘pearl”. It was fresh. tangy and bright without taking away flavor from the oyster. Pretty to look at too!
The first course, a beautiful creamy fish soup with a crunchy fried garlic crouton, lobster and an herb pistou (which is similar to a pesto) was devoured. I’ll be dreaming of these croutons for days… Pierre Gimonnet et fils 1er Cru Blanc de Blanc was chosen to go with this dish.
The second course was a hamachi crudo with beet chips, charred garlic yogurt and pickled husk cherries. If you ever have wondered what to do with husk cherries, there’s your answer. Champagne pairing was a Curvee Ste. Anne from Chartogne-Taillet which was floral and fruity and paired so well with the fish.
The third course was cheesy, creamy gnocchi. Who doesn’t love a good pasta dish? Who doesn’t love a good, cheesy pasta dish covered in shaves of black truffle?? Are you drooling yet? Champagne pairing to stand up to the earthy truffles was a Pierre Gimonnet & Fils – Oger Grand Cru Brut.
The 4th course was a pork dish and the Chef accommodated my dietary restrictions and didn’t disappoint. These tender fingerling potatoes in a bright, white apple puree with coriander was delicious! Marc Hebrart “Noces De Craie” Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs, Extra Brut was the pairing.
The fifth and final course was a dessert paired with a Vilmart & Cie “Curvee Rubris” 1er Cru Brut which had a nice tart edge that complimented this sweeter dessert. Vanilla crèmeux with a hazzlenut croquant which acted like a brulee on top of an almond cake and a caramel milk jam.
So, my food adventurer friends, what course is your favorite? I’m hoping that Chef Blake will give me his recipe for those lentil croquettes!
For further events at the Wishing Well you can check out their website by clicking here or give them a call at (518) 584-7640.