Monday, December 2, 2013

Wine Wine Wine + Crescendo Fine Dining Review

I have had a few whirl-wind-weeks, all were tremendously fun.

This past week my husbands' parents visited us, my father-in-law helped us insulate our garage and install some new rain gutters, and my mother-in-law helped me in the kitchen, and puppy sat (and drank with me too!).

Somewhere amidst the fun we killed several bottles of oh so delicious wine... Maybe more than several. But all I have already reviewed in some way with you before; whether I discussed the wine or the winery.

Really, I would like to talk about my surprise over a fun sparkling wine - Montcadi's Cava. It's a sparkling Spanish wine. I purchased this wine from Fresh & Easy, in 2011 for our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. We never ended up drinking it because we had far to much champagne left over from our wedding to kill...

2 years later, and ironically the perfect aging recommendation as well, I popped open this bottle as a pre-dining aperitif paired with Manchego, Buffalo Mozzarella, and a Spicy Buffalo Wing Cheddar cheeses with my favorite Fresh & Easy crackers that I sent home to myself from California.

This wine is light, bubbly, and has a night citrus bite. I was floored at how good this wine was. Floored! I feel cheated that I never opened it. I could have enjoyed it and a lot of other bottles sooner, 2 years ago to be exact! Perhaps the aging (and 2k miles of travel) have helped this wine along. At 6-8 bucks a bottle I think it's a steal.  But from what I can figure you can only get this brand from a Fresh & Easy Distribution center. 

Following champagne and artisan cheeses, we headed over to Crescendo. This marked my 3rd visit, I had dined one other time, and attended a wine tasting class. I love this restaurant. Did you hear me? I love this restaurant. The owner is the only chef, and opens his doors 3 days a week. He stocks exceptional wine, and creates a seasonal menu that is absolutely outstanding. 

We started the night with a bottle of Chilean Concho y Toro Casillero del Diablo Privada Reserva and finished our meal with 2003 Las Rocas Garnacha.  It's absolutely flooring and comforting to have amazing wine stand up to amazing and beautifully palatable food.  These were both beautiful red wines and I feel fortunate to have enjoyed them at my father-in-laws recommendation and wine knowledge from his time in South America.

Now. Lets talk about food!

The meals at Crescendo start with bread and aromatically delicious olive oil. It's elegantly simple in preparation but an extremely high end dining experience. From there an appetizer or salad whets the palate - I had sweet potato ravioli, sautéed in brown butter and topped with toasted sage and pine nuts. These are heavenly pillows of sweet starchy perfection.  My entree was a Creamy Wild Mushroom Ravioli, with a mushroom cream sauce (which had wine in it as well).  I am a huge mushroom fan and this dish did mushrooms justice. 

Alas, I have no pictures of what I ate. I have too much respect for this establishment to pull out my camera, but even more so, the food and wines provide such a oral sensory overload you really can't think of pictures at a time of such pure sensation. 

I am excited for a taste of the Winter 2013 menu. And I am excited for more amazing wine. 

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