Monday, October 10, 2016

PROOF is perfect for a celebration or lovely evening in the Loire (10-8-16)

For Will's birthday this year we invited some of our dearest friends & clients who have supported many of the charity events we are involved in every year to a special birthday dinner that I purchased at last year's March of Dimes Signature Chefs.
The dinner was supposed to have been cooked by DC Chef Haidar Karoum, but he departed Proof earlier this year, where a new team has taken over and is real proof that Proof is perfect.
Chef Austin Fausett offers up superb cuisine and manager Brent Kroll, who comes from a true wine background poured amazing bottles that wowed us over and over.
We arrived and started with Veuve Fourney Verus Blanc de Blanc, which was a bit gaseous for my tastes, but definitely cleansed the palate when the amuse of Rappahannock Rover Oyster arrived with Cantaloupe Sorbet.
Flatbread was tasty with a superb labneh/mint/jalapeno spread that reminded us of our recent trip to Israel.
The wines, for the most part, were from the Loire region and we started with an awesome 2013 Sancerre called Ammonites from Matthias et Emile Roblin that was brilliantly paired with Baked Pipe Dream Crottin (from Lancaster, PA) with Sour Cherry Reduction, Mizuna & Radish. It sounds simple, but the dish was a true reflection of the way this restaurant is moving into wonderful territory with pairings and presentation.
Foie Gras Torchon was next and came Honey-Poached with Elderflower, Apricot, Sicilian pistachios (another hinting of our upcoming trip there next July!) and a small piece of fried and lightly salted flatbread. Now I am a traditionalist and adore my Sauternes with foie gras, but the pairing here was Le Bel Ouvrage 2012 Savennieres from Damien Laureau that was so aromatic you could smell the stone fruits and taste them as well. Here, the wine actually became sweet in the mouth after a bite of the foie gras and apricot flavors, akin to a viscous Trokenbeerenauslese, abounded. The foie gras itself was simply decadent and divine.
Halibut is always a great fish and here it was cooked in a beurre rouge and encrusted (Halibut en Persillade) with a parsley, garlic crust and served with zucchini, micro sorrel and a red wine gastrique. My notes indicate two red wines, so I am indeed confused! Chateau Peuch-Haut Grenache/Syrah blend ansd Saint-Drezery 2013 Le Prestige from Languedoc. I must take better notes.
We roamed far from the Loire to Bordeaux for our next wine a 1995 Chateau Leoville Barton from St. Julien that was drinking so well and had massive earthy (if not funky) overtones that was superb with the Pekin Duck with Summer Squash, bruleed figs, pomme rosti and shoyi, sauce made from raw unfiltered soy. The table was graced with a platter of roasted rosemary and cinnamon which made us feel enveloped by the flavors and aromas.
Our palate cleanser was an Angostura Biiters & Ginger Sorbet that I loved served with Scarpona Moscati d'Asti; it really did completely cleanse the palate.
Le Mont 2015 Moelleux Vouvray was a wonderful and sweet dessert wine that had acidity as well to match the Apricot & Beach Marmalade Beignets with Apricot Gastrique and Vouvray Ice Cream made from the same wine; now a paring like that takes advance planning and much effort.
Our entire team was amazing from our gracious and helpful server Christian to the team in the kitchen who welcomed as if we were at home!
Indeed White Chocolate Truffles with dehydrated raspberry powder and sesame arrived to send us home on a super sweet note as well as bags of granola for our breakfast on Sunday morning so we would remember the night before extra fondly.
Bravi to Proof having come back to life and a Happy Birthday to my hubby, Will!