Wine dinners are pretty common in the restaurant world but the last few years have seen special dinner menus paired with beer and spirits. Tequila has become a popular pairing for dinners and Nook Kitchen in downtown Phoenix is hosting a 5-course Don Julio cocktail dinner on Wed. August 2nd.
The dinner will pair Don Julio tequilas that are aged and rare on some courses with a menu that is inspired by the cuisine of tequilas home state of Jalisco. The menu is as follow…..
Grilled nopales andlengua de vaca consume
Don Julio Reposado,
Himalayan salt cordial,
kaffir lime oil, cayenne flake
Chef LaRosa’s deconstructed Chili RellenoPoblano, Oaxaca queso, tomato chili chutney,tequila pomegranate gastrique
Don Julio 70 Clara Anejo,
dry orange curacao, spanish dry vermouth,
blood orange sour
Watermelon, tequila & lime shaved ice
Braised pollo de muslo,maiz de la calle, maseca, mole,frijoles negros a la hoya
What started out 10 years ago with 93 restaurants has blossomed in to a twice yearly foodie event that is Arizona Restaurant Week. Mark your calendars for the week of May 19th – 28th when the 2017 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week returns with over 150 planned to participate.
The Arizona Restaurant Association started sponsoring the state wide event in the Fall of 2008 to help promote the states restaurant industry and increasing awareness of Arizona restaurants. Diners will have the opportunity visit new restaurants along with favorites who will offer unique 3 course prix-fixe menus for $33 or $44 per person.
Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri said, “Arizona Restaurant Week has remained a strong culinary driver to many local chefs and restaurant owners as well as a treasured memory maker for diners. It’s hard to go wrong, and we are delighted to be celebrating ten years of making folks happy.”
Arizona Restaurant Week has helped local restaurants become a dining destination for foodies from around the country and the world. Since the 1st Arizona Restaurant Week it has expanded to a Spring foodie extravaganza in 2011 and a Arizona Breakfast Weekend was added a few years later. 2017 Fall Restaurant Week is planned for September 15th – 24th and Arizona Breakfast Weekend will take place from July 27th – 30th will more details to come about the 10 year anniversary celebration in September.
10 restaurants including Don and Charlie’s, Cowboy Ciao, Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn and Roaring Fork have participated in all 10 years.
With a variety of restaurants like Match Cuisine & Cocktails, Mancuso’s, Nook Kitchen, Salty Sow, White Chocolate Grill and all 4 Ajo Al’s Mexican Cafe’s to choose from foodies can expect reservations to fill up quickly so planning ahead is essential. Check http://arizonarestaurtweek.com for participating restaurants and updates of those being added to the growing list.
In life you tend to gather with people you have certain things in common. Since we all have to eat and drink to survive, I tend to gather with people who like to eat and drink(wine & spirits that is). It also happens that these same people used to be or are still in the wine biz, that’s how we all met. About once a month we all gather for a night of indulgence and strolling down memory lane. These dinners have gone on in many incarnations for over 10 years. There usually simple to put together(unless there is a miscommunication), everybody plays a role from hosting to someone responsible for the wine and everybody else for a particular course of the meal. We try to co-ordinate pairings(pinot noirs & salmon), themes(Spanish wine w/ Paella, flan,etc) and a date & place convenient to all. Occasionally there are some hiccups over responsibilities, reading of recipe ingredients and measurements (1/4 of tablespoon of salt vs. 1/4 cup of salt). Guess who?? Know you know why I try to write as oppose to cook, but I digress. Usually the entrees are provided by our 2 culinary school grads, so you know the bar is going to be set high for the rest of us. Being that some of us have or had a wine collection the wines tend to be vintages from early 1990’s right on up to some recent vintages. That being said sometimes the wine bottles get emptied and some times they don’t. Conversations revolve around everything ranging from the nights menu to politics(gourmet burgers on Election night Nov. 2008) to the music we’re listening to. You get the picture, anything goes. It’s a night of food, friends and wine, simply put there are no rules.
Last night we met for our 2nd dinner of June(occasionally we do them more frequently i.e. birthdays, holiday dinner). With the dog days of summer upon us we decided not to cook(too hot) & this time to let the wines be the star. So we opted for a simple dinner of chilled cucumber soup, homemade roast beef and assorted, mostly Italian pork products for sandwiches w/ coleslaw being the only side dish. Normally we’d have some dessert, but we opted to drink dessert this night. Most of the wines paired were to be some lighter wines(Alsace), but a last minute invitee brought some reds that needed to be drank from his cellar. BTW we also tasted the Rodney Strong wines mentioned in a previous post as the guest arrived. They’re still going..Strong(pun intended) 6 days after being opened. Moral of the story……enjoy your food, wine & friends because we need all 3 in order to survive!
Here’s my thoughts on 2 of the wines, with my thoughts on the others in future posts.
01 Marc Kreydenweiss “Clos Rebberg” Pinot Gris- Alsace, France The hit of the night. Good fruit, crisp with nice acidity. Hints of apples and minerals. Yum!! 05 Francis Ford Coppola Rosso- California nice blend of 48% Zin, 27% Syrah and 25% Cab. Sauv. which made for a soft, easy drinking, fruit forward wine with a nice finish.