12 Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Ralph’s On The Park, Swanson Wines
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12 Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Ralph’s On The Park, Swanson Wines

12 Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Ralph’s On The Park, Swanson Wines Ralph’s bird’s-eye view of City Park is as inviting a venue I can think of for a wine dinner in springtime. So all that’s left is for Chef Chip Flanagan to come forth with an alluring menu. He has done so, as you see below. Now, the wines. Swanson is pretty close to the dead center of the best Cabernet Sauvignon growing area in the Napa Valley, with big, chewy reds. Beyond that, the Swansons have some family connection…

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GW Fins, Lange Twins Wines
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GW Fins, Lange Twins Wines

Dozen Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: GW Fins, Lange Twins Wines GW Fins–the city’s best seafood restaurant, and that’s saying a mouthful in this town–has always drawn a big crowd for its Wine & Food Experience dinners. I hope for your sake that they’re not completely sold out yet. The menu sounds terrific, but beyond that the wines are offbeat and interesting. They come from a family-run outfit called the Lange Twins in the Lodi area, up in the mountains in central California. Although Lodi doesn’t have the reputation that Napa…

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Domenica, Israeli Wines
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Domenica, Israeli Wines

Dozen Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Domenica, Israeli Wines Chef Alon Shaya has had such good luck referring to his Israeli roots in his Italian restaurant that he thought it might be an interesting approach to a NOW&FE wine dinner. So he partnered with Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav (“gold” in Hebrew), an Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia and some Israeli wineries. Out of that came this dinner of three-mega-course, each with three dishes), served family-style. Israeli wine has been an interesting story in recent years. Wine grapes have been grown there…

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Restaurant August, Big French Wines
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Restaurant August, Big French Wines

12 Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Restaurant August, Big French Wines John Besh’s flagship restaurant usually sells out its NOW&FE Vintner dinner, but this morning I got a message from them offering spots at the event. The attraction is, beyond the kitchen’s usual creativity in cooking locally-farmed foodstuffs, the pairings with major wines from Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. I suspect they may have this dinner in the entire restaurant–another explanation for the availability of tickets. Two Run Farms Lamb Tartare Sweet pea chermoula, whipped burrata and spiced lavash Wine: Val…

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Cafe B, Robert Mondavi Wines
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Cafe B, Robert Mondavi Wines

Dozen Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Cafe B, Robert Mondavi Wines The dinner Chef Chris Montero has for those shopping the NOW&FE Vintner Dinners is a blast from the past. First in terms of price. This one is $80 inclusive, in a year when most of the dinners have shot well past $100. Second, it presents the wines of Robert Mondavi, which since the passing of the man himself has not held the spotlight it once did. (Although they remain a solid standard for Napa wine.) For the dinner, Chef Chris…

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Palace Cafe, With Mauritson Wines
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Palace Cafe, With Mauritson Wines

12 Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Palace Cafe The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience dinner at Palace Cafe rides all the current trends: sous vide-cooked scallops, roasted marrow bone (seven NOW&FE dinners are serving this), wild boar, and spinalis (the super-tender strip of lean meat that runs around the fat of a ribeye. Despite that (or perhaps because of it), this is an interesting menu. The wine come from a relatively new Sonoma County winery, one that’s of recent appearance in our area, anyway. Clay Mauritson of Mauritson Wines will…

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Pelican Club, With Markham Wines
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Pelican Club, With Markham Wines

Dozen Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: Pelican Club No New Orleans restaurant tops Chef Richard Hughes’s Pelican Club when it comes to creating special menus. His seven-course New Orleans Wine and Food Experience offering makes that point all over again. It’s a brilliant assortment of contracts, running from traditional Cajun crawfish etouffee to Korean bibimbop, mild to spicy, and cold to hot. Making the dinner more alluring still is the wine partner: Markham, a major Napa producer of Merlots and Cabernets. Markham has long been tight with New Orleans, and they…

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Arnaud’s, With Donati Family Wines
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Arnaud’s, With Donati Family Wines

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience Wine Dinner At Arnaud’s Arnaud’s cornucopian repast will be washed down with the wines of Donati Family Winery, inland from the Central Coast south of Paso Robles. Big reds are the specialty, and three of those will be paired in between three whites. Here’s what Arnaud’s longtime chef Tommy Digiovanni has planned for us: Passed Hors d’oeuvres Soufflé potatoes with béarnaise sauce; fried shrimp stuffed with jalapeño and brie; oyster en brochette with marchand de vin sauce Wine: Sorelle per Sempre Chardonnay, Central Coast…

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La Louisiane, With Stags’ Leap And Etude Wines.
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La Louisiane, With Stags’ Leap And Etude Wines.

12 Best NOW&FE Wine Dinners: La Louisiane I’ll bet you didn’t know that La Louisiane is open again. Or that the chef is Agnes Bellet, who for at least twenty years was the chef at Louis XVI. The reason you don’t know this is that it’s not an a la carte restaurant these days, but a private-dining venue connected with the Mazarin Hotel (unsed to be the St. Louis). It is, however, in the much-renovated original space of the historic La Louisiane, which dates back to the late 1800s. Chef…

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