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 bring some good juice to the table.
Crawfish Beignets & Shrimp Pot stickers
Braised fennel and jalapeno
Wine: Sparkling wine tbd
Scallop and Calamari Ceviche
Habanero, avocado, tomato, jicama, lime, cucumber and cilantro served “up”
Wine: Markham Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Jalapeno, cheese and yellow stone ground pudding cornbread; hot pepper relish
Wine: Markham Chardonnay 2010
Quail, Foie Gras and Savory Apple Pie
Wine: Markham Merlot 2010
Grilled Korean Style Prime Saratoga Ribeye
House-made cucumber kim chee and bibimbap (vegetable rice)
Wine: Markham “The Altruist” Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Rare Seared Sashimi Tuna
Soba noodle salad, avocado, tomato, blueberry ginger spice demi-glace
Wine: Markham Petit Syrah 2007
Louisiana Strawberry Shortcake
Chantilly cream and honey Grand Marnier syrup
Wine: Markham Late Harvest Riesling 2009
The price of the dinner is $125 inclusive. Reservations are essential at the number below. The date for this year’s New Orleans Wine and Food Experience winemaker dinners is Wednesday, May 22. I’ve selected twelve of the menus as the ones most likely to be the best, from the field of thirty-eight. They will appear in this space, in no particular order, every day until the big night. Left out: dinners that are already booked up (!), and those that didn’t publish their menus on the NOW&FE website (dumb).
Pelican Club. French Quarter: 615 Bienville. 504-523-1504. www.pelicanclub.com.