|Ulises with Chef Adam Barnett|
Thursday, September 6, 2012
A few weeks ago, we found out that the owner of one of our favorite wineries, Valdez, would be in DC for the week doing several dinners in the area. I called the winery and their distributor, got the schedule, and immediately called Eventide in Clarendon to book our spot. We visited Ulises and Adelina Valdez on our trip to Sonoma last August, and fell in love with them and their wines.
There were 4 beautiful tables set upstairs in the dinning room at Eventide. It was almost full with about 30 people in attendance. We were certainly the youngest in the group, but enjoyed the conversation with the folks at our table.
Before the dinner began, we each enjoyed a French 75 cocktail while we listened to Ulises talk about his background, vineyards and winery. He moved from Mexico when he was 16 looking for work, and began to work in the California vineyards. A few years later, he returned to Mexico to bring his high school sweetheart to the states with him...just a few years after that, he and Adelina were married! What a great story he shared.
Chef Adam also spoke a bit about his background and his philosophy at Eventide. For this evening, he created an amazing 5 course menu paired with the Valdez wines.
Sweet Corn Veloute paired with 2010 El Diablo, Russian River Sauvignon Blanc.
After each course was served, Chef Adam and Ulises talked about the plate and wine, explaining some of the characteristics of each and why they were put together.
This was M's favorite. It was a play on the classic peanut butter and jelly. A grilled foie torchon sandwich with Virginia blackberry jam on toasted challah. He served this with the 2007 Landy Vineyard, Russian River Zinfandel. This is my favorite of the Valdez Zins.
Next came the pan roasted monkfish loin with a hominy-coriander puree and chorizo vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was amazing, and the meat flavor was delicious with the simple flavors of the fish. This was served with the Valdez 2008 Pinot Noir from the Silver Eagle Vineyard in Russian River.
The char grilled beef culotte steak with a play on mole sauce to honor Ulises' Mexican heritage. This was served with the 2008 Lancel Creek Zin.
Desert was amazing - probably my favorite dish of the night! The pastry chef came out and explained it to us - it was so creative! It's a chocolate 'napoleon' with ganache, chocolate chile mousse and a white chocolate cilantro fluid gel. It sounds totally weird, and it was, but it was awesome. There was even a crystallized cilantro leaf on the plate! This was served with the final zin of the night, the Botticelli Vineyard from Rockpile from 2008.
In case we weren't stuffed enough, there was one more surprise. A few more sweets to end the evening.
After the dinner, we enjoyed chatting with Ulises, Adelina and Chef Adam. They had one more wine event before spending the day sightseeing in DC - neither of them had ever been there!
If you ever see a bottle of Valdez on a wine list or in a store, get it! You certainly won't be disappointed - not only is it delicious, but the story and people behind it are fantastic.
Posted by Lindsey Baker