Jul 11, 2011

One Year Anniversary Dinner

I can hardly believe that an entire year has passed since our beautiful wedding. We decided to go someplace neither of us have been to but have heard a lot about. It's July so we wanted to take advantage of the warm weather and clear skies. Finding an outdoor dining spot with a view other than a parking lot is somewhat of a challenge if you're in the Rochester area. So we drove about 30 minutes to the New York Wine and Culinary Center. For a Saturday night I honestly expected it to be a little busier. But nonetheless everyone was very warm and welcoming who worked there and in a matter of minutes I was buzzing happily from the bubbles of my beer flight. 

The first tasting glass of the beer flight was my favorite. It was a wheat beer with hints of citrus. Light and refreshing, perfect for me on a hot summer night!

When it was dinner time we celebrated the occasion with a bottle of Brotherhood Blanc de Blancs NV, Hudson River. Located in the Hudson Valley, we were told this is the oldest vineyard in New York State, partly due to the fact that they stayed "in business" during prohibition by "selling" their bottles for Communion. Smart.

Our menu choices were easy. Brian and I are big fans of sharing a lot of smaller items so that we can try more dishes without over-doing it. We started with their daily charcuterie special which featured liverwurst. I was sold as soon as I heard our waiter utter to word. I know what some of you may be thinking ... "really? liverwurst?" ... It was delightful on the sliced pretzel roll and spicy honey mustard. Add a cornichon and I swear I was eating a stadium hot dog. For me that's a good thing. 

The liverwurst wasn't the only player on the plate of course. There was speck, salame, and some version of bologna --another grinning guilty treat. 

Our second course arrived quickly and included Cold Smoked Salmon with Capers, Red Onion, Radishes, Arugula Salad. Also Half Dozen Raw Long Island Oysters with Pickled Cucumber Salsa.

The salmon was very mild, which I liked. I also very much liked the combination of the fresh crispy radishes with the salty soft capers and the sharp bite of the red onion. It was a great bite when put on the fork all together.

Brian really liked the oysters because he thought they were mild as well. I thought otherwise and thought they were too much. It may have been because I'm used to oysters dressed with horseradish, cocktail sauce and fresh lemon. This was more like a plain oyster. The cucumber salsa really added nothing for me.

Our third course consisted of Montauk Scallops with Cucumber & Chive Salad and Tomato Tarragon Vinaigrette. Also Grass Land Farms Pulled Duck with Buckwheat Pancakes and Fresh Plum Sauce.

The scallops were small. I guess I am used to a larger breed from outside of New York. I craved more than one bite. I guess in this case we should have opted for the entrée version of the scallops. But for only $11 verses the entrée for $27 it was a smart way to try something we weren't sure of. 

The duck pancake left us wanting more as well. The duck was slightly overcooked and dried out. We would have welcome a crispy duck texture but this was not crispy duck. This was pre-cooked and re-heated duck. At least that's what my taste buds eluded to. The pancake that enveloped the duck was very good. And the plum sauce had a very pleasant sweet and savory thing going on.

As you notice there are no photos of our dessert. That's because it was not worth photographing --our weakest part of the meal. They certainly need to put some effort into their sweet treats. 

All in all, it was great to have an adult night out, enjoy the view of Canandaigua lake, and the company of my food educated husband. I would love to go back to see if New York food purveyors can pull it off during the cold months of the year. 

1 comment:

Amanda Antinore said...

My picture has made your blog!!!