If you’re ever given an opportunity to go to one of Chandlers Steakhouse’s winemaker dinners, do it. I know the price tag can be daunting – I thought the $125 per person price tag seemed a bit steep – but after being to one, I think it’s a bargain.
The reception started at 6:00 and we were greeted at the door to the private dining area in the back of the restaurant with a glass of 2010 La Châtelaine, Domaine de la Cadette. Often I associate Burgundy solely with red wines, but this wine is a reminder of the lovely whites that come from this region. Passed appetizers included oysters on the half shell with mignonette and little roasted potatoes with creme fraîche and caviar.
We had a chance to meet Lyle Railsback, the Northwest Sales Manager of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants, our tour guide for all the wines we’d be tasting. I don’t know a ton about wine – especially those from the Burgundy region, but I have a feeling I’m going to know a bit more before the evening is over.
After finding our place cards at a round table with two other couples, the 2009 Antoine Jobard, En La Barre, Meursault was poured and a plate of veal sweetbreads arrived. This is indeed a rare treat in Boise. In fact, I don’t know of a single restaurant that has this item on the menu. They were pan-seared and served with a crispy mushroom risotto cake in a simple lemon and caper brown butter sauce.
They were so amazingly delicious, and I hope restauranteur Rex Chandler took heed of all the praises this dish received and at least runs it as a special if not making it a menu regular.
Dishes and glasses were cleared before the sommelier arrived with the 2007 Arnaud Ente, Les Santenots du Millieu 1er Cru, Volnay. This wine was paired with pan-seared filet of fresh king salmon which was set on garlic mashed potatoes with roasted shallots and chanterelle mushrooms finished with a pinot noir sauce. Beautiful!
In between courses, Lyle shows images from the region, the wineries and tells stories of the winemakers. We’re also settling in and really enjoying getting to know a little about our table mates – a hairdresser and banker, real estate developer and nurse. One tip I took away was that Burgundy wines are always made of one varietal while Bordeaux wines are always a blend. Seems so simple yet something I didn’t know previously.
The third course was duck confit with wild rice spiked with golden raisins to go with a duo of wines – the 2009 Regis Bouvier, Clos du Roy, Marsannay and the 2009 Domaine Lucien Boillot et Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin. Our table is divided over which wine is their favorite and it was close but I think the Gevrey-Chambertin won my vote.
You’d think I’d be stuffed by now by but a) I made sure to budget for this meal all day, if not all week and b) it’s a tasting menu so the portions are kept small in order to offer lots of little tastes. And good thing I still had room as course four was another treat not seen a lot on menus – roasted loin of venison with a black peppercorn sauce served with a golden crusty piece of au gratin potatoes. I was so excited about this dish, I forgot to take a picture until I was well into devouring it (you’ll notice there is no sign of the potatoes left).
The wine pairing for this course was 2009 Domaine Follin-Arbelet, Les Vercots 1er Cru, Aloxe-Corton.
What would be the perfect way to end this perfect meal? A cheese plate of course, with fruit and nuts and complimented by a 2009 Marcel Lapierre, Morgon, Beaujolais.
While I appreciate going to a concert or theater, it’s nights like these that I really love. Where I feel like every one of my senses have been engaged fully. 7 wines, 6 courses, 4 hours. It was a splurge for sure, but one I hope we can repeat again.