On Tuesday night, Matthew and I headed to one of our all-time favorite restaurants, Pier W, for a “Tour of Italy” wine dinner. The evening featured four delectable courses, paired with Italian wines from Vanguard Wines.
Our first course was lobster carpaccio, with mango mignonette sauce, poached asparagus tips, shaved shallots, and frisee.
The flavors were all light and bright. And as was a theme for the evening, all the elements of the dish worked well both individually and together. This course was paired with Il Follo Prosecco Extra Dry, which was crisp and delightful.
The second course was prosciutto and ricotta agnolotti, with a medley of Italian olives, truffle buerre blanc, butter-roasted mushrooms, and porcini powder.
The earthy, salty flavors in this dish paired perfectly with the Passopisciaro Etna Rosso. For a light-bodied red, this wine packed in a lot of cherry and smoky flavors. Our guide from Vanguard Wines told us the Etna vineyards are near an active volcano, which imparts a lot of smokiness to their wines.
Third course was Australian lamb chops with garlic herb butter risotto and a steamed vegetable medley with a mostardo demi-glace.
Mark Kawada, Pier W’s general manager, told us about the kitchen’s sous vide machine, as well as Chef Regan Reik’s passion for perfect risotto. Both complex cooking styles shone in this dish. The risotto melted in your mouth, as did the lamb chops. And this course was again expertly paired, this time with a Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo, my favorite wine of the evening.
To end the night on a sweet note, we enjoyed a vanilla napoleon, with maple anglaise and a mixed nut crumble.
This dessert was not overly sweet, which worked well with the Marco Cecchini Picolit dessert wine. While the dessert wine would not be my choice on it’s own, paired with the vanilla napoleon, it was delicious!
I was not only impressed by the quality of Pier W’s food (which I expected), but also by their expertise in pairing wines with each course. Even the wines I enjoyed on their own were taken to new levels when married with the food. Keep your eyes open for the next wine dinner, which will surely be a culinary treat! And the next time you dine at Pier W, be sure to ask their sommelier to find the perfect wine to match your delicious meal!
***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Pier W Tour of Italy Wine Dinner. In exchange, I received two complimentary reservations to the dinner. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***