A few weeks ago, I went to a dinner at Taps Fish House for a wine pairing dinner. Joseph Phelps was the vintner, and his son was there to present the wines, along with a lovely older gent who works for one of the largest liquor distributors in the area. He was extremely knowledgable about different spirits, and I was lucky enough to have him at my table, sitting next to me, talking about Italy…
For the first course we had locally caught Catalina squid, with a red pepper coulee. Oh man, this was so amazing, the red pepper had the perfect amount of kick to complement the charred squid. Our next course was quail (not to be confused with Crail), with cheesy polenta, spinach, and a poached quail egg. Oh yeah, and bacon. BACON. I absolutely loved this little guy… why can’t I eat more quail?The third course was monkfish with roasted veggies and monkfish foi gras. Please give me more foi gras!
The fourth, and my favorite, course was the beef cheecks with funny (but delicious) mushrooms and a gruyere cheese crisp. With the most amazing sauce ever. And the beef cheeks were so soft and tender. Oh now I’m making myself hungry!
For dessert we were served a gingerbread carrot cake with pumpkin spice icecream and cocoa puffs that the chef made from scratch. AMAZING.
Look at me, so happy to be eating so much food and drinking so much wine!!
There were many amazing aspects about this meal, and no downfalls. The food choices were unique ingredients, and were paired nicely with the wine. The chef would come out before each course and come to each table to explain his thought process when preparing the meal and what he was hoping we would get out of the pairing. The wine itself was wonderful, and the service was impeccable. I know these wine pairing dinners are pricy, but if you have the means and are in the area, and have a passion about delicious food and wine, I would suggest keeping your eye out for the next Taps wine dinner- you might even see me there!!