November 17, 2009

A Sebastian's dining experience to remember

Sebastian's restaurant was the height of fine dining Monday night with its spectacular Autumn Wine Dinner hosted with Robert Hall Winery of Paso Robles, Calif.

The evening was a mix of gourmet food paired with fine wines, all in Sebastian's picturesque dining rooms at 6025 Douglas Ave. We're far from "foodies" here at RacinePost, but here's our best rundown of Monday's menu and wine selections (you can see photos of the dinner on owner (left) Scott Sebastian's blog, Salty's Kitchen):

The evening started with a sauvignon blanc from the Robert Hall Winery and a grape stuffed with Carr Valley Billy Bleu cheese and "Blis" Double Solera aged sherry vinegar. We had to laugh because the grape was, well, a single grape in the middle of the plate. But it tasted great and with the amount of food to come, it was all that was needed to get things started.

The first of six courses was a Pacific Northwest Black Cod poached in citrus olive oil with white Alba truffles (price: $3,000 a pound) and a parsley coulis. The fish tasted incredibly fresh to me, which I was happy to read on Scott's blog that that's exactly what he was going for. (Sadly, I left a fleck of the truffle on the plate ... sorry, Scott!)

Up next were roasted beets and artisanal cheese. The cheese was a "Humboldt Fog," which was pure rich goodness. The beets were served on micro wasabi with shiso and golden pea shoots in a "Blis" Double Solera aged sherry vinegar. Safe to say, these were not your typical Thanksgiving beets. Scott said on his blog he roasted the beets a long time to give them a "roasted corn flavor."

The third course was a "Day Boat Sea Scallop" stacked with a demi braised slab of bacon and served on a maple accented sweet potato puree and piquant buerre blanc. Delicatable. This course also came with a 2007 Robert Hall Chardonnay, which was a nice bridge to the reds to come.

The first of two main courses was a breast of pheasant with foie gras infused pheasant jus, cranberries and portobella creamed beans. This was my wife's favorite, and for good reason. Scott described the pheasant on his blog as a "time consuming dish." The precision came through in the taste. The wine was a Robert Hall "Rhone de Robles" Red 2006. Scott called this the best wine of the evening on his blog, and the rep from the winery said it was hands down their best seller.

The second main course was a "Local Rack of Lamb" from Pinn-Oak Farms in Whitewater. The lamb was panko and mustard crusted with roasted chestnuts, thyme infused demi-glace and truffles mashed potatoes. Scott's description of the lamb on his blog says it all:
OMG. I just received my first case of Pinn-Oak farms lamb. Absolutely gorgeous. They take orders on Monday, slaughter on Tuesday, package on Wednesday and deliver on Thursday. This lamb is being added to the new menu. I dare anyone to beat it. Anyone, anywhere.
The wine was a 2007 Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dessert was a "Montmorency Cherry Dumpling" with candied orange peel, a chocolate truffle and vanilla custard. Scott picked up theMontmorency cherries in Door County. The dessert paired perfectly with the Robert Hall Orange Muscat for a tastefully sweet end to an incredible dining experience.