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Food, Wine & Friends Page 140

On Monday evening we packed our bags and headed to Obesters-By-The-Ocean for our annual New Years' Fest.

Sandy and Paul had decorated the place and set the table in preparation for this yearly Bacchanalia.

Alanna, Dane and the FitzJensen parents arrived, joining Henry & Alexia, Bob Gorman, Paul, Sandy and myself for the festivities.

I couldn't determine if the FitzJensens were coming here for an "over-night" or if they were running away from home.

Paul had baked some breads...

And a little Champagne was chilled for the occasion!

Dad and Dane were ready to party!

Henry opened the jeroboam of Champagne and soon we were on our way!

We began with 60 oysters and shortly after the starting "bell," many had disappeared.

Sandy and Paul wasted no time before diving in.

We have heard that the large format bottles of Champagne can be less bubbly than magnums or regular bottles since they tend to be filled from magnums rather than fermented "in bottle."

But this Bollinger was superb!  Deep, toasty and very effervescent, we drained the bottle rapidly.



It was soon time to get busy in the kitchen and Sandy did just that!


Amy was busy drinking Champagne...
And soon Paul was ferrying the first course to the table.


Paul and Sandy prepared a lovely starter course: Seared Tuna with a 'stuffing' of crab and basil on a blood orange sauce.

We had Guigal's 2006 Condrieu "La Doriane" alongside a less-fancy bottle of Argiola's "Nuragus," a white wine from Sardinia.
The Guigal has lots of nice peach fruit and plenty of oak...it was certainly reminiscent of many Chardonnay wines.  The Argiolas, meanwhile, at a tiny fraction of the price of Guigal's wine, was equally good in pairing with this dish.  The wine has a ripe fruit note and just a hint of wood.  Both wines were fascinating with the tuna, citrus and crab!



Soon it was Bob's turn in the kitchen to prepare the foie gras...


Amazingly no fingers were lost in the preparation of this dish...

Bob sets some foie gras on top of a slice of toasted bread.

Each plate is then sauced.


We had a superb accompaniment to the Foie Gras:  1959 Chateau Caillou Sauternes.  This was delicious!  Nicely honeyed and buoyantly acidic, the wine paired fantastically well with the foie.  Bob adorned each plate with a thin slice of a black truffle.


Jesper enjoyed the festivities.


The Foie Gras Chef digs in...


While he may have mixed up the seafood wines, Bob was easily able to identify the 1959 Sauternes.

 
I Love Foie Gras!

Next we had a palate-cleansing sorbet.

We had a lovely, palate-refreshing sorbet made from Thurnhof's excellent Goldmuskateller.  The sugar syrup was made with leaves of various types of mint and enhanced with some lemon and lime zest.

Soon we decanted the 1979 Bordeaux...

Paul, meanwhile, was working on making spatzle.

 

While Paul and Sandy prepped the main course, Jesper was working on his Tarte Tatin.

While this was being prepared, Sandy and Paul plated the main course, rabbit!
Amy didn't like having her hare done, so she had something else.


The two 1979s were excellent.

Domaine de Chevalier had a lovely perfume and nice bottle bouquet.  The wine showed some leathery, tobacco-like notes and was classic.
Somewhat deeper was the Chateau Margaux, with a hint of a floral tone along with the woodsy, cigar-box elements of mature Bordeaux.
Both wines are at their peak and should remain in good condition for several more years if they've been well-stored.

Dane made an appearance, finding all this good food too hard to resist.


An assortment of cheeses came next...

A couple of Charlopin Burgundies from the 1999 vintage were marvelous!

The Chambolle-Musigny was a shade more elegant and refined, having bright red cherry notes on the nose and palate.  The Vosne-Romanee was a bit bigger and also quite good.

Dessert was soon to be out of the oven, so we opened the 2003 Sauternes from Chateau de Fargues.

Paul took care of stoking the fireplace...

Jesper's Tarte Tatin was delicious and was paired with some homemade ice cream.


Bob started counting sheep earlier than the rest of the crowd.


He's, obviously, dreaming of foie gras...

And so, it was bedtime and past midnight...the new year of 2008 had started splendidly!

Bright and early the next morning, Jesper was busy preparing baked treats for us!

The new year was just starting...

Alanna enjoyed the "smell of 2008."

Someone asked Dane how he'd recognize Bob...

Apparently the same question has been posed to his sister...

Sandy was wide awake, however...

Jesper still had more oven work to take care of...

Henry and Alexia departed early and now it was our time to make tracks back to Burlingame.,..

Thanks Sandy and Paul for hosting us all!!!

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