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A "RETRO" DINNER to Celebrate Alexia's Birthday.
July 2002

Chef Robert Gorman decided to prepare a menu featuring "Nostalgia Cuisine."  When I told our senior reveler, Marjorie Martin, the menu, she replied "Oh, I used to prepare those dishes 30 or 40 years ago!"

We began the evening with a magnum of Laurent Perrier's outstanding "Grande Siecle" Champagne.

 
Bob prepared some carrot "curls" and radish "roses" along with some puff pastry "batons."

Paul Obester poured the Champagne as Alexia noticed the "gag" menu displayed at each place-setting.  This featured wines such as "Andre Cold Duck" and "Blue Nun Liebfraumilch," along with Mouton-Cadet and Chateau LaSalle! 


Marjorie is the young lady on the right, while the birthday girl is on the left.

As Bob labored in the kitchen, all we called to the table.  Imagine Alexia's surprise at finding a plastic shark waiting for her at the table, cleverly hidden on her chair!


Whodda Thunk it?



Meanwhile the Chef got busy assembling the Caesar Salad.


As is traditional, Bob even had the coddled egg!


Having added the anchovies and home-made croutons, Bob topped the salad with a bit of Parmigiano.


A 1995 CHTEAU de FIEUZAL Pessac-Leognan Blanc was a good choice with the salad!  The stony, minerally notes of the wine were well-suited to the lemony notes of the salad.


Cheers to the Chef!!!


The next course was "Sole Nantua", a tasty piece of white fish in a crayfish-enhanced sauce.  Bob embellished the plate with a chunk of lobster and a piece of puff pastry.
Two 1997 French white Burgundies accompanied this course:
BONNEAU du MARTRAY CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE
(stony, mildly earthy notes with a hint of wood)
MICHEL NEILLON 1997 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1er Cru "Clos Saint Jean"
(
Lots of toasty oak and ripe Chardonnay fruit...very fine!)


Marjorie enjoyed the white Burgundies!



We did not serve the Beef Wellington with Mouton-Cadet or Charles Krug's ancient Gamay Beaujolais!

 

 

Marjorie offered a bottle of 1950 LOUIS MARTINI CABERNET SAUVIGNON "Private Reserve".

Here was a taste of history!

 


 

HENRY! Moore decanted the Martini Cabernet.

It was still showing plenty of life (not unlike the birthday girl!) and vitality.

 

 

 

Harry Truman was President when Louis Martini made that wine!  The San Francisco 49ers played their first season in the National Football League, winning just 3 of their 12 games!  The "I Love Lucy" TV show was a year away from its debut!  

Marjorie enjoyed a taste of the past and shared fond memories with us "youngsters."



Bob carved up the Beef Wellington and we decanted two more bottles:

1979 CHTEAU MARGAUX
Medium-bodied, typically high-toned, almost floral, Cabernet.  Smooth and just about perfect.

1979 CHTEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES
Medium-full bodied...more earthy, dusty tones here...mildly tannic, still, but tamed (easily) by the beef.  Very nice.


Bob then offered a cheese course, featuring the usual, artery-clogging selection of cheeses.  His home-baked bread wasn't bad, either!

We drank two Burgundies:

CHARLOPIN-PARIZOT 1998 CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN
A lovely bit of hickory, bacony, smoky notes to this rather rich Pinot Noir.  Very fine.

CHARLOPIN-PARIZOT 1998 CLOS VOUGEOT
Similarly styled to the Charmes-Chambertin, as one would expect, though seemingly less wood here.  Very finely styled and delicious!  The cheese tames the tannins, making both of these taste smooth.


Serving Chteau d'Yquem allows us to, once again, trot out the story of our visit to that winery, many years ago, where Alexia told the manager the wine was "so rich, you only need one taste" as he was about to offer Henry and myself a second pour.
He promptly jammed the cork back into the bottle, leaving our glasses empty!!!

We pummeled her when we got to the car.


Bob offered the traditional "Birthday dessert," Peach Melba!
(For some reason, he's allergic to birthday cake!).


Paul Obester, as it turns out, is NOT allergic to the Chateau d'Yquem!

1996 CHTEAU D'YQUEM
Medium golden color, lots of honey, hints of caramel and butterscotch notes...rich, creamy flavors and a long finish...It's so rich, we only need a half bottle!

 


The Birthday Girl opened some Birthday Presents.  One of them was some little device that accounted for Alexia's "neon lighted" teeth!


As Alexia has been checking out of her local library a wine & food pairing cookbook, I took the liberty of acquiring a brand new copy so she can burn her library card.





Alexia also received the "traditional" European birthday gift:

A box of Mesli from our friends
GABY & NORBERT

 

 

 

 

The boys down at Taco Bell, where Alexia's treats her Mom to a lavish Sunday Brunch, sent her a box of their famous Taco Shells.

Alexia was "muy feliz" to receive such a lovely gift, that she very nearly cried.

 

The evening concluded with a couple of digestifs...an old bottle of Courvoisier and a bottle of Gabriel & Andreu Grande Champagne Cognac.



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