David Burke & The Riesling Collection Beverage Series Dinner

Dear Food Diary:
A while back, I attended the David Burke Leblon Cachaca Beverage Series Dinner for the first time. It was a memorable night that consisted of eating, drinking and being extra merry. I wanted a repeat and made sure we’d be there for the next event. And we did.
This time around, my favorite wine, Riesling, paired with David Burke’s indulgent dishes. In his words, the best menu to date, accompanied by the Riesling Collection of W.J. Deutsch Wines.
The other day I read a quote “Never trust a skinny Chef”, one look at Chef Burke and I’d say, another great feast was upon us. Let the eating and drinking begin!
Pre-dinner Hors d’oeuvres were excellent. From top left: Pita and mushroom dip, fried pekin duck roll, fried oyster with chipotle aioli, chicken dumpling, summer roll and tuna sashimi. These bite size flavor explosions flowed out of the kitchen with no end in sight… oh yeah! my kind of event.
As always, his signature puff like bread. Real eggy, super flaky on the outside, warm and buttery on the inside. I tried not to eat too much of this, saving room for the rest of the meal, but a dab of cold butter on top and I let myself loose. There was no self control at this point. Devoured it in 10 min… make that 5.

FIRST COURSE Duo of Foie Gras & Tempura Frog Legs with Kumquat Riesling Sauce. Melt in your mouth foie is paired with a tangy, sweet and citrusy sauce. Made me want to get up and give DB a big hug, what an excellent pairing. Frog legs are one of my favorite things, the delicate meat has the texture of fish and real tender chicken combined. It’s great deep fried, crunchy, juicy, tender and naturally had umami. I want first courses like this in every meal. Total satisfaction, so glad we made it tonight.
PAIRINGSte Chapelle Dry Riesling (Snake River, Idaho). Medium body. Crisp, light and clean, merely revealing notes of honey. Perfect with the rich flavors of foie and delectable frog legs. Since the Kumquat Riesling Sauce had enough sweetness, this mild it out with each sip. Great paring indeed.


SECOND COURSE Crispy Trout with Black Pepper Truffle and Almond Cavatelli. The fish was cooked just right, crispy skin, tender flesh. The Cavatelli al dente, reminiscent of gnocchi. Crunchy almonds are always a nice textural addition and the crisp green beans just sealed the deal. Light and flavorful.
PAIRINGCovey Run Quail Series Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington). Very fruity and sweet, almost like a dessert wine. Named as one of the 24 best value by Wine Spectator. It was pleasantly light but a little too sweet for my taste.

THIRD COURSE Crispy Duck Breast with Duck Meatloaf, Sweet Potato Vanilla Mash & Chestnut Honey Duck au jus. I love sweet potato anything and infused with vanilla, surely was a winner. The crispy duck breast tasted like it said, crispy, while the meat stayed pink, tender and juicy. Everything was kissed by the wonderful sweet au jus. I was looking forward to the duck meatloaf, never seen it on any menu, maybe there was a reason for that. Dry and just of big chunk of bla, really dense, not very flavorful, I didn’t eat more than 2 bites.
PAIRINGColumbia Valley Cellar Master’s Riesling (Columbia Valley, Idaho). A winery that was started by 6 friends. This wasn’t as sweet as the previous. I really enjoyed its lovely hints of peach and honeysuckle with a slight acidity of green apple. It went surprisingly very well with the duck. My favorite Riesling of the night, I had 2 glasses.

DESSERT Pear Pistachio Tart with Cardamon and Grains of Paradise Ice Cream. Really buttery tart, tender pear layered on top. The cardamon gave it a really aromatic fragrance, a little mint like with a very faint bitterness. The grains of paradise ice cream was more vanilla than anything, but sprinkles of this peppery seed enhanced all the flavors and brought it to life. A nice kick lingered on my palate after each bite. Bravo DB, this was a splendid way to end the evening.
PAIRINGCovey Run Reserve Series Semillon Ice Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington). Highest priced ice wine made in the States, this was basically nectar in a glass. Indeed a very very sweet ending.
As a surprise, we also got a first tasting of their 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau, right off the shipment from France. Picked and bottled a week before our delightful dinner and riesling night. As they say, Peace, Love and Nouveau. (I’m a little behind on my posts, but also wanted to talk about his dinner series with an opportunity for you guys to try)

I hope some of you will get a chance to experience at least one of David Burkes Beverage Series. All this was just $42, it almost feels like a steal… not almost, it is, specially in NYC. Eat drink and totally indulgent night DB style. He sure knows how to host a dinner party.
P.S. Chubby’s RATING:
150 East 59st