Our New Year’s Eve dinner at Cuvée came with the package at our hotel in Napa. When I checked the menu before the trip, I was pleasantly surprised at the interesting choices. The weather was miserable, so we were glad the restaurant was within walking distance of the hotel.
|Carpaccio of Ruby Beets|
Larry selected Carpaccio of Ruby Beets – salad with house pickled onions, pancetta, pecans, and chevre drizzled with a maple-mustard cider vinegarette
|Mizuna and Baby Romaine|
Judy selected Mizuna and Baby Romaine – organic lettuces with gingerbread croutons, dried cranberries, roasted onion rings, pumpkin seeds, dry gouda and honey-laced warm cider dressing.
But before our first course even arrived, we were served a half bottle of champagne and an amuse bouche of endive, prosciutto, roasted apple and goat cheese with mizuna and walnut vinegarette. I love restaurants that serve amuse bouches!
We had decided to take our own wines for the evening since Cuvée's by-the-glass selection was rather limited. Trying to guess at what would pair with the various courses was challenging. We selected Grgich Hills Estate 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay to accompany the first two courses and ultimately decided to purchase a half bottle of Grgich Hills Estate 2007 Zinfandel for the third course.
I’m not terribly fond of champagne, but I have to admit it paired well with both the amuse bouche and also Larry’s first course. Our chardonnay selection was too light for my salad. The combination of the gingerbread croutons and rich cranberries overpowered the wine. This was an amazing salad and if I can figure out how to do the croutons, this will definitely appear on my holiday menu next year.
|Sonoma foie gras|
Larry selected Seared Sonoma Foie Gras – bronzed foie, butter roasted chestnuts, chestnut puree, maple brown butter emulsion with pumpkin chutney, brioche and cranberry.
Judy selected Caraway Cured Salmon – house cured king salmon topped with winter salad of fennel, apples, toasted hazelnuts, preserved lemon, celery leaves and a swirl of yogurt and grain mustard.
|Caraway cured salmon|
|Meyer lemon granita|
The first two courses were followed by in intermezzo of Meyer lemon granita with micro-basil as a palate cleanser. Very refreshing, it paved the way for the third course. Stay tuned for the next installment to read about the rest of our excellent New Year's Eve dinner.