Our autumn event took place at The Palace in the Cincinnatian Hotel and highlighted the talents of Executive Chef Jose Salazar. He prepared some adventurous courses with international influences for us to sample through the evening. Gathering on the Mezzanine overlooking the restaurant, we started with flutes of Taittinger Cuvée Prestige Brut along with spoon servings of tuna tartare and shrimp with hints of hoisin. Savory light gougères proved addictive while another sweet pastry featured fresh figs. Our first course was an imaginative deconstructed rillette of cold smoked salmon with accents of candied grapefruit and basil mousse. Sauvignon Blanc from Gamble Family Vineyards matched the flavors well.
A beautifully presented skate wing with baby fennel and cauliflower purée arrived next, here served with Neyers Carneros Chardonnay. After a refreshing lemon sorbet, we continued with delicate grilled quail supported by quinoa, golden raisins, and arugula. This was served with Goldeneye Pinot Noir, a project in Anderson Valley from Duckhorn Vineyards. This transition prepared for our main meat course of Moroccan spiced rack of lamb in a duet with house-made Merguez lamb sausage, also deriving from North Africa. We enjoyed a duet of wines with this double entrée, sampling Shafer Syrah from California beside Roda I Tempranillo from Spain. Both of these substantial wines stood well with the rich spicy food.
Pastry Chef Summer Genetti finished our meal with an unusual combination of lime sorbet, savory cheesecake, candied chorizo sausage, and pineapple chips for an interesting contrast of flavors. Our dinner “fit for a king” will be long remembered.
J.T. Mayer, Chargé de Presse Provincial Midwest