Times have been difficult for many in the restaurant business, but there are success stories with some established venues as well as new ventures. Jag’s Steak and Seafood has maintained quality standards under the guidance of Chef Michelle Brown. Even with marriage and motherhood now in the mix, there are no signs of her slowing down or veering off the path to customer satisfaction. We returned with assurance that surprise and inspiration would encompass our culinary experience.
Our evening began with a multitude of hors d’oeuvres, including shellfish on the half-shell and the rest served on silver spoons. Fresh preparations of oysters and scallops were high points and went down easily with a sip of Prosecco. Instead of an expected progression from lightness to depth, for our first course we zipped into a wild mushroom risotto in veal jus with black truffle and some Malbec from Mendoza. Rich wonderful flavors and textures abounded and matched well to the spicy, powerful wine. Next we turned to a prime filet carpaccio with a hint of cilantro, this time mated with a Zind-Humbrecht blend of Auxerrios and Pinot Blanc. This wine exhibited the intense nose and fruit that is a signature of the best Alsatian producers. Our respite was a sorbetto, but blackberry and zinfandel with hints of dark chocolate were the components to give it an unexpected heft.
Which direction for the main course? Unpredictably, both ways! Shrimp, king crab, and Tristan lobster cuddled next to filet mignon with hollandaise, flanked by sweet potato puree and asparagus. With two glasses we could savor both a fabulous Louis Jadot Meursault and Fess Parker Pinot Noir sourced from Bien Nacido Vineyard to mix and match for a kaleidoscope of unending flavor combinations.
Our Bailli Irwin Weinberg took some moments to bestow decorations on new members Chevalier Michael Ashwell and Chevalier Craig Willis, and this author had the honor to gain his ribbon showing regional officer status. We then had a finale of black mission figs with a tasty vanilla gelato held in a pecan tuile embellished with a white chocolate straw. This evening of camaraderie, fine wines and dining excellence was a night to be fondly remembered thanks to Chef Brown and the staff at Jag’s.
J.T. Mayer, Chargé de Presse Provincial Midwest