On a beautiful Sunday evening in September, members of the Cincinnati Baillage met for their annual fall dinner at Jag’s Restaurant in West Chester, Ohio. The name Jag’s stems from owner John Allgaier’s love for Jaguar cars, “sleek and classy,” which perfectly describes his elegant establishment. In a few short words, Mr. Allgaier describes his restaurant, which has been in operation since 2003, as “where Chicago turf meets Boston Surf”. In other words, a perfect blend of sumptuous steaks and seafood.
Immediately upon entering the restaurant, we were led past a number of cozy dining rooms all trimmed in rich mahogany to an outdoor terrace covered with a lattice of wood and vines. We were served glasses of Berlucchi Franciacorta Brut NV and helped ourselves to a colossal raw bar display including large, succulent shrimp, delectable crab, and mouthwatering oysters. This course was an excellent way for our members to catch up on summer activities while enjoying this superb pairing.
We were then ushered inside to our tables for the remainder of the meal. Our second course was a Caesar salad, prepared table-side paired with 2011 Inama Soave Classico Vigneti de Foscarino. The wine was noted to have a nose of sweet field flowers with an almond finish and was well balanced with the garlic and cheese accents of the salad. This course was made more enjoyable by the Jag’s staff which prepared the salad with great fanfare in full view of the guests. Next, South African lobster tail topped with a Hudson Valley foie gras medallion was paired with 2009 Macphail Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir. The earthiness and flavors of dark cherry and plum in the wine acted synergistically with the foie gras to produce a heavenly combination.
Just about the time that we were thinking Executive Chef Michelle Brown had outdone herself, we realized that we were only half finished. The next two courses involved pairing pork and steak with two different Cabernet Sauvignons. A Berkshire roasted pork chop with peppercorn brandy demi-glace was paired with 2009 Ehler’s Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon and a prime certified Angus beef Delmonico ribeye with cambozola blue was paired with 1998 Clos du Val Reserve Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It was evident that the tannins in the cabernets were refined by the richness of the meats to yield a tantalizingly fulfilling experience. To round out our evening, Chef Brown brought out a raspberry cheesecake cake with espresso crème anglaise, chocolate sauce, and a raspberry coulis to the absolute delight of the crowd.
At the conclusion of our dessert course, Bailli George Elliott introduced and congratulated Chef Brown and her staff for their “over the top” performance. Rounds of applause were given to Chef Brown’s team along with Vice Echanson Michael Monnin for his superb wine selections. All members left with great praise for a collaboration that was unsurpassed in recent memory.
Graig Smith, Vice Chargé de Presse