Our holiday dinner this year sought a fantasy of warmer tropical climates by enjoying a night of Carib inspired cuisine. We gathered at the recently renovated Metropolitan Club with toasts of refreshing Mumm Cordon Rouge and a variety of hors d’oeuvres such as tomato lamb crostini and cilantro mango crab on a spoon. After some libations the dinner gong sounded to bring us into our first room with decorative red tablecloths and silver ribboned Christmas centerpieces.
We began with a wonderfully seasonal bisque of celeriac and thin sliced chestnuts enhanced with white truffle oil. A Chalk Hill Chardonnay made a spectacular match for this rich creamy rich course. Continuing with the same wine we next tasted grilled prawn and pineapple with a mild curry sauce and green tomato jam. This sweet and savory offering now brought out the tropical fruit qualities in the wine. Our salad maintained the seafood theme with lobster and avocado wrapped in a crispy plantain served cold for a crisp and clean experience. Here we were poured a special limited bottling of Josmeyer Riesling from the Alsace which had classic oily texture, hint of sweetness, and smooth yet profound depth of fruit.
Roused up back to our feet we returned to the bar and encountered an intermezzo of mysterious flavors composed into a sorbet. Unusual yet invigorating, it was revealed to be cucumber and apple with a touch of salt and balsamic vinegar. Escorted into a second room we came upon a Caribbean theme of lime accents, turquoise tablecloths, and colorful bird-of-paradise centerpieces. Two entrées came at this sitting, starting with braised beef short ribs, perfectly slow cooked to melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and dressed with an earthy extracted sauce reduction. This was followed with small medallions of Kurobuta pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon with an unique sweet potato ravioli utilizing thin sliced pineapple rather than a standard flour dough. Accompanying these dishes we had a youthful Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon with massive opulent fruit and an earthy depth blanketing big tannins for a sensation of indulgent pleasure.
A respite of four sharp cheeses led to the finale of a beautifully constructed chocolate creation that tasted even better than it looked. Layers of flavors in a crunchy chocolate tube topped with fresh berries and mint leaves brought to mind a personal sized Christmas trifle. Under the direction of Executive Chef Kelsey Yerger and St. Lucia born Chef de Cuisine Clendon Springer, all thoughts of winter disappeared at our Caribbean Getaway.
By J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse