This year’s holiday party returned us to the fabulous art deco Netherland Plaza as an apt setting for our winter formal affair. Faces new, well known, and from times long past were present in our throng to enjoy succulent appetizers and Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs as we gathered on the Mezzanine overlooking the elegant Palm Court. Notable were guests of Dame de la Chaîne Cynthia Scott visiting from Europe. Her sister, Echanson Provincial Honoraire du Paris Susie Bondi, was a founding member of the Cincinnati Bailliage more than twenty five years ago before moving on to Paris. She and husband Chevalier Fred Bondi are now active members of the Vienna Bailliage.
After seating for dinner, they and the other guests were introduced to members after which we savored two seafood courses accompanied by wines from the current Wine Spectator Top 100 list. Our lobster salad arrived on a “bird’s nest” of spicy filo complemented by a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The monkfish course with a lobster-like texture had delicate flavors and was well matched to a beautiful Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay.
After a palate cleanser of lemon sorbet with a hedonistic whiff of vermouth, we continued to the main dish of luxurious braised short ribs, redolent of slow cooked comfort with a deep marrow demi-glace. This dish was magnificently met by a Leoville Las Cases that showed subtle depth and structure after just enough years in bottle. This superb apex was followed by Kentucky artisanal cheese with pearl-like persimmons.
We finished our meal with cozy warm chocolate cake and a handmade marshmallow square that was so tasty it almost seemed shameful to describe it as such. As a finale we gave kudos and appreciation to Executive Chef Todd Kelly and his staff for an evening of memorable celebration.
J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse