This past weekend was Kelly's birthday so I decided to take him out for a little wine & good eats. We began at Restaurant Iris for a cocktail on their comfy cute patio. I had a glass of Quinta do Portal dry rosé 2007. It had a deep crimson color (almost looked like a pinot noir) with aromas of overripe raspberries & earth. On the palate I tasted super ripe strawberries, almost a pickled watermelon note, clove & it had a weighty viscous texture. A delicious glass but I think it might have needed a bit of Chef Kelly English's Neola Farms beef shortrib Raviolo.
Next we ventured onto Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. We started with a couple splits (187 ml) of Zardetto Prosecco. I really wish more restaurants offered these one glass sized bottles of bubbly because I love beginning a meal with bubbles. They're fun, tasty & open up the palate. Kelly ordered the polenta to start & being a vegetarian the chefs made him a meat free white wine & tomato sauce to top it with. It was creamy & heavenly.
I began with the seared scallops with fennel, braised leeks & a truffle vinaigrette. It was unctuous, earthy, sweet & so incredibly delicious.
Next I had the lamb sirloin with artichokes, fingerling potatoes, olives & tomato. The lamb was cooked to a rosy pink & was so tender & delicious. This particular cut is only slightly gamy with a nice toothsome texture. The natural jus it was in tasted as if it had been fortified with garlic, veal stock & wine. The sauces pungency was a perfect match with the delicate earthiness of the lamb.
The entire dish perfectly complimented the Domaine Drouhin "Laurene" Pinot Noir 2004 Dundee Hills, Oregon. This wine was rich, concentrated & filled with earthy dark cherry & hoisin notes. But to tell you the truth I think I opened it too soon. It could have used another 5 years. Oh well, it was so damn tasty!