This past weekend I celebrated my 34th birthday which also happened to be the 10th birthday I've celebrated in Memphis. A lot has happened in 10 years.....anyway, you don't want to hear about that.
To get us started I popped a bottle of Elk Cove Brut 1999
What a lovely way to start the festivities this outstanding bubbly from one of the best Oregon wineries was exactly what I wanted. Toasty, crisp, a hint of creaminess, nice notes of dried fruit & this beautiful golden color. I absolutely MUST get my hands on some more of this.
Max, Marlinee, Kelly & I arrived at Restaurant Iris to some ice cold Hendricks martinis & Zardetto Prosecco. The restaurant was buzzing with energy, people smiling, digging into delicious plates & sipping wine. It all had a glow about it. We were seated at our table & our lovely server Rickie went over the menu with us. Max & I settled on a bottle of Michel Turgy Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Sur Oger Champagne to sip on while we decided on our meals. When I saw it, I just knew I had to have it: rabbit. Not just any rabbit but Braised Mississippi Rabbit with Potato Gnocchi & peas. I love love love rabbit & in the hands of the incredibly talented Chef Kelly English it was elevated to something spectacular.
The rabbit was tender, moist, almost melting in mouth with a rich sauce & pillowy, light gnocchi. Perfectly matched with William Fevre Champs Royaux 2008 Chablis. The acidity of the wine perfectly sliced through the richness of the dish. Plus the minerality & medium weight were so damn enjoyable.
Next we had Tennessee Foie Gras with Shallot Confit & Pepper Gelee. Rich, fatty, unctuous & pure decadence.
Then arrived my lamb sirloin
Oh....my....god. Cooked to a perfect rare & anointed with a dill flecked foam it was pure heaven. Many times throughout this meal my eyes rolled back into my head. The pairing of this absolutely amazing dish with a bottle of Brogan Cellars My Father's Vineyard PInot Noir 2004 Anderson Valley. The earthiness that came out of the wine & the mesmerizing dark fruit made for a wild pairing up against the slight gamy flavor & wonderful toothsomeness of the lamb.
I also received the best birthday present ever!!
Nashville Hot Chicken-Style Hen of the Woods Mushrooms - Purists, beware: this will not please you in the least. For one, it's not chicken, so there's that. For two, while we took inspiration from your Prince's, ...
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