Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recap: Todd English Wine Dinner

Todd English's Ft. Lauderdale resto da Campo Osteria was packed to the gills (which isn't hard to do - the place has about 65 seats) last Wednesday for a wine dinner hosted by the celeb chef and Ruffino Wines CEO, Adolfo Folonari. I managed to get English (who is by the way, one tall drink of water) to divulge that though he is opening another restaurant in Boca he does have his sights set on Miami, possibly something in the Brickell area, but it's very far off. It shows that downtown is now on radar of these big chef empires, whereas it used to always be South Beach.

Here's the menu and highlights afterwards.

Diverte Bocca
Seared Scallop, Cauliflower, Tomato Water

Swank Farms Greens, Vin Cotto, Falconero Olive Oil,
Wild Flower Honey, Dijon, Parmesan
Ruffino Libaio Chardonnay, Toscana

House Made Burrata “Caprese”

Suckling Pig Raviolo
Parsnip, Thyme, Toma Piemontese, Crisps, Broth
White Truffle
Tenuta Santedame Chianti Classico, Toscana

Braised Short Rib
Horseradish, Potatoes Puree,
Baby Chard, Pine Nut Gremolata,
Black Truffle
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Riserva, Toscana

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
Cake, Whipped Ganache, Gelato, Streusel, Strawberry
Ruffino Modus “Super Tuscan”, Toscana

The home made burrata was great, and reminds me that I need to get over to that restaurant more often to polish off that fresh-pulled mozzarella they do so well. We also really enjoyed the scallop starter with its thimble of tomatoe water, a refreshing palate cleanser. As the evening went on English really took to his emcee job, joking that he wanted to be reincarnated as the Ruffino wine maker (totally understandable, the man makes wine and lives in a villa on the Italian countryside, hello it's every foodie's dream). It also occured to us that the suckling pig ravioli with white truffles was sort of a play on the fact that they use pigs to find the truffles and now here they were, sharing the same plate. Culinary poetic justice or just very decadent plating?
By the time the braised short rib rolled around we were as stuffed as suckling pigs but didn't stop us from sipping what was probably the best wine pairing of the evening - the Chianti Classico Riserva with the hearty beef and pine nut combo - perfection.

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