While in Louisville, Kentucky we and our in-laws were invited to join another couple that we know for the gentleman’s sixtieth birthday celebration along with a fourth couple; and we all agreed that it would be a fine evening. I had not seen either couple for a few years, though my Bride has and kept touch, as she tends to get to Louisville more often then I do. The eight of us got together at Z’s Oyster Bar & Steakhouse “East,” as there is another restaurant in the downtown area. As we entered I noticed that they had several Wine Spectator awards mounted on the wall near the entrance, and that is always a good sign for me.
We were told to expect the typical large plates of food that seems to be the norm at most steakhouses these days, so my Bride and I decided to share our courses, as there would also be several side dishes that were being ordered as well, and the sides each, could feed a small community. We started off with a special appetizer that day a Lobster Strudel and it was very rich and well prepared and more then ample for the two of us. We then shared a plate of Maple Leaf Farm’s Duck Breasts with Shitake mushrooms and a cherry-balsamic reduction sauce. That entrée plus all of the sides were more then enough to finish us off, and some readers may realize by now that given a chance I will always order a duck dinner.
The guest of honor ordered the first bottle of wine and it was Bourgogne Au Pelson Domaine David Clark 2008. This was a wonderful bottle of Pinot Noir from a new winery in the Burgundy area, by a young man David Clark who started with a small vineyard and has since bought several other small properties throughout the Burgundy region, though because the plots are so small, he must list his hand crafted wines by the simple generic name of Bourgogne. He started in Morey-Saint-Denis, and now has plots in Chambole-Musigny, Brochon, and Flagey-Eschezeaux. This was a delightful wine, but alas it was the only bottle left. We all went and studied the wine list again to find another bottle of Pinot Noir wine to order and settled on Sequana Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2009 as I am partial to this area for these wines and I had just turned my Brother-in-Law to these wines as well; in fact on this trip I had transported a case of wines that he had me order for him from my wine club. This was another fine bottle of wine, displaying more of a Californian take on the varietal as compared to the French style, but then we discovered that we had selected the last bottle of this wine as well. For the third bottle of wine, to finish off the evening we chose a bottle of La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2012 which was a much lighter wine, but the dinner was almost over and we were all just socializing, so it was fine for the pick.
The guest of honor surprised all of his guests and insisted that he would treat all of us for his dinner, even though the three other couples were all set to split the restaurant tab three ways in his honor. The guest of honor was and is still a gentleman of the Old School and would not hear of any discussion on the matter.