My dinner club had another meeting the other night and we found ourselves venturing to a venue for the third time, The Courthouse Grille in Plymouth, Michigan. I have given a short history of the changes that I recall on this location from when it was originally The Hillside, and then it became Ernesto’s/Ernie’s. Our hosts for the evening try to mix it up a bit, and we found ourselves in yet another private room compared to past meetings. The room would have given us a beautiful vista, but that night all we saw was more snow piled high and deep, so all of the attention was on our meeting and it was a fine meeting at that.
Normally for our meetings, our designated hosts give us an option of three different entrees, but this evening we were given eight different choices, so it felt like we were in a restaurant as opposed to a private room. There was a nice mix of dishes; Baby Back Ribs, Veal Marsala, Shrimp Scampi, Salmon, Perch, Chicken Piccata, Lasagna and a New York Strip steak. The dinner also included a salad and a Sundae afterwards. The service for the evening by our two waiters was smooth without any problems, which for a group of thirty plus men is very commendable.
There is always an open bar as part of the dinner, and The Courthouse Grille offers a very fine wine list and a very impressive collection of assorted wines by the glass as well. Since I was not one of the hosts, I chose a glass of wine during the cocktail hour that precedes our actual meeting, and the wine was so good, that I continued with it during my meal as I was having Veal Marsala. Most people would have selected a more earthy Italian wine to pair with the entrée, but there was a wine that I wanted to try, namely a Cabernet Sauvignon. My choice was Concannon Conservancy Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from the AVA Livermore Valley. The Concannon family has been tending these vineyards for about 125 years and the Livermore Valley is part of a larger area known as the Central Valley which is east of the San Francisco Bay. The “Conservancy” part of the label is that the acres of vineyards are in a Conservation Trust to maintain the land from the encroachment of the urban environment. I have heard people say that the Central Valley can compete with Napa Valley, and while I may not go that far, I was very happy with the selection, as I said earlier that I did order a second glass for dinner. I thought the wine was a little too young to be served, but that is a way of life in most restaurants, so there was a bit more fruit, that may have mellowed out with a little storage time. I do look forward to the next meeting that we will have at this location as the quality of the food and the wines are very good, not to mention that it is a short drive home for me, which can be a blessing especially in the Winter.