We had a chance to meet with some dear friends for a night of “dining and dancing” as the old saying goes. We were meeting up for a night of dinner, dancing and of course wine at a restaurant that we have often met at before as it is rather centrally located for al of us. My Bride and I both love to dance, but there are very few venues anymore that offer both of these options today, at least for the music and dancing that we enjoy. I still believe that dancing involves holding the partner as one cuts the rug.
As we studied the menu, it looked like some enjoyable meals for all of us. The other couple was starting off with Calamari and then house salads. She ordered Hazelnut Crusted Scottish Salmon and he ordered Arcadian Red Fish. My Bride and I both decided to get something that we do not make at home. So first we tried some Duck Fat Seared Sea Scallop and then progressed to both of us ordering the Canadian Lobster Tail. Then we were all going to have dessert afterwards. Now in all the years that I have been dining out, one of the rituals for the table in better restaurants is having some sort of tower brought out just before the meal with the melted butter with a candle to keep the butter warm. It is just a nice romantic touch as far as I am concerned. When the entrée dishes were served, there was no tower of butter, and our two plates with the Lobster Tail presented beautifully in the cracked shell arrived without any butter at all. Our waitress, who was doing a fine job, said that the manager was bringing out the butter for our dishes. We waited and waited and waited, until our waitress discovered that we were still waiting for the butter, and then two shallow pans of melted butter were brought out; with out any device to keep the butter warm for the dinner. The manager came by and seemed to be annoyed that we were not happy with how our dinners arrived, and decided to comp us for the cocktails we had prior to ordering dinner. Normally in an article like this I mention the restaurant that we were dining at, but I shall refrain, as one can understand. The band I might add was wonderful and they sounded great, so the dancing after dinner saved the evening.
We ended up having two different bottles of Chardonnay on the table and they were both from the Sonoma County district of California. Our one friend basically only drinks Chardonnay and she likes the oakey and buttery style and she ordered a very good and consisted brand of Ferrari Carano Chardonnay 2013. This is one of her favorite wines and it is made from fruits gathered from the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Carneros; all designations from Sonoma County. We could have very easily ordered the same wine, but as I mentioned to them, I have to try different wines all the time, other wise my articles would be perhaps even more monotonous than they can be, if I only wrote about the same wines all the time. I selected Laguna Chardonnay Russian River 2013. This was a crisp Chardonnay made more like the French make the wines and the fruit was all from the Laguna Ranch Vineyard in Sonoma County. This wine is made by the much larger group of E&J Gallo Winery that was for years known more for jug wines, but the children are working hard to create other wines as well. This Chardonnay was very enjoyable with the Lobster as I feel that if I had another buttery wine there would be too much of the same and not any contrast with the dinner. In spite of the problem with dinner, the evening was still enjoyable and I am sure that we will try the restaurant again, as we have many times before.