One of the main reasons that we were in a hurry to go to Las Vegas, was to do something for our eldest grandson, who graduated from high school last year. We were going to throw him a graduation party, but I think most people realize that last year was kind of chaotic. It was a rather open invitation we gave him, when we told him that we wanted to take him out for dinner, along with his girlfriend, because we told him to pick a restaurant, and there are few restaurants to choose from in Vegas. He never chose, and never got back to us, so we made the decision for them.
That afternoon My Favorite Daughter was all excited because she wanted to take everyone to her latest discovery. We went to T.K. House of Bread & Armenian Restaurant. When we walked in, I got a chance to practice my all, but forgotten Armenian language skills, and of course the Armenian that my family spoke was totally different compared to the Armenian that is spoken by the later immigrants, years after the Genocide. Some of the dishes were different both in spelling, and presentation, but My Favorite Daughter was excited. She insisted, before we got there, that she was treating and she was ordering plates of food like it was going out of style. It was all good, especially knowing that he had the market locked up, and it was a chance for my grandchildren to try some foods that they would not get at home. Of course, my Bride and I nibbled and noshed, and I even had pop (no liquor license and I survived) because we had a big night ahead of us.
We took our grandson and his girlfriend to Marche Bacchus French Bistro & Wine Shop, where my Bride and I have gone several times before. It is in the middle of an older residential area build around three man-made lakes that only Howard Hughes could have envisaged and created. From the front, it looks like a small wine shop and wine bar in a small neighborhood strip center, but appearances are deceiving. The wine shop is quite large, not like one of the chain discount operations, but very impressive with the selection well thought out. Behind the wineshop is this terraced restaurant built out on the lake and during the day, we have seen black swans enjoying the water. Our grandson and his date were both rather adventuresome as we started off with Seared Foie Gras with Lingonberry Jam, Brioche, Aged Balsamic Reduction and Frisee Salad. This was followed by Escargot “Persillade” a classic interpretation with Garlic Herbed Butter and Parmigiano Bread Crumbs. His date ordered a dish that required extra time, so we filled the extra time with an order of Beef Tartare with Quail Egg along with Pine Nuts, Capers and Pain de Mie Toast Points. The kids actually tried all three appetizers, though I am not sure if they would have them again. My grandson had the Steak “Frites” a Wagyu Flat Iron Steak with Sauce Bearnaise, Frites and Herbed Butter, while his date had the Bistro Chicken, an organic Roasted Half Chicken with Asparagus, Roasted Tomatoes, Fingerling Potatoes and Lemon Crème. My Bride had Seared Scallops with Lemon and Mascarpone Barley, Snap Peas, Radishes and Citrus Jus. I had the King Cole Duck Breast with Mushroom Risotto with a Brandy Fig Sauce. The four of us split two desserts, one was a Crème Brulee and the other a Limoncello Souffle.
With the Seared Foie Gras, we went with Chateau Lapinesse Sauternes 2017 from the Siozard family. The Siozard family settled in the 19th Century on the banks of Dordogne opposite Saint-Emilion and they now operate about sixty hectares in Bordeaux, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac. They are now in the sixth generation of the family. The wine is pure Semillon and manually harvested over many passes to only pick the botrytised (Noble Rot) grapes, the musts are obtained by direct pressing and settled, while vinified at low temperature. The wine is aged for twelve months in Stainless Steel to achieve a golden yellow color, with a floral nose, and notes of melon, dried apricots and candied fruit, with a long finish of apricots and some terroir. A very nice House choice to accommodate the dish. My main job was after ascertaining what my Bride was having was to go and select a wine from their retail shop and they charge ten dollars for a corkage fee. I was getting a bit frantic, as I was sure that a Pinot Noir may be a bit over the top for the scallops, but I knew that she would be a trouper, but then I saw something that would make me a hero to her, and have her forgive me about having a red wine. I selected a bottle of Domaine Charles Joguet Chinon Cuvee Terroir 2016 from the Loire Valley and made from Cabernet Franc. In fact, they have been growing that grape for years and locally it is called Breton, after the Abbot that nurtured the grape, and one of the famous sons of Chinon, Rabelais also wrote about the wines when he had a moment of free time. The vineyard dates back to 1830 and was planted entirely with Cabernet Franc; and some of their other vineyards go back to at least 1789. In 1957 after artistic studies of painting and sculpture in Pare, Charles Joguet took over the family business and the initials JMV that adorn the tin capsules stand for his mother, Madame Veuve Joguet-Malecault. The juice spends four weeks in cold maceration and then is aged for about fifteen months in a mix of French Oak from new to up to fourth year usage, then the juices are mixed and stored for another six months prior to bottling. This was just a lovely wine, layered and complex and offering a true Cabernet Franc experience. Our waitress was going to get glasses for our two guests, my Bride said no, I would have probably let them have a taste. It was a wonderful evening, not the graduation party that we wanted to throw for him, but it worked and since he is now attending courses in Engineering, it may be a while before he can have Wagyu beef again, maybe when he graduates again.