I agree that I have no shame and that I am like a little kid, but I guess if you get this many birthdays, it is alright, because so many are denied that privilege. My Bride asked me, where I would like to dine on my birthday, which can be a rather dangerous question, but I kind of knew where I was being led to, and it was alright. Our last birthday celebrations that we had, when the world was naïve and innocent was at The Earle, and they had a celebration gift that was not advertised, but they gave you basically a free dinner when you celebrated with at least one other person, drinks not included. Well, since that time, there was a movement that basically ruined the restaurant industry, and many did not survive. We have since learned that politicians could dine in, at a crowded table without the use of masks and they could live to continue making life miserable in the gulag. We were still going to support an independent restaurant with or without the wonderful incentive.
It was amazing, we always sat in the French Room, which I guess most people didn’t want, perhaps because it was a bit claustrophobic and totally cluttered with the dead remains of elegant wine bottles from days gone past; the room was being used by a private party. We elected to have dinner in the long narrow corridor that is adjacent to their glass enclosed, temperature and humidity-controlled wine cellar. Since 1983, The Earle has been recognized by Wine Spectator magazine for their selection of over twelve-hundred unique wines and they have been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence for thirty-five years in a row and still going. The room was long that we were in. My Bride and I split two opening dishes and that really works out well for us. One was a simple plate of Roasted Garlic, with side condiments and Crostini. The other was a salad, and it wasn’t a Caesar Salad, it was a Panzanella with Cucumber, onion, tomatoes and Tuscan-style bread, olive oil and vinegar, with basil, capers, and anchovies and it may be our new go-to salad. My Bride had her usual Coquilles St. Jacques al crème de Xeres, or Sea Scallops sautéed with mushrooms and garlic, pan-sauced with Sherry and cream with rice. I almost had a Duck entrée, but at the last minute I switched to Veal Scallopini lightly breaded and sautéed with garlic and mushrooms; deglazed with Marsala and finished with cream, served with orzo.
I ordered a bottle of Maison Chanzy Bouzeron Clos de la Fortune Monopole 2017, and the Sommelier arrived with the bottle, because she was very curious to see who had ordered this wine, and I have to admit that it happened the same way the last time we ordered the wine, but it had been a vintage 2015. Maison Chanzy used to be known as Domaine Chanzy and they own eight hectares spread across three Burgundy Cotes, with the majority of the plantings in the Cote Chalonnaise and with an historical presence in Bouzeron, and it is Bouzeron that they are most proud of, and willing to tell the world about it. Bouzeron is a small village that now has its own appellation since 1998, but only for white wines made from the Aligoté grape, and for years it was listed under a sub-division title of Bourgogne-Aligoté. Bouzeron is in the northern Saone-et-Loire region of the Cote Chalonnaise, in the valley and the Dheune River separates it from Santenay and it is very close to Rully and Chassagne-Montrachet. Eighty percent of the juice is done on the lees in Stainless Steel and the balance in oak and it is bottled in the summer, to maintain the fruit and youthfulness of the Aligoté grape. As you may have noticed Maison Chanzy owns the entire Clos de la Fortune and they are very proud of it, as part of their domain. The wine offered nice herbal notes, and some great terroir (flinty from all of the limestone soil of the area) with a nice refreshing finish. We did have a dessert and when the bill came, the restaurant gave us a gift certificate to be used on our next trip, and I know that we will.