Swirl Wine Bar & Market

Sunday, January 24, 2010

dc 10 does brunch!

High from the Saint’s victory on Saturday, the dc10 celebrated the quite decisive win over the Cardinals with a delicious theme of "brunch". Be it the Saints win, and the euphoria that accompanied it, or the fact that it was brunch and we were all a little sharper, everyone seemed to agree that this was our best yet. The food was taken to another level this weekend as each dish was truly spectacular and thoughts of how were going to top this one will keep everyone on their toes.

We were a full 45 minutes late with our fresh egg ravioli taking more time to assemble than anticipated. But we arrived to a very cheery group (normally we would be severely chastised for being so late!) sipping on Cat and Gabe’s Fiery Fresh Bloody Marys. Rimmed in fennel, coriander and celery salt and made with the fresh juice of 9 different vegetables, fruits and herbs and topped with jalapeno ice cubes, they were a refreshingly spicy start to our day. Served with the amuse of Smoked Salmon Canapés on Rye Toasts with Fresh Dill Hollandaise and garnished with salted capers, they were perfect together and was my favorite pairing of the meal.

Next up was Chris and Treana who were a little tense during their prep time in the kitchen, but when the dish came to the table, we could see why. A take on Japanese brunch of dim sum, they created a Shrimp and Scallion Bun artfully served with a smear of Hoison sauce. Filled with egg, shrimp and scallions, the gently fried, soft, homemade buns melted in your mouth with the hoison adding the perfect combination of salty sweet accents. Admitting that the wine was more of an after thought with all that went into getting the dish right, they served the 2004 Alfred Merkelback Spatlese Urzinger Wurzgarten which ended up pairing quite well with the food.

We had preassembled everything for our dish so all we had to do was basically boil the ravioli, fry the pancetta, brown the butter, plate and garnish. Due to the whole fresh egg yokes in the ravioli, we refrigerated them when we got there, so they were a bit too cold when we put them in the boiling water. I probably should have boiled them a bit longer, but I had to be careful not to overcook the eggs, making the pasta a little more al dente than we would have liked. After plating, we garnished with a drizzle of the butter, a few pieces of the fried pancetta, sea salt, fresh pepper, grated piave cheese and a sprinkle of Kerry’s arugula micro greens. Sunny Side Up Eggs with a Side of Bacon, Italian Style (click here for recipe)! It was pretty cool to see the bright orange egg yoke running out of the ravioli when cut and all of the ingredients paired well together. Our wine was not quite right with the dish as the Ajello Grillo-Cataratto blend from Sicily had a little too much acid to complement the food, but enjoyable none-the-less!

Our hosts, Lucie and Matt went for a Mexican inspired entrée, serving up Scrambled Egg and Blackbean Tacos, Chipotle Mojo marinated Pork Loin with Red Mole`, and delicious sides of Habenero Salsa Fresca, Fresh Fruit with a Spicy Rub, Guacamole, and Queso Fresca. There were so many amazing flavors on the plate, but I think everyone seemed to agree that Matt’s Red Mole was the best any of us had ever had. Served with the refreshingly different Rum Spiked Horchata, Mexican rice milk with a little vanilla, cinnamon and sugar, we were all in gastronomic heaven. Needing to rest our stomachs a bit before dessert, we all rolled into the living room to watch a little of the Dallas/Minnesota game.

Monica and Neal were up next with their Mardi Gras inspired dessert of King Cake Bread Pudding served with “Fun Coffee”. Using a traditional king cake as their base, they prepared deliciously gooey and rich bread pudding topped with purple green and gold sugar and served with a Bourbon and chocolate spiced coffee to give us all a little kick to get through the rest of the afternoon. As full as I was, I ate every bit and even some of Kerry’s, it was a fabulous end to our afternoon!

After 4 hours of eating, drinking, watching football, gossiping and talking about our amazing Saints, we went our separate ways, completely satiated, a few pounds heavier and just a little tipsy. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

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