Dinner at PS7'sDecember 4, 2007
The Washington Bailliage began the winter holiday season at PS7s restaurant on December 4, 2007, in Washington, DC. Five innovative courses were paired with outstanding vintages, all supplied by the Bailliage’s own cellar.
Greeting members and distinguished guests were Bailli Steven Greenwald, and Eschanson Provincial Mid-Atlantic Antonio Busalacchi. There were three passed hors d’oeuvres, one more delicious than the next. There was a spicy tuna tartare, seasoned with Sriracha hot sauce, mixed with black and white sesame seeds on miniature Parker House rolls with a dab of white miso aioli to finish it off. This was followed by a wild mushroom boudin with pickled Trumpet Royale. The unctuous foie gras torchon was placed on a crisp chip of potato and seasoned with Maldon sea salt and candied orange zest. We sipped on magnums of 2000 Vraneken Demoiselle champagne.
The meal, held in a private dining room, consisted of five courses. We began with anise braised rockfish, sprinkled with cured pork belly shavings, topped with crisp skin and paired with 2005 Clos Pegase-Mitsuko’s Vineyard Chardonnay. This was followed by pan-roasted duck breast with leg confit dumplings which were seasoned with spiced black plum compote. The confit was exquisitely paired with the 2002 Domaine Daniel Rion Vosne Romanée. The third course was a duo of beef; the foie gras studded beef shortribs in pastry was moist and delicious, as was the pan-roasted sirloin pave with roasted root vegetables embedded in mashed potatoes. This was brilliantly paired with the 1999 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac. The cheese course was a most unusual rendition; with a St. Andre panna cotta served with Granny Smith apple fluid gel, Tasmanian pepper croccante, and thyme shortbread. To match this course we poured a 2004 Thorn-Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz. The final course, dessert, was a tart of poached figs in almond custard. This was perfectly paired with a 2001 Olivares Dulce Monastrell from Jumilla, Spain.
Following the dinner, Chef Peter Smith and his staff were congratulated by the attendees as well as Chef Smith’s mentor, Commandeur Conseiller Culinaire Provencial Francois Dionot, a long time professional member of La Chaine and proprietor of L’Academie de Cuisine. Teacher/Chef Dionot mentioned that Peter Smith was his only student to score 100% on his final exam!
However, there was one more surprise for the confreres, a gift of a lovely engraved case with a wine opener. It was a wonderful way, indeed, to begin the holiday season.