Executive Chef Kevin Ilenda at Restaurant 301 in Duluth, Minnesota, continues to wow and educate local diners with his special wine pairing dinners. The most recent event featured wines from the vineyard of Sonoma Valley’s Gloria Ferrer. The area of Sonoma that Gloria Ferrer has under vine is called Los Carneros, and boasts a climate suitable for Pinot and Chardonnay; much of the grow from this area is destined to become sparkling wine.
The Ferrer family’s heritage as a grower and vintner dates back more than one hundred years, and working with local restaurants and distributors around the country (in Duluth, Ferrer wines are distributed by Wine Merchants), the winery is on the road sharing its special vintages.
Ilenda put on his creative thinking toque for the five course repast at the Gloria Ferrer event at Restaurant 301.
The evening started with an amuse-bouche of a stuffed mussel, paired with Ferrer’s Brut. Ilenda spread his own wings with a dazzling first that featured the flavors of East and West Asia and the Subcontinent, a chicken wing confit with greens, a plum/cardamon chutney, pickled fennel and a Daikon radish. Pairing was a medium body Pinot-based sparkling Blanc de Noirs.
A 2010 Chardonnay led the 2nd, a crab onion bouillabaisse, topped with sweet rye croutons and highlighted with a mint avocado meringue.
The substantial third course featured a serving of caramelized halibut, with a celery root puree, and a variety of lightly seasoned vegetables. The course was accented with Ferrer’s 2010 Pinot.
While few diners at the sold out event had room for dessert, Chef’s creation was persuasive on the plate and the palate. Ilenda had dreamed up a chocolate and almond sponge cake, with a creme glace of coffee and Grand Marnier.
Restaurant 301 is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Call (218) 336-2705 for reservations or information. In Duluth, you can find Gloria Ferrer wines at fine retailers like the Mount Royal and Lake Aire Bottle Shops.
(photos copyright 2014 Kawikamedia.com)