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I have heard and read a lot, over the past couple of years, about the Wine Dinners at Charley G’s…and for some unknown reason, Robert and I have never attended (how and why, I’ll never know!).  But, when we received an e-mail from 2 new friends of ours – about the January Wine Dinner – we immediately said “Yes”…and we were so glad that we did! A five course dinner…with wine pairings and getting to visit with friends and new acquaintances – on “hump day“?!  It was just great…

Just walking into Charley G’s has always been a calming experience – there is almost always great music being played, on the piano, by some of Lafayette’s favorite musicians and… honestly, I have never once been dissapointed by the solid creative menu, quality of food or service (not to mention the ambiance!).  Chef Holly Goetting, who has been executive chef at Charley’s G’s, is just remarkable!  Always knowing that your Lunch or Dinner will be perfect means sooo much… Just imagine a Wine Dinner at Charley G’s!

This is it…

1st course:

Marinated Shrimp, Celery & Chives tossed in a Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette, Tobikkoi Creme Fraiche;  Paired with a Simonnet-Febvre  Cremant de Bourgogne, Brut Blanc

The wonderful and fresh flavors of the Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, bright vinaigrette, tiny bits of caviar in the creme fraiche was perfect – with what I would call a great  “champagne”…but really a Brut Blanc!

2nd course:

Lyonnaise Salad, Quail Egg, Apple Slices Frisee, Bacon Vinaigrette, Roasted Fingering Potatoes;  Paired with a 2008 Domaine Vincent Girardin  Rully Blanc, Vielles Vignes;

I just love fresh salads with a poached egg sitting alongside or on top…just waiting for you to pierce it and let the wonderful richness of the yolk run and “pull together” all of the flavors… And, of course, paired with a fabulous white wine – well, it just made me smile!

3rd course:

Snail Ravioli in Tender Garlic Sauce with Melted Leeks;  Paired with a 2008 Domaine Vincent Girardin  Bourgogne Rouge, Cuvee Saint-Vincent;

Since I have had a few “tough” experiences with snails (escargot)…I was very hesitant about the “snail” ravioli – But, our friends (Mark and Linda) convinced me that they should be tender and have the texture of morel mushrooms…well, they were right!  It was my favorite dish of the night – perfectly cooked house-made ravioli with very tender snails (in a wonderful rich garlic sauce), that melted in your mouth…sitting alongside tender sautéed leeks!  As if that was not enough to make me sing – it was paired with a beautiful red wine!

4th course:

Confit Duck Leg, Fire Roasted Sweet Corn Cake, Blackberry Ginger Glaze; paired with a 2009 Chateaux Saint Martinde la Garrigue  Brozinelle, Coteau de Languedoc;

Everyone at the table was looking forward to the Duck Confit…and they certainly were not disappointed!  It was just fabulous…beautifully roasted duck leg (confit – cooked in its own fat) sitting on the slightly sweet wedge of corn cake sauced with  fresh blackberry glaze  – If we could have, very politely, gnawed and chewed on those duck legs…everyone would have!!!  Along with the boldness of the red wine, that it was paired with….this was the favorite for everyone sitting around me!!

5th course:

Chocolate, Macadamia Nut Shortbread, Orange Liqueur Mouse, Fresh Berries;  Paired with Mathilde Liqueur d’ Oranges au Cognac XO;

“Show stopping” presentation of a mild orange mousse sitting on top of a delicate and slightly savory shortbread – then topped with a thin “sheet” of chocolate… Paired with a great cognac that contained just hints of orange.  Great way to end a fabulous meal!

Can I tell you – at the end of the dinner… there was a room full of happy people!  (I know that it wasn’t just the generous pouring of the wonderful wines!) It sure seemed like everyone enjoyed the food, wine and company of each other…I know that we did! And, I know that we will be back for more…

Wine Dinner at Charley G’s – 1st Time’s a Charm!  Thank you, Chef Holly Goetting and all of the staff, for making it a night to remember.

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