Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

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Awesome dinner!

Willow had another of its monthly chef's tastings last night, and I went with ruffian_wind and kenshardik. The dinner featured several courses paired with various Finger Lakes wines, some of which I was already fond of.

We were again very lucky with our dining companions. (The restaurant was set up for tables of eight, so most folks were sitting with people from other parties.) We did get to see one of the couples from last time, though they were sitting elsewhere. (Poor Helene's foot hasn't gotten any better!) We were instead sitting with the owners of Red Newt Cellars Winery & Bistro and one of their colleagues, and Michael Turback and his wife! Michael is the original owner of Turback's Restaurant, and was consulting with David while he was operating the place last year.

So, we got to talk with other people who are really into wine and food, as well as old movies and other topics. I hadn't had a chance to chat with Michael in a really long time, so it was fun to talk to him about his first book, A Month of Sundaes, about the history of the ice cream sundae, and his just-arriving second book, The Banana Split Book. He's also working on a new book focusing on Finger Lakes wine and food, which I'm looking forward to reading.

David and Debra Whiting, the owners of Red Newt, seem like neat people as well, and I'm going to have to give their bistro a try before long. I couldn't shake a "Ned Flanders" sense about David, but he's actually much cooler than that. :-)

Dinner itself was delectable, not surprisingly. The one surprise was that I enjoyed the chardonnay; it wasn't particularly oaky. (Michael didn't enjoy it. That tells you how good a chardonnay it was, I suppose. I don't love chardonnays.) The smoked duck sushi was delicious, but probably served too cold. The scallop with sour cream gnocchi was fantastic, and the apricot tartlet for dessert was perfect with the King Ferry Winery late-harvest vignoles.

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