The Lunch Porter may be closing in April but is still offering two more of their popular wine dinners before they do. I was fortunate to be invited to their last wine dinner by Republic National staffer and former RVANews writer Genevelyn Steele which featured the wines of the Rhone Valley.
The Lunch Porter may be closing in April but is still offering two more of their popular wine dinners before they do. This month’s was inspired by spring and the “wild lemony yellow tentacles of Forsythia lining I-195” that owner/chef Ellie Basch passed on her way to work each day.
I was fortunate to be invited to their last wine dinner by Republic National staffer and former RVANews writer Genevelyn Steele which featured the wines of the Rhone Valley. The dinner was full, and the staff did a wonderful job keeping up with water refills and wine pours. Attendees were diverse in age — from fashionable twenty-something’s to seasoned empty nesters. The room was abuzz with conversation and a convivial spirit. I sat next to two charming couples who made for lovely dining companions.
The vegetarian parts of Basch’s February menu really shone. The first course — potato cake with leeks — was a great starter, and the second course — onion soup — was tastier than I expected. Everyone at my table marveled at how surprisingly creamy the soup was and how that really made all the difference. It was paired with a rosé which began tart but mellowed out with more tasting. The bean and lamb sausage cassoulet was not the main course but stood out with its heartiness and flavor. Concluding the meal was a dessert wine from a grower that Steele informed us was the “Chanel of wines in Europe,” and difficult to find in the United States. Dried fruit notes in the wine tasted completely different alone than with both the pear tart course and the dark chocolate Hershey kisses sprinkled on the table.
Join the Lunch Porter on Friday, March 25 at 6.30pm for “La Bella Primavera-a spring wine dinner.” Sommelier Carol Colby will feature crisp, spring wines, which are great on their own for sipping and are food friendly as well. $45 per person. RSVP by Tuesday, March 22.
When calling, please indicate your preference for Friday or Saturday. If at least 30 people per night reserve, they will host both Friday and Saturday. RSVP’s will be tallied by Tuesday of that week, and attendees will be notified by Wednesday morning with the final confirmation of dinner on Friday, Saturday or both.
Some specific wine pairings are still to be announced
- Springtime cardamom pea soup with parmesan crouton (with a Sauvignon Blanc)
- Seared scallop with tarragon-carrot jus (Ceretto Arneis Blanghe, Italy)
- Spring vegetable paella, with or without Sausage Craft’s chorizo (Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir, OR)
- Your Own Personal Pizza, with grilled steak / caramelized onion and mushroom (Flying Fish Merlot, WA)
- Rhubarb custard tart (with a Muscat)