Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Night In Argentina At The Saltbox Café.

Welcome to the Saltbox Café.
On Thursday night,
the Hawthornes went to the Saltbox's second
(I hope of many) wine dinner series.
Each wine is paired with a course
significant to the region.
Tonight featured the wines of Argentina
and Cody Stokes, national sales manager for Victus World Imports,
introduced each wine.

You can read about the first dinner,
featuring the wines of Spain, here.

When we arrived, appetizers were waiting at the bar -
cheeses, prosciutto, assorted olives,
spiced apple slices, paté, and bruschetta.

Photo courtesy of Saltbox Café.

Our first course -
scallop ceviche with a yuzu vinaigrette.
Thinly sliced scallops, green pepper, and tomatoes
napped in a citrus sauce.
The wine accompanying the ceviche 
was a crisp 2013 Valdecuevas Verdejo.

I've actually made a yuzu sauce for scallops
on a bed of puréed popcorn
and it was divine.
Here's the post about it:

No matter how busy Chefs Amanda and Randolph are,
they always take time 
to come out and mingle with their customers.

Our second course, paired with a 2013 Bodega Gratia Sauvignon Blanc,
was Cornish hen Ballontine stuffed with lamb and spinach,
and served on an inspired bed of quinoa and apple salad
spiked with raisins.
Unfortunately, I have no picture of this delectable dish.
No light at my table and Rosie never does flash,
unless it's outside fill-in.
And The Saltbox didn't have pictures either.
I'll just have to recreate this myself
and shoot pictures.

 Photo courtesy Saltbox Café.

Third course:
2011 Bedega Gratia Malbec with grilled local tuna,
crisp plantains, papas verde, and salsa cruda.
Not a lot of seafood holds up well to red wine,
but this grilled tuna was a perfect pairing.
The tuna was served on a potato purée
with chilies, tomato, and cilantro.
Rosie loves her some grilled tuna!
Photo courtesy Saltbox Café.
Like I said, I love the personal attention
shown to the Saltbox customers.
Chef Randolph stopped by our table to chat
and I gave him a note for Amanda.
 I was unable to shoot pics because of NO light
and she graciously invited me into the kitchen,
where all the magic happens,
 for the next three courses
 so I could shoot while they were plating.
Thanks, Amanda and Randolph!
Photo Courtesy Saltbox Café

I love Chef Sprinkle's intensity here.

Our fourth course was roasted veal tenderloin
with a delicious brown butter Hollandaise sauce
that I must replicate next time I make Eggs Hawthorne.
This was paired with a 2012 Bodega GratiaCabernet Sauvignon.

I believe bonito flakes were involved somewhere in here.
Chef Randolph?
Please explain about the bonito.

 I have bonito flakes which I used to make dashi,
but I'd love to know other uses for it.
Micro greens and sweet, tender baby carrots 
rounded this out quite nicely.

Course five:
The wine was a 1010 Bodega Gratia Marchiori Malbec.
The dish was grass-fed beef,
New York strip,
with fried cassava root, corn porridge, 
and a classic chimichurri sauce.

Color me happy!

Course six.
Fabulous dessert served with
Susana Balbo Late Harvest Malbec.
Chocolate spiced cake with dulce de leche mousse,
sea salt caramel gelato, and dulce de leche sauce.
I tasted pumpkin!
I think I died and went to heaven after this.

Photo courtesy Saltbox Café.

Thanks, Chefs Sprinkles,
for a wonderfully delicious
and deliciously wonderful evening!

Not to worry, readers.
The Hawthornes do not drink and drive.
We enlisted the services of Middle Hawthorne
to deposit us and pick our sorry asses up.

Sprinkles, we'll be back December 4,
 for the French inspired dinner.
Thanks, again!


zzzadig said...

Bonito flakes, Katsuobushi, are drifted over Oshitashi and other salads,and added to rice along with other toppings. It is especially good on Oshitashi as it rounds out all of the flavors of spinach, ponzu, sesame.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Z. I shall experiment.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Did you see the cilantro powder I made?

zzzadig said...

Yes I did. Does it have any flavor?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

It punches!