Disclosure: I attended this food event for free during our recent stay at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa in exchange for writing a review on this blog. While this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
During our recent visit to Saybrook Point’s Tall Tales Guesthouse, dinner was originally scheduled at Fresh Salt, but we got a last-minute invitation to attend Homage to Fromage: Everything French! instead. The event was part of the Saybrook Point Cuisine Series – “a series of pairing dinners presented in conjunction with Seaside Wines and Spirits on Main Street in Old Saybrook.” This food and wine event was spearheaded by Robert Rustico and Stephanie Lamison of Connecticut Distributors. They paired wines with cheeses brought by Fromage proprietor Christine Chesenak.
Where do I even begin this recap of the event? Look at this French Cheese Display from Fromage. They were nice enough to ask me what cheeses I was partial to. I told them, “Give me what you got. I can handle it.”
There were 15 different types of cheeses, including:
- goat cheeses like Le Chevrot, Bucherondin, Bethmale and Pico;
- sheep cheeses like Prince de Claverolle and Brebiou; plus
- cow cheeses like St. Nectaire, Prefere de nos Montagnes, Cantal and Morbier. It was great to find the double creme cow cheese Fromager D’Affinois and triple creme cow cheese St. Andre. Believe it or not, they even had raw cow cheese like Bleu D’Auvergne and the aged Comte. Even Epoisses, a semi-pasteurized cow cheese, was there for the tasting.
What a great selection! The cheeses were paired with the fresh-tasting Perrier-Jouet Brut. C’est magnifique! But this event wasn’t all about cheese. It was followed by the first course, Coquille Saint Jacques (Scallops Gratinee).
This glass of Domaine Charly Nicolle, Chablis v. 2013 matched beautifully with the scallops.
The second course was the Classic Coq Au Vin, a dish that was already cooked with wine and coupled with. . .
. . . the one on the left – the Xavier Monnot, Monthetie Rouge v. 2013.
Once we were finished with the second course, the entree arrived. Ever had wild boar? Me neither. This extraordinary Roast Rack of Wild Boar came with Braised Beluga Lentils, Ratatouille and Caramelized Spring Onions with a Currant Demi-Glace.
The full-bodied Domaine Christophe Cordier, Julienas Vielles Vignes v. 2013 was a marvelous accompaniment to the wild boar.
As a finishing touch to the evening’s meal, they served Pear Clafoutis with Roquefort for dessert. Hubby discovered that eating the clafoutis with a tiny piece of Roquefort at the same time was an excellent way to enjoy this dessert.
The clafoutis was offset wonderfully by the delicate and intensely floral Perrier-Jouet Nuit Blanch Sec Rose.
While all the courses were delicious, two stood out in particular. First was the Coquille Saint Jacques (Scallops Gratinee). I’m not particularly fond of scallops. They always seem rubbery to me. After eating the scallops gratinee at this event, I realized that the scallops I’ve encountered before were probably: (a) overcooked and overdone, (b) old and/or (c) sadly both (a) and (b). The scallops dish we ate was fresh, delicately breaded and worked so well with the Chablis. It was so tender, and it was still steaming when I sliced it.
Second was the Roasted Wild Boar Rack. It was my first time to eat wild boar and it looks like it won’t be the last. Sourced from North Carolina, I thought it was cooked medium well. I expected it to taste gamey, but it didn’t. It was a lean and low-fat meat with a distinctive taste – it’s definitely not pork. It also came with beluga lentils, which are lentils that look like beluga caviar.
Overall, the choices of wines, cheeses and the dishes worked so well together and exceeded our expectations. What made the experience even better were tasting meat I’ve never tasted before (wild boar) and falling in love with one I’ve long ignored (scallops). Oh, and did you know that Chablis is leftover fossils? Now you know. By the end of the evening, attending Homage to Fromage gave us an enhanced appreciation of an already-appreciated French cuisine.
The Macallan Scotch Dinner
Saturday, April 9, 2016 @ 6:30 p.m.
$99.50 per person plus tax & service charge
“Known around the world as one of the most prevalent whiskies, this estate still grows its own Minstrel Barley and ages a rare combination of spirits in traditional oak. Whether you are a whisky connoisseur or a newcomer to single malt, this is a unique opportunity to explore these flavors with a professional as your guide.”