Champagne Dinner at Greene’s

Champagne Dinner at Greene’s
Bruno Paillard comes to town
A dinner with a difference at Greene’s of McCurtain Street this week. Not alone was champagne served with each course but it was also used as an ingredient in each.

This marriage of the wine-making skills at Bruno Paillard and the cooking skills of Green’s French chef Frederic Desormeaux meant we enjoyed a super evening.

Scallop
François Colas of Bruno Paillard, who kept us informed on the wines, was loud in his praise of Fred afterwards: “He was able to read the wines, especially with the dessert.”

Fred was much too modest to take all the praise for himself and introduced us to his sous chef Veronica and also to Nicky, the man responsible for the excellent dessert.

Turbo
The evening got off to a terrific  start with a warm greeting from Sylvia and Collette of Greene’s and a glass of bubbly poured by Searson’s Damien Archer-Good (the man who covers Waterford, Cork and Kerry for the company). Not just any bubbly, mind you. This was the Brut Premier Cuvée, full bodied, well flavoured and balanced, all elegance in the glass and on the palate.

The starter was Pan-Fried King’s Scallops on Julienne of Leeks and Carrots, “Blanc de Blancs” Beurre Nantais. Under “directions” from Francois, we had a sip of the second wine, before we took a bite and the Blanc de Blancs Réserve Privée did seem a little on the austere side.

But all that changed when we had a bite of the scallop and another sip. Now it had a different personality and we could endorse the opinion of a certain Robert Parker: “A fresh, bright sparkler, it will be found particularly successful if paired with food.”


Choucroute de la Mer
Two fish courses followed and gave us the opportunity to sample the first two wines again and, more importantly, to appreciate the different qualities of each. The Blanc de Blanc is 100% Chardonnay while the Brut is 22% Pinot Meunier, 33% Chardonnay and 22% Pinot Noir.

The first fish course was Grilled Turbot served with baby carrots, baby fennel, baby courgette, baby leeks gratinated with “Rosé Premiere Cuvée” Hollandaise. Superb.

The second, which provided a stiffer challenge for the champagne, was Choucroute de la Mer: Monkfish, Natural Smoked Haddock, Mussels, Langoustine, Sauerkraut cabbage, Baby Turned potatoes, finished with Cream “Blanc de Blancs”. Some strong flavours there, especially from the haddock and the lovely sauerkraut, but the champagne was well up to it.

Dessert
Fred and Veronica
 And then for that desert: Winter Berries and “Rose Premiere Cuvee” Jelly, topped with raspberries Sorbet, Tuile. An absolute gorgeous desert and it went so well with the Rosé Premiere Cuvée, “a very hard wine to get consistent” according to Francois.

It is produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay “in secret proportions” and a rather difficult technical process gives its “unique fruity flavour and gorgeous copper-gold hue”. It has inviting red fruit aromas; even if blindfolded, you’ll know you have a rosé in your hand! And the palate is fruity and fresh. It is dry of course and hence the need to avoid serving it with sweet desserts. Fred and Nicky read that info correctly to come up with the perfect match!

Bruno Gaillard, who sold his car (a big one) to start making champagne in 1989, is a “baby” in the history of the famous wine but a baby who has made a major impact. Read more of the fascinating story here 


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