Fish Dinner with White Wines
A recent dinner put on by “Off the Grid” (www.off-the-grid.ws) combined the fish-based culinary talents of owners Henry and Angela of Penn Avenue Fish Company (www.pennavefishcompany.com ). The idea of a five course fish-only dinner paired with five white wines was interesting, since variety is the spice of life, and restricting the choices to only whites and only fish might cause a boring dinner – fortunately this was not the case! Penn Avenue Fish Company’s main business is selling fish to restaurant and public customers, along with a casual lunch/sandwich/sushi menu, so they typically close by 4pm. Lucky for us, Henry and Angela agreed to open up on a Sunday evening and converted their casual lunch space into an upscale dinner setting with table cloths and dimmed lights.
The group of 30+ attendees enjoyed five distinctly diverse courses, ranging from sushi to cooked Cobia, and the white wine pairings worked nicely to compliment the well executed food. While I enjoyed all the pairings, my favorite was the main course (Ancho dusted Cobia) with the Portuguese Esporao Reserve 2008. The delicate spiciness and smokiness of the fish, with the wine reduction sauce was well complimented by the full bodied Esporao, which is an unusual wine for the American Palate but might be compared to a Rhone blend white. I am a huge fan of this wine and recommend it to any fan of big, rich white wines. One element that I especially appreciate about this gem is that the winemaker (David Baverstock of Esporao – an Australian winemaker who has enjoyed many successful years in Portugal) did not over-embellish any particular element of the wine – the fruit is intense, but balanced by oak, which is strong like the fruit, but not so much as to get in the way – all nicely balanced, despite the ‘bigness’ of the wine.
The menu and wines:
Off the Grid Sunday Supper Series
Swimming with the Fishes at Penn Avenue Fish Company !!!
First Course – Typhoon Roll & Spicy Hawaiian Roll
Cremant de Bourgogne Brut NV (Cave des Vignerons de Mancy, France)
Second Course – Smoked Trout Napoleon
Bordeaux Blanc – 2008 (Château LAMOTHE de Haux, Bordeaux, France)
Third Course – Grilled Romaine Salad, White Anchovies / Shaved Parmesan / Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette
Jongieux Vin de Savoire – 2009 (Eugene CARREL & Fils, Jongieux, Savoire, France)
Fourth Course – Ancho-dusted Cobia, Crispy Potatoes / Grilled Plantains / Roasted Corn Sauce
Esporao Reserva White – 2008 (Herdade do Esporao, Alentejo, Portugal)
Fifth Course – Humbolt Fog and Toscano Pecorino with Turkish Apricots and Marcona Almonds
Dry Muscat – 2009 (Adega De Pegoes, Portugal)