db Bistro Moderne Miami Wine Dinner Review
By Morgan Stockmayer
What do Dr. Dre, Dennis Scholl and the CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center have in common?
Each had a presence at db Bistro Moderne ristorante’s wine pairing dinner.
Hedonist Shedonist had the pleasure of attending the November installment of db Bistro Moderne Miami’s Own Wine Dinner Series, a regular semi-private soiree held by this top-notch high-end Brickell restaurant, hosted this month by one of Miami’s own Renaissance men, Dennis Scholl. Dennis took time off from building Miami’s cultural art scene and winning Emmy Awards to give us a taste of what he also does best – wine!
Dennis worked with sommelier Alan Friedman and Chef Jason Pringle to pair his amazing wines with wonderful db Bistro Moderne French-American cuisine and the results were delightfully scrumptious.
Our first course was a succulent Conch Chowder with saffron, coconut and citrus, and quite frankly, one of my favorite dishes of the evening. The conch was perfectly tender without being too rubbery and the coconut flavor was present without being overwhelming. Just make sure to keep your napkin handy as well as a slice of bread, so you can slurp up every last bit. Our soup was paired with a 2004 Betts & Scholl (yes, that’s Dennis Scholl) Hermitage Blanc – a tad sweet on the tongue but made more tangy when paired with the soup.
For the next course, Dennis took a little time to tell us about a 2004 Grenache, “The Chronique.” Initially called “The Chronic,” Dennis quickly realized he might have to change the name to have it pass inspection. Add a dash of class with the French idiom and you get the perfect compromise – “The Chronique.”
This tangy rich wine tasted like you’d popped a cherry in your mouth with each sip. According to Dennis, for some reason, the earthy cloudy flavor of this wine was such a big hit with a certain doctor – Dr. Dre, that is – when he tasted it that he apparently bought 8 cases to take home. This wine was paired with a Potato Gnocchi dish served with sharp parmesan (my favorite), succulent lamb sugo, and a black truffle sauce.
The third course was the most fun to eat. Dennis challenged Chef Pringle to create most non-French menu item you can think of – fried chicken. And well, the chef won that bet. His Buttermilk Fried Chicken was amazing. The skin was so crunchy and flavorful with a small kick of spice at the end of each bite. Heck, I almost didn’t even need the barbecue sauce…until I tasted it and it was over for me. Sweet, sour…is that fruit I taste? We had a lot of fun trying to decipher the ingredients in that “secret sauce.” We even tried bribing the hostess but all we could find out was that there may be a hint of bourbon and mustard in there somewhere.
The chicken was accompanied by equally yummy sides – a fresh fennel slaw that cleansed your palate, rich baked beans, cornbread with honey butter and a scallion vinaigrette.
By the end of the main course, many of our fellow guests – high-end professionals like CEO John Richard from the Adrienne Arsht Center, stock brokers, private chefs, and nurses – decided to call it a night and head home. Not us! We waited it out for the final course, and quite possibly, one of the best of the night – dessert!
Each layer of the Chestnut Vanilla Chantilly was a pleasant surprise and the perfect balance of sweet and light with a tangy side yuzu ice cream. The dessert wine was my favorite of the night – a 2012 Laffourcade L’echarderie ‘Couteaux du Layon,’ (I was secretly glad most of the guests had left so I could dip my finger in the whipped cream without shame.)
For only $85 (plus tax and well-earned gratuity), db Bistro Moderne Miami offers a 4-course meal, wonderful wines, and lovely company. To find out more about the next Miami’s Own Wine Dinner, visit www.dbbistro.com/win-dinner-series
Now, how do you say “doggie bag” in French?