Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
Food and wine are two components that, with good company, contribute in making a meal a great experience. So, when a renown wine maker celebrates 80 years of wine making with a celebrity Chef, you can expect an amazing experience. And it is what I witnessed at Todd English Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel. I admit that I did not know when I arrived that Chef Todd English would be there and was surprised to see him talking to his staff when I entered in the restaurant. That place is beautiful, spacious, with a bit of a brasserie feel. I also liked the fact that there is lots of light in there, so you can see what you are eating and appreciate the work of the kitchen staff in preparing beautiful and colorful dishes.
Before I talk about the food, let's talk about the star of the show: the Cesari Amarone wine. The Cesari company was founded in 1936 by Gerardo Cesari, producing wine in the province of Verona in Italy. More precisely, in the Valpolicella and Lugana viticultural zones.
Present at the event was Alessandra Marino, Brand Manager for Cesari, who talked about wine with such passion.
We tried two of Cesari's wines: the Classico and the Reserva. First was the Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2012, their flagship wine that has a long and persistent finish, with a bouquet characterized by cherry and prune aromas.
But my favorite was the Cesari Bosan Riserva 2007. This full-bodied wine has a complex bouquet, layered with red cherry and spice aromas. I very often go for Pinot Noir because you can find some of these characteristics, but admit that this was a revelation and for a Frenchman to admit it is a big step...that I am ready to take!
Perfectly paired with the wine was a meal specially prepared by Chef Todd English who gratified us by his presence along the evening, talking about his love for food, but also to please the crowd with it, also showing some true passion for what he is doing.
We started off the meal with some antipasti. On one side of the table were some salumi:
And on the other side, some veggies and cheese:
Then came some fantastic dishes paired with the Cesari Classico:
Fried oysters, served with caviar, mascarpone, lemon and micro cilantro.
Squid Ink Cavatelli with crab ragu and tobiko (a bit of Japanese twist):
Roast squash agrodolce with mascarpone and shiitake:
Then we switched to the Cesari Bosan Riserva and got:
Risotto tater tots with beef tartare:
Fig and prosciutto pizza:
Short rib ravioli with a mozzarella fondue:
Polenta amatriciana, grilled octopus and saffron aioli:
This was great dinner and the wine was fantastic. I am glad that I was able to learn about Cesari Amarone and will definitely consider this wine moving forward. As for Todd English Food Hall, this meal made me want to go back for sure!
Enjoy (I did)!
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