Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Megu preview

March 27

The Loire Valley Wine Bureau hosted the first party ever at Megu’s second location, in Trump World Tower across from the UN.
I’d comment on the space, but I'm a food writer and don’t know from design. It seemed nice.
The Loire Valley people, as always, got a robust turnout of major wine writers, including NRN’s own wine columnist Ed McCarthy, with whom I chatted about the travails of drinking wine and driving (usually he hires a car service home to Long Island; I, of course, take the subway). But people from Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator, and a freelancer from the Times were there. And of course Kathryn and Chris Matthews, whom I think I’ve seen at every Loire event. He writes about wine, she writes about food and other things. Such a cute couple.
I sat between two wine importers at a long table, so I didn’t get a chance to talk to Jennifer Coles from Travel + Leisure, who was at the other end of my table, seated next to some French guy I didn’t get a chance to meet. Next to one of my importers was a guy I hadn’t met from either the Spectator or the Enthusiast, or maybe Wine & Spirits, I don’t know. Because of the layout of the table I didn’t get a chance to meet him, either, until we were all leaving.
The restaurant wasn’t quite ready for us. They’re not opening even for family and friends until April 3, and they’re not scheduled to open for real until April 20.
Their gas wasn’t turned on yet, so they brought in a gas burner with a propane tank and prepared the food for us that way. It was a long, long dinner. Just three courses, but we sat down at around 7:30 and left after 11. Delicious food, though, and nice company, although one of the French attendees, who didn’t speak English, at my table became a little petulant when they stopped serving the demi-sec wines that were supposed to go with the sushi while he was still eating. Petulant, yes, but after sitting for three hours with not so much food and sampling, at that point, 12 different wines, we were all drunk, and of course he had a point. The Megu staff knew it and they brought him some more wine. Naturally, he calmed down immediately.
The Loire people were specifically promoting Vouvray this evening, white wines made from the Chenin Blanc grape that tend to be sweeter and less austere than some other Loire wines. So it made sense to pair it with the creative Japanese food served at Megu.

Are you ready for this? What I ate and drank:

Passed hors d’oeuvres with three different sparkling Vouvrays: Domaine Philippe Gendron, Bulles Brut Extra Réserve 1997; Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray, Tête de Cuvée, and Domaine de La Rouletière, Vouvray Brut Méthode Traditionnelle

Sake edamame, hamachi carpaccio, yuzu ceviche and panko-crusted okaki asparagus, served with four different bottlings of Vouvray Sec: Domaine des Lauriers, Laurent Kraft, Vouvray Sec 2004; Domaine de la Haute Borne, Vincent Carême Sec 2004, Domaine du Margalleau, Vouvray Sec 2003, and Vignobles Brisebarre, Philippe Brisebarre, Cuvée Amédée Sec 2002

Kobe beef “caillettes” (a type of croquette that, in Avignon, at least, is served with capon; at Megu it was foie gras wrapped in beef and grain, kibbeh-style, sort of), crusted shrimp kanzuri, bincho-tan griled Kobe beef filet skewers with soy and wasabi, and assorted sushi, served with five different bottlings of Vouvray Demi Sec: Benoît Gautier, Vouvray de Gautier Demi Sec 2004; Domaine Le Capitaine, Alain Le Capitaine, Les Aumones, Demi Sec 2004; Champalou, Fondreaux Demi Sec 2004; Domaine Sylvain Gaudron, Gilles Gaudron, Vouvray Demi Sec 2003, and Domaine d'Orfeuilles, Arnaud Hérivault, les Coudraies Demi Sec 1990.

Grapefruit Sorbet

“Assorted fruit plate and small ‘umami’ chocolates,” which actually was three seedless grapes topped with gold leaf, a single strawberry sliced in shingles, two blueberries, a raspberry and a cube of very good chocolate decorated like a die, served with sweeter-than-usual whipped cream.
It was served with six (6!) Vouvrays: Bougrier, Vouvray Bougrier Nicolas Selection Demi Sec; Vincent Raimbault, Vouvray Doux 2002; Domaine de la Fontainerie, Catherine Dhoye, Vouvray Moelleux 2003; Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau, Château Gaillard Vouvray Moelleux 1997; Domaine du Viking, Lionel Gaultier, Vouvray Moelleux 1986, and, as an extra surprise, Domaine François Pinon, Vouvray 1959.

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