A 4-course wine paired dinner for $98 in sleepy little Roslyn? Worth every penny.
Guest Executive Chef Patty Davis of PK's Culinary and Bradley Oliver of The Wine Bar - Grand Coulee deftly delivered not just the promised four courses to this special event night hosted at Basecamp Books & Bites in the heart of Roslyn, but what turned out to be a Steakhouse Wine Dinner - a full seven courses of both savory and sweet. Each course and wine pairing were introduced with an explanation of how each dish represented their vision of a classic steakhouse experience and how each wine was chosen to complement the courses.
Owners of Basecamp, Stephen and Audrey Malek, created an intimate experience for 10 guests at a communal dining table, replete with an array of glasses to be filled with wine over the 3 hour experience. And, more importantly, their expert restaurant staff made sure no glass went empty.
But, $98 per person for a midweek food event? Make no mistake about it, this is no money making operation for the Basecamp team. Hosting this type of fine dining experience is a true labor of love and a desire to bring culinary experiences to foodie participants in the area as well as introduce guest chefs to Roslyn. In an otherwise burgers and fries predominant town, it's a delight to have access to these events. And, the food and wine pairing made it worth every cent.
The Food & Wine Pairings
Chef Davis started us out with a New England shrimp and corn chowder, followed by a lump crab cake, sweet pea and avocado puree with a roasted bell pepper coulis and a raw beet salad. While I found the crab cake course to be lacking the southwestern undertones of cumin and coriander that were intended, the shrimp and corn chowder was a perfect mix of texture and flavor, packing a salty bacon punch. Paired up with the appetizers was a Ver Ari extra dry prosecco with notes of pear that set up the palate, but stayed out of the way of the food.
The salad course was grilled honey gem lettuce with prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, hard boiled egg, romano cheese and dressed with croutons and a red wine vinaigrette. The lettuce had surprisingly smokey overtones that were matched well with the super sweet yet acidic roasted tomatoes. I would have preferred a more soft boiled egg to go with this course to add less of a dry texture and more of a creamy one, but the salty crispy prosciutto balanced out the plate.
The wine pairing for the salad was a Cusumano Insolia 2016, which had a very sweet aroma, like a Riesling. Imbibed on its own, it had a very muted flavor, but woke up when joined with the flavors of the salad, bringing on a peach tone.
Before embarking on the main course, we had an intermezzo course of a pineapple mango slush with lime and mint which acted nicely as a palate cleanser. The acidity of the slush was a bright, frozen treat that got everyone ready for the entree.
Ah, the entree. The heart of the steakhouse dinner. Grilled asparagus beautifully complemented the New York steak which was seared and finished in the oven and served au poivre - a peppercorn cream sauce with demi glace from veal bones born out of a 12 hour reduction. The twice baked potato was amazing, loaded with bacon and chives. My notes described it as a "crunchy smokey, salty heaven", but that could have also been the wine talking.
Ah, the wine! This pairing was, hands down, my favorite wine of the evening. The entree selection was a 2015 Silverstrike Zinfandel from Sonoma, a bold, jammy wine with blackberry and dark cherry notes. It had a sweet start and a smooth, tannin finish.
Finally, no dinner event can go without a dessert course and, in this case, we had two! The first was an incredible chocolate souffle with raspberry red wine sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Paired with dessert was a 2009 Statement Colheito Port with flavors of honey, raisins and brown sugar. You either love or hate port, but if you're a fan, you'll enjoy this one.
The final "Good Bye" course was a selection of white, milk and dark chocolate truffles. The truffles and port were the perfect bookend to the night.
I hope that I gave you a glimpse of the experience this Steakhouse Wine Dinner offered. More importantly, I hope that I have given you enough information to discern if this is something you'd like to attend in the future when, no doubt, Basecamp offers another multi course special event.
Would I go again to a future wine dinner at Basecamp? Most definitely. It's great to have the opportunity to try new wines and food pairings under the command of guest chefs. This time of year, when everyone is huddled into their routines, it's a nice shake-up and an excuse to meet with new friends (and old).
Basecamp Books & Bites
110 W Pennsylvania Ave, Roslyn, WA 98941