Winner, winner Pomegranate wine dinner!

This Tuesday (June 15) Wine Gourmet is very pleased to team for its second (in, hopefully, a long series) of wine dinners, with the delightful Pomegranate in Troutville.
“Troutville!”, you say, “Sure, Pomegranate’s a wonderful place but golly, I don’t want to consume a bunch of wine and then have to drive right away – that’s not safe!”

Point well taken.
That is why we have made arrangements to hire a luxury motor coach for the occasion that will convey you gracefully to and from Pomegranate at (drum roll please) . . .  no additional charge!
That’s right Bunky, freeZippo de bucko.   – It will cost you not a sausage.

Our coach awaiteth

Dinner is from 6-9pm with a social half-hour starting at 5:30. Our coach will leave from the parking lot situated directly in front of the empty husk of Ukrops at 5pm and will return us, full of belly and pleasant of demeanor at 9:30.  If you prefer to make your own way to and from Pomegranate, no worries, we’re just as delighted to have you.
The price is a mere $75. person (+ tax and gratuity) and reservations can be made by calling Pomegranate directly at 540.966.6052.  Before you reach for the phone, however, read on about our hosts and the menu for the evening.
You may want to have a towel handy to discreetly dab at your watering mouth.

Chef Bradley Harris, the designer of our feast

Originally from Phoenix AZ, Chef Bradley Harris attended the fabled CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, NY.  In completion of his studies at the CIA, he worked for Clipper Cruise Lines where he had the opportunity to travel significantly in the Far East and in Eastern Russia. There he was exposed to disparate foods and flavors and he immersed himself in these exotic ingredients in order to bring them to his cruise passengers.

He continued to work for Clipper after his graduation and traveled throughout the Mediterranean, North Africa and South America.  As a natural consequence of his extensive travels, he became culinarily inspired. Brad says, “The more I traveled, the more I began to appreciate foreign cuisines, everything from a simple plate of rice and beans to a pristine fish.”

Chef Harris became an habitue of local markets wherever his ship was docked.  He bought many local ingredients and used them in his ever changing weekly menus. In two years and with two different companies he amassed a list of forty-two countries visited.  After that, Brad hung up his deck shoes and headed back to Arizona where he became Executive Sous Chef of the Hilton Tucson East and assisted with the design and launch of their new menu.

Chef Harris came to the Roanoke Valley a year ago to work for Local Roots Cafe as Sous Chef. Now Pomegranate is privileged to have Brad gracing its kitchen. He embraces the Pomegranate themes and concepts, adding his own creative flair and personality.  The result is a solid and harmonious addition to Pomegranate’s reputation for fresh, innovative cuisine.

Our evening's wine magician, Alejandro Rivera

Arizona was also the starting point for Alejandro Rivera’s culinary career. He did a four year apprenticeship at a restaurant there, moving through all the kitchen’s stations and giving himself a solid grounding in food preparation and presentation.  Alejandro moved then to California and worked with the Roy’s restaurant chain whose dishes are in the Hawaiin Fusion style. Alejandro says that they ran a very tightly disciplined organization and he picked up many food and management ideas from his time with them.

Alejandro next went to New Mexico and cast his lot with the folks who had founded the superb Coyote Cafe, often cited as the birthplace of Modern Southwestern Cuisine. They were on to a new endeavor rehabbing a landmark restaurant of Santa Fe, The Compound.  The Compound went on to receive accolades from such corners as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and even the New York Times. Alejandro did some cooking at The Compound but also acted as the Wine Captain and Sommelier two days a week. When his time with Santa Fe was done, Alejandro said “hasta luego!” to saguaro and adobe and came to Roanoke.  Here he was in charge of the wine program at Frankie Rowlands, doing the full range of wine duties from buying to overseeing storage and inventory, to training staff and consulting with the kitchen on pairing, to being the face of wine for all their customers.  Frankie’s loss was Pomegranate’s gain as Alejandro has brought his considerable knowledge of grape and food to the pride of Troutville.

Together Brad and Alejandro are offering us an exquisite dining experience not easily found in the Valley. The menu for our dinner offers an exciting range of flavors and textures and promises to be as much of delight to behold as it will be to consume.  Just take a look at the menu:

course one
Zucchini blossoms stuffed with paneer, garam marsala salt, fried kale, kale pesto and apple butter.
–  paired with:  Pindal Verdejo and Villa Sophie Lenz Sparkling Riesling

course two
Day boat scallops, mango puree, roasted cauliflower & cucumber salad, country ham, brown butter, and banyuls vinaigrette
–  paired with:  St. Andre Rose and C. Donatello Chardonnay

course three
Chinese tea egg, diakon kim chi, pickled scallions, sweet chili yolk
–  paired with:  Sake and Ginger-infused martini shooter

course four
Beef tartar, caramelized Vidalia onion, shiitakes, warm egg mousse, compressed avocado, brioche
–  paired with:  Chateau Boutillon Bordeaux (2003!) and Baqueano Cabernet / Malbec blend

course five
Corn farce stuffed ravioli, Surry VA bacon, peas, heirloom tomatoes, cotija cheese, baby swiss chard, white wine and sea salt
–  paired with:  Frederic Reverdy Cotes du Rhone Blanc and Domaine Violon Cotes du Rhone Rouge

course six
“Cadbury Cream Egg” – bitter chocolate, saboyon, candied leeks, chocolate soil
“Smores” – chocolate mousse, vanilla meringue, graham, cocoa nibs, marshmallow
–  paired with:  Chateau du Vieux Moulin Loupiac and Quinta de Monte Redondo Tawny Port

This will be a sublime dinner.  Six jaw dropping courses, each paired with two delicious adult beverages.

(cue the violins)  In the future, as you reveal to people that you were there, when that incredible meal was served, gourmands, world travelers, and even heads of state will hold their own life experience cheap in comparison.
(cymbal crash.  fade to black)

Call now.  Operators are standing by.

Published in: on June 11, 2010 at 10:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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