Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spring Asparagus Dinner at Castagna

Last night I was responsible for reciting a poem by T.S. Eliot entitled, "Gus: The Theatre Cat," it goes as follows:
Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door.
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus.

This impromptu poetry recital was my sister's crazy idea, in honor of the Castagna Spring Asparagus Dinner that Table for Twelve attended last night. The poem was recited to an applauding crowd as they wept eating their grilled Asparagus.

Castagna is doing a Spring dinner series where they are highlighting a seasonal food through a three course meal and pairing it with wine for the bargain price of $45. (Next dinner will center around morel mushrooms) Our dinner started out with an asparagus soup topped with fried morels and it was PERFECT. I love when chefs allow you to really taste a main ingredient without adding competing flavors. The soup tasted like freshly picked asparagus and the salty fried morels complimented the mellow asparagus flavor. Our guests gave it an almost perfect rating. The wine pairing was Salomon "Hochterrassen" Gruner Veltliner, Kremstal 2006, which was crisp and on the dryer side.

The next course was pork schnitzel stuffed with gruyere cheese and house-cured ham served with freshly grilled asparagus. I am typically not a huge fried food fan, but it was so delicately breaded that it didn't feel or taste greasy at all. The gruyere and ham provided the salt and moisture that combined with the crisp pork, made it feel like such a savory treat. The asparagus was lightly salted and grilled. The wine pairing was a Hexamer "Quarzit" Riesling, Nahe 2006, a sweeter, effervescent wine that tasted refreshing with the savory food.

The final course was Elderflower ice cream with St. Germain poured over it and topped with candied citrus peel and served with two of the most delicious cookies you have ever tasted in your life (according to Jen). Elderflower is a spring bloom that has a citrus and herb taste and was a welcome finish. Just a side note, elderflower has lots of medicinal qualities and cured Jen from her stinging nettle rash I gave her!

All in all it was a great night, with great people, and great food! To see pictures of our dinner, click on the following link:

Table For Twelve at Castagna's Spring Asparagus Dinner Picasa Photo Album

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