The second annual Dallas Symphony Orchestra Wine and Food Festival kicked off last night with the Summer Wine Down Dinner and I was ecstatic to get to go. I took my foodie friend Kat to the four-course dinner, which was held at Opus in the beautiful Meyerson Symphony Center in the arts district of Dallas.
The evening kicked off with a welcome speech by DSO President & CEO Kim Noltemy and a champagne toast in the lobby. The event began promptly at 7 pm and dessert was served just before 9 pm. Perfectly paced for a weeknight event!
After the champagne toast, we were whisked off to Opus on the west side of the Meyerson, which normally hosts the pre-show buffet. For this event, Opus was transformed with large event tables fitted with maroon tablecloths and beautiful grape floral arrangements. You heard me! There were grapes in the centerpieces. We had a lovely view of the courtyard and downtown Dallas. Looking at these photos, you might think we were sitting outside!
First up was a Texas Peach Salad by Chef Tiffany Deery of Roots Southern Table. Fredericksburg peaches, burrata, prosciutto, and toasted pecans were tossed with a delicious vinaigrette. It was an exquisite, elegant way to kick off a summer dinner.
This dish was perfectly paired with my favorite wine of the evening, Caymus Vineyards 2021 Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc. The wine smelled like juicy apricots and jasmine with a hint of cantaloupe. It was acidic and refreshing, perfect for sipping in a pool on a hot summer day.
Next up was a Summer Corn Vichyssoise by Chef Eric Dreyer of Monarch. This chilled corn soup had confit pheasant, pickled mushrooms, and popcorn. POPCORN! It would never occur to me to add popcorn to a fancy chilled soup but wow, did it ever work. This is exactly the kind of exciting, innovative dish that makes a dinner event worth the ticket. Kat and I both admired the pairing of Caymus Vineyard’s 2019 Emmolo Merlot. The wine was incredibly smooth and smelled like a toasty fire and mulled spices. It was extraordinary with the chilled corn soup.
The main course was a Rosewood Ranch Chuck Flap Terrine by Chef Joel Orsini of Profound Micro Farms. I hear terrine and I picture basically patê so I was surprised when a cube of shredded beef with toasted bread crumbs was set in front of me. The creamy potatoes were paired with fermented green tomato, which added an unexpected, layered flavor to the dish. This dish was paired with Caymus Vineyard’s 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon. I was actually surprised that the wine was a cab. It was so sweet! This pairing is a great example of how wine and food can marry together in a beautiful way that makes the dish better as a whole.
Last but certainly not least was an exquisite dessert by Pastry Chef Adam Pham of Le Rêve, a vanilla genoise with strawberry mousse, strawberry compote, mascarpone “strawberries,” and fresh figs paired with 2020 Caymus: The Walking Fool Red. Kat commented on the quotations on the menu right before dessert was served and we were delighted to see this stunning, whimsical dessert set in front of us. The strawberries very much looked like the real deal but were actually delightful clouds of whipped mascarpone.
I can’t say enough good things about this dessert. This is everything I want out of dessert. Run, don’t walk, to Andy Pham’s patisserie! He’s the real deal.
What a wonderful way to kick off the DSO Wine and Food Festival! Get excited because this weekend I’m also going to the Grand Tasting and there are still a few tickets left! Get yours here.
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