We gathered together last evening at Table 1006 to worship at the altar of Mr. Truffle. The entire evening, engineered by the remarkable Chef Parker, was an ode to Him.
Hors d’oeuvres started us off – the freshest French bread, handmade truffle potato chips from the Nat Bailey Farmer’s Market, duck and truffle pate, saucisson sec, Trader Joe’s creamed brie with black truffle, PEI raw milk cloth-wrapped cheddar from Benton Brothers, Granville Island Oyama Sausage black truffle salami and sweet cherry tomatoes.
And to accompany this fresh spread? Champagne Vilmart and Co, Grande Reserve Brut Premier Cru, a Rilly la Montagne (from Montagne de Reims), 12.5% France. In May 2007 Decanter, Tom Stevenson called Vilmart & Co’s work, “mini Krug” and “The greatest grower champagne” he knows. Dare I say, I may well agree.
Vinified in the traditional method, this grower champagne is clear and bright, pale lemon, with light legs and a creamy, lengthy and smooth mousse. On the nose, clean, medium intensity aromas of citrus and stone fruit with a yeasty bread. A youthful wine.
The palate is dry, with medium acidity, medium – alcohol, medium – body, and medium flavour intensity of fresh and soft lemon cream, just-squeezed pink grapefruit, anjou pear and brioche. We noticed the grapefruit when we combined the champagne with Farmer’s Market truffle potato chips. Heaven. Some in the peanut gallery were skeptical, but Chef and I begged to differ.
This champagne is outstanding; the acidity is not overwhelming, but rather is beautifully balanced between the soft and supple fruit, yeast autolysis and creamy, long-lasting mousse.
And onto the next course we went with a sumptuous bottle of La Pousse D’Or, Volnay Premier Cru En Caillerets, Appellation Volnay 1er cru Controlle, 13% abv, 2006.
Chef Parker’s deft wild mushroom strudel, brushed with truffle stored egg, served beside a bed of arugula touched with truffle oil and lemon vinaigrette went masterfully with the wine. The acidity complemented and the mushrooms augmented the nose and palate.
Clear and bright, sparkling medium ruby, with slow tears. On the nose, clean with red fruit tones of Bing cherry, red currant, wood, mushroom and savoury earth tones.
Dry, medium acidity, silky and elegant medium tannins with the slightest grip, medium alcohol and medium body with medium + flavour intensity of summer cherry, raspberry, earthy forest floor, wet autumn leaves, moss, fern, mushrooms and truffles (yup!) with a long, lingering finish.
Outstanding, with growth in the glass – juicy, juicy, juicy, drink now and could age for 3-5 years. Slender and elegant, perfect with the salad and streudel. Textbook Burgundian Pinot Noir.
Then the second bottle, aka the back up bottle, made an appearance. The ‘Baby Jesus’. A recommendation from one of the guys in the Parisian store Francine loves (bah!) – Grand Vin de Beaune Greves, Vigne De L’Enfant Jesus, Bouchard Pere & Fils, Chateau de Beaune, Cote D’or, France 2008, 13.5% abv. Deeper, more rustic and richer than the La Pousse D’Or, Jesus was perfectly capable of standing up to the steak.
Clear and bright, medium ruby with medium legs noticed. Clean, with red fruit tones of raspberry and sour cherry, deeper savoury tones with spice and oak. A dry, medium acidity, slightly grippy but exquisite medium + tannin palate with medium body and intense flavours of raspberry, ripe, rich summer cherry, and complexity of bacon fat, seductive savoury meat and mushroom (shocker, I know). Long and gorgeous finish with delicate black pepper and baking spice. Jesus, we love you, this we know.
We enjoyed the Volnay and then the Cote D’or with fillet minion grilled by Sous Chef Thorsteinson with truffle butter, gratin dauphinois (aka: ‘sex potatoes’) avec le truffle noir (oui, oui!), and crisp french green beans. The potatoes made the grown men in attendance giggle in delight. One man in particular actually ate his green beans precisely because they were smothered in truffle butter. Perfection.
A sure sign of success is when the guests are seat-dancing. And singing to great tunes. The molten chocolate lava cake accompanied by a choice of vanilla or caramel Hagen Daas made them do just that. The kicker was the small bottle of Alvear, Pedro Ximenez de Anada, Montilla Moriles DO, 2008, Spain, 17% abv.
Dried fruittaio style on mats in the sun, the PX sherry was clear and bright, light amber with exceptionally viscous tears.
Clear, intense aromas of clover honey, dried apricot, baking spice and raisins, developing.
Fully sweet, soft medium – acidity, high alcohol, medium + body (don’t confuse the sweetness with body) and intense flavour components of dried fruit, fig, date, sweet raisin and apricot with loads of honeycomb and a long, lingering finish.
Beautiful finish and balance – how can you go wrong? Not content with the 5 pounds each diner had already clearly gained since the champagne, Chef Parker brought out her homemade fruitcake made with, oh yeah, the really good stuff, Diplomatico Reserva Rum. A jigsaw perfect accompaniment to the PX – Christmas on your plate as well as in your glass.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject, dear Chef Parker – where do I start? She is amazing. It’s a simple fact. She’s the head chef of Table 1006 – funky, trendy and fabulous place – whose attention to detail sincerely makes you feel like you’re the only ones in the place. Wait, oh yeh, you are! An intimate setting to say the least. The finest sourced local ingredients and the bar selection is second to none. Reservations are a must and you never are pressured to leave!
So, we didn’t and instead we embarked on a triple Tequila tasting.
Don Julio – Reserva de Don Julio, Anejo, 100% agave, 38% abv
Tequila Toperanto, extra Anejo, 38% abv
Don Julio – 1942 Tequila Anejo, 40% abv
Followed by a digestif – Calvados Payo d’Auge, Privilege Assemblage 18 ans, Adrien Camut, 40% abv, NV, France. Associated with apple orchards and cideries of Normandy – this is a digestif designed to cut through the meal. Amazing – aromas and flavours of apple cider vinegar and applesauce. Apples, brandy and a tangy bite.
The piece de resistance? A hit of Poire William – the pear, smell the pear! Direct from France. Good thing Chef Parker’s returning there soon. We need another bottle.
Oh Mr. Truffle, you did not give your life in vain.