It was a good meal. And to get the negative out of the way, I thought the peas we had were a little salty for us – we eat very little salt – so the saltiness may not be entirely true for everyone. We would have liked a little more garlic in the potatoes. So will this keep us from going back? Probably not. The Kobe beef that Robin had was so very tender and delicious. My London Broil was good and the Béarnaise sauce on it was wonderful! Robin had an awesome Chocolate Mousse served in a White Chocolate Cup and I had a delicious Crème Brûlée. Here. Look at these photos and enjoy! If you want a more detailed review of the Cottonwood Grille, look at Our Restaurant Guide.
Another superb wine dinner at the Buzz in Boise! So far this year, the dinners have been great. Tommy’s Asian Dinner last month and now this dinner for Valentines Day. And then too, it is Cristi’s birthday at the end of the month. Oh yes. I forgot. She was born on February 29th. But I bet she will have something. As for the dinner tonight, most of the wines were pretty good. Out of 7 wines, 3 were scored , 2 were , 1 at  and one at . Thanks to Michelle and Cristi for this great dinner. Here are some photos from the dinner. The wine above, 2008 Two Angels Petite Sirah, was probably my favorite of the night with a score of . Enjoy and see you at the next dinner! Cheers!
And as a side note and information that Cristi presented last night, the Thursday before Labor Day is known as Cabernet Day and Cristi said she might think of a wine dinner that goes along with this event. And another, Zinfandel is a great partner with curry and hard cheeses. And as for a Petite Sirah, which is not by any means a small grape or wine, “… goes well with any food with which you would normally pair a big red wine: grilled meats, roast duck, lamb, pot roast, rabbit in mustard sauce (ed note: I have a great recipe for this), mushrooms and chocolate. Petite Sirah can age for years. Even decades.” (Cristi Takeda, the Buzz) Hope you make the next wine dinner. They are really fun and informative. Cheers!
………….. For tomorrow you may be dieting! Boise had this wonderful program called Dineout DowntownBoise where some of the restaurants offered a 3-Course dinner for $30. I have posted earlier on the subject, but it only lasted a week, so one had to hurry to make all of the eaterys. We didn’t make them all, but we tried.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the sponsors of this week long event: Boise Weekly, Sysco, the River – 94.9FM, Agri Beef Co., I Support Idaho Wines, Pepsi, DOWNTOWNBOISE Assoc. and Downtown Parking. Thank you one and all for offering this program. It was a joy!
And for the last dinner we went to Le Cafe de Paris where we met Michael and Sandra. Wonderful and fun people. He plays a mean guitar!! Ed K, we must introduce the two of you.
When there is a choice on the menu, as there was at Le Cafe, Robin and I will usually get “one of each”. That way, we can try all and share. Le Cafe offered two entrees of each course. Here is what we had.
And then on Sunday night we made a 5-Hour Roasted Chicken. The recipe for a 5-Hour Roasted Duck is in the recipe section of the blog – See the headings above. We used the same recipe for the chicken.
Another good class at the Boise William Sonoma store. This one was about Italian cooking, specifically recipes adapted from Giada deLaurentiis’ book, Giada’s Family Dinners. Good things like Italian Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons – now there’s a switch and a good one! – or Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squash or Linguine with Chicken Ragu. And to top it all off, a Chocolate Pizza. Yup! That’s right. A chocolate pizza! And it was delicious and very rich. There are photos below. Left-Click any of these photos to see enlarged. Cheers and enjoy!
There were some questions posed by the class and one was, “What is a ragu?” Basically, it is a meat based dish with some type of pasta, traditionally linguine. But a ragu can vary from county to county, city to city or family to family much like the American stew or a Basque paella. Here is what Wikipedia says about ragu.
In Italian cuisine, a ragù (pronounced [raˈɡuː]) is a meat-based sauce, which is commonly served with pasta. The Italian gastronomic society l’Accademia Italiana Della Cucina has documented 14 ragùs.
The commonalities among the recipes are all meat-based and all are to be used as sauces for pasta. Typical Italian ragùs include ragù alla bolognese (Bolognese sauce), ragù alla napoletana (Neapolitan ragù), and ragù alla Barese (sometimes made with horse meat).
In the northern Italian regions, a ragù is typically a sauce of meat, often minced, chopped or ground, and cooked with sauteed vegetables in a liquid. The meats are varied and may include separately or in mixtures of beef, chicken, pork, duck, goose, lamb, mutton, veal, or game, as well as offal from any of the same. The liquids can be broth, stock, water, wine, milk, cream, or tomato, and often includes combinations of these. If tomatoes are included, they are typically limited in quantity relative to the meat. Characteristically, a ragù is a sauce of braised or stewed meat that may be flavoured with tomato, to distinguish it from a tomato sauce that is flavoured with the addition of meat.
In southern Italian regions, especially Campania, ragùs are often prepared from substantial quantities of large, whole cuts of beef and pork, and possibly regional sausages, cooked with vegetables and tomatoes. After a long braise (or simmer), the meats are then removed and may be served as a separate course without pasta. Examples of these styles of ragùs are the well-known ragù alla Napoletana (Neapolitan ragù) and carne a ragù.
So there is how I spent my evening. Robin wants to go to the next class and I have her name on the waiting list. She may go in my place, but it would be fun to do together. Hope you liked this post. Chef Chad Poznick asked if we had any suggestions for these classes to please let him know. I suggested a class using rabbit. Cooking with wine might be another good one.
Another adventuresome Wine Dinner at the Buzz in Boise with Cristi, pictured here, doing the presentation. Great job, Cristie. Chocolates to celebrate Valentines Day! The theme? Zinfandel and Chocolate! Yum-O! The wines were on the most part well matched to the food. The one exception was the 2010 Layer Cake Primitivo which actually accentuated the spiciness of the chipotle in the soup. Here are some photos of the dinner and the wines that were served. Cheers!
Eggplant Caponata and Brie Chocolate
2011 Renwood Zinfandel
14.5% alc a good match with the appetizer.  $13.00
Pumpkin Chipotle Soup with Chocolate
2010 Layer Cake Primitivo
13.5% alc. As stated above, I did not like this paring. but that’s my opinion. the primitivo over emphasized the spiciness of the soup. it distracted from the soup, which by itself, was very good.  $17.00
Spanish Pork Roast
Chocolate Roasted Vegetables
2009 Carol Shelton Wild Thing
14.9% alc. Another great paring with the main course. (I really liked the way the pork was prepared. It was great! And the risotto was superb.) $12.00
Once again, a great evening and Wine Dinner. If you missed this one, well ………….. It was sold out and I believe tonight, Wednesday, is also sold out. So I suppose we will have to see you next month. You can always call them and try to have a seat. (See their logo in the sidebar.) And keep tuned in here on the blog because the Buzz has some awesome programs during the month. Cheers!