Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Merry (Belated) Christmas Eve...

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Twas the season a while ago, and because I was tasting Jewish beer (see my contribution to Winter Beer Month) and drinking my Aunt's ridiculously good (and ridiculously strong) gin and tonics, I did not get to this post until now. I recently mentioned that my parents came to grand old Corvalley for Christmas this year. What with my not being able to return to the East so soon after Thanksgiving, and my sister splitting time for the holidays with my newly minted brother-in-law's family, it made sense to change things up with an Oregon Cady Invasion.

It being already a 'nontraditional' Christmas for the Cady Clan, we decided to forgo the making of the roast beast and the glogg for dinner out on the town. Our choice, Fireworks Restaurant and Bar - just a skinny mile from my house. We were promised not only a fabulous four course meal, but the chance to do a three wine flight, and Celtic Harp and Guitar by Sharon and David Thormahlen. The whole thing sounded positively divine! I'd been to Fireworks before to play at their Monday night open mic nights, but I'd yet to try any of their food, so I was excited to see what the night had in store for us.

The Menu:
Soup - Tomato Bisque with seasonal, local, vegetables
Salad - Baby Greens with Asiago, Crostini & Balsalmic Vinagrette
Entree - a choice of Honey Glazed Ham, Herbed Roasted Turkey, or Vegetarian Stuffed Squash
Dessert - a choice of Chocolate Lava Cake or Cookies and Cream

The Wine:
Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
A choice between Eola Hills Riesling or Pinot Noir

The food was excellent. The soup was hearty with strong flavors, and the salad brilliantly dressed and crisp. I enjoyed my dinner (I had the turkey) immensely, particularly the sauteed kale and mushrooms that were included as a side. Dessert was also delicious. The lava cake was moist and rich. My deepest compliments to the chef!

The wine was also delightful, and I was pleased with the pairings. The Sauvignon Blanc was lightly dry with a wonderful acid balance. I enjoyed the citrus front that lingered into mid-palette, ending with tart apple. It went well with the acidity of the soup, and (as all sav blancs do) made me, reminisce about my time in New Zealand. This slow sipper was supposed to get the Cabernet Sauvignon with her salad, but instead ended up not finishing until the entree arrived. I found the flavors in the Cab to be full and fruity, with a bold texture and a juicy finish. Though I would not generally drink something this powerful with a turkey dinner, I really enjoyed the flavors up against the creamy potatoes and the dark flavor of the kale with mushrooms. Because I had gotten out a sync with the pairings, the Manager offered me a sparking wine to go with my dessert (thanks Ocean!). Crisp with strong citrus and apple in the center of the taste, I found the Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava Brut to be a lovely compliment to cut the richness of the chocolate. The texture was light, and festive. I was pleased to get to try it.

The night was brilliant and beautiful. I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and simplicity of the space. Throughout the night, the Thormahlen's kept us entertained with beautiful tunes. David actually built every instrument that they played from the harp to the mandolin to the guitar. I was blown away at the beauty of his craft. At a time in our lives where we are remaking what it means to celebrate, it was wonderful to have a place, space, and experience that complimented the things that we were seeking to do - enjoy each others' company, and celebrate the holiday.

Thanks to everyone who made Oregon Cady Christmas Eve a wonderful experience!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your kind words Clare. It was a delight to serve you and kin on Christmas Eve, and we look forward to hearing you play again at our Monday Open Mic!

    - Ocean Liff-Anderson
    Proprietor, FireWorks Restaurant