Good Morning Darlings!
My love affair with the Ritz-Carlton hotels continues.
Chef Brian Jones made magic last week when I visited for the Foraging Dinner downtown. The table was set with the sweetest polka dot dressing as we sipped a luscious blanc de blanc from Wolf Mountain Winery in Dahlonega – the only sparkling wine made in Georgia.
This group of 16 guests was a wonderful mix of fun. I met the editor of Luxe Crush (which I am totally crushing on right now), folks from Empire Distributing, marvelous writers and charming wine experts. Being invited by my favorite doyenne of public relations, Miss Sandra, just made it all the more marvelous.
The amuse bouche was a playful tiny spoonful of roast pork on pureed butternut squash. Yum!
As we made our way to our seats, we were treated with the first course salad of smoked trout, roma apples and poke salad. Wolf Mountain’s Plentitude, a blend of chardonnay and viognier matched the dish to perfection.
During the meal, Chef Brian shared foraging stories with us. If you get a chance to eat at the Atlanta Grill, ask to meet him. He is an uproarious delight.
Next course – Leg of lamb over toasted grits (what?) with bruleed butternut squash. My head was spinning! The squashed had been cubed, put in a 180F oven for about 2 hours, sprinkled with brown sugar (what’s not to like so far?) and then torched. I loved it. As for toasted grits – I am making this next weekend for my darling. You take the amount of grits you want to cook, spread them out over a sheet pan, put in a 350F oven for 8-10 minutes, then toss and toast for another 30 minutes. Then you proceed with the normal way you would cook grits. But I will warn you – you will never look at grits the same way again. Seriously. They took my breath away. And the wine pairing for this? Instinct from Wolf Mountain – a scrumptious red.
Dessert was an incredible cornmeal and apple tart. Do you remember when we had Cookbookery Club a little while back and I made the cornbread? This was a riff on the same recipe. I was so tickled! The tart? If I had not been at the Ritz, and had been at home, I might have licked the plate – but we’ve talked about this. Polite company and all. It was SO good.
For an extra treat, I will let Chef Brian tell you what the last demonstration dinner was, and what the next will be. Thanksgiving with Chef Brian? OMG, that sounds SO good! You can’t miss this! So put it on your calendar for November 15th and call the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta to make your reservation.
Once again, a million thanks to the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta for hosting me. As always, I left with stars in my eyes and joy in my heart.
How do you do that? Every single time?