We had our second Supper Club at Hamilton’s Kitchen at the Alfond Inn recently but the first one under the new chef, Jason Klingensmith. It was a chance for us to check out his cooking style, and he impressed us all.
We began the evening with a reception on the hotel’s courtyard patio enjoying some passed hors d’oeuvres and some wine. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we were all a little disappointed when the staff invited us to go inside. But then we discovered that the doors of our private dining room had been flung open so we were able to enjoy the night air.
We started the dinner with a King Crab Strudel with Meyer lemon and caviar butter. I tucked right into it and finished it so quickly that I forgot to take a photo. (Trust me, it was gorgeous.)
The strudel was paired with a 2012 Wirshing Silvaner Kabinett Trocken Iphofer Kronsberg, and if you think the name is a mouthful you should have tasted it!
The next course featured Hours-long Octopus, so named because Klingensmith sous-vided the octopus before a final grilling. We’re seeing more of this type of preparation for octopus and I like it. It allows the buttery fatty layer of the tentacle to remain while still getting a nice char at the end. Here it was serve with bits of chorizo, an apt accompaniment for the Spanish octopus, and a broth flavored with truffles and parmesan.
Although the octopus was from Spain, the wine was from Italy, a 2014 Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna. It had light notes of stone fruits and a touch of honey on the palate.
The Maple Glazed Pork Belly was served with a sweet potato pavé, French for cobblestone or paver, if you will, but much more toothsome with its multiple layers. The pork belly was wonderfully fatty but firm.
The dish went well with the deliciously fruity 2013 Inman Family Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley.
An intermezzo of Compressed Melon and Mint Granita, sprinkled with Black Sea Salt, helped clear our palates for the next course.
Which was a Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chop, with butternut squash and tomato syrup. The double chop was cooked perfectly and was oh so tender.
I would have been perfectly happy to continue with the pinot noir for this course, but we were offered the 2012 Grimaldi Langhe Nebbiolo from Piemonte. And I have to admit, the black cherries and smooth tannins were perfect with the meat.
We finished with now-famous Hamilton’s Kitchen Macallan 12-Year Butterscotch Pudding served with a chip of sea-salted toffee.
A great ending to a wonderful meal.
Our next Supper Club will be announced soon. As always, recipients of my e-letter get first chance at tickets. Out Hamilton’s Kitchen dinner sold out, so if you’d like to be included in the next one, make sure you’re on the list by clicking here.