Some days its winter and some days it’s not. It just depends on what side of the bed you roll out on as that’s literally how random the weather is sometimes. Either way, I’m pretending I’m in the throes of the winter season and sharing my favorite dishes of the season. So whether you’re out still enjoying the holidays or hunkering down and relaxing after the madness is over, take a break and indulge in some wine and seasonal yumminess.
Sweet Corn Bisque at Ritual
Corn is one of my favorite summer staples, but when it comes in the form of a warm hearty bisque topped with feta, bacon, and scallions, it’s bound to become a winter favorite as well. Add in a glass of Franciacorta and I’m bound to stick around for more.
Honorable Mention – Ritual features the local and humanely raised meats of Black Hill Ranch and this amazing mac and cheese certainly showcases that. The Pig Mac consists of orecchiette with pig cheek (seriously the best part), poblano, cheddar, and cripsy pig ear. Seriously delicious comfort food but not for the faint of heart.
Nantucket Bay Scallops with Ravioli at Seasons 52*
This seasonal chain definitely embraces what is in season as it’s name indicates. These delicious scallops from Nantucket Bay are served with drool worthy brown butter, Meyer lemon and ricotta ravioli, and micro arugula for some crispness. Add in a glass of one of their 52 wines by the glass (in my case Chardonnay) and you have a match made in heaven.
Honorable Mention – I call this an honorable mention but this was as much a winner as the scallops. Caramelized Bosc Pear and Burrata with prosciutto, arugula, honeycomb, and aged balsamic made for a decadent salad. How often do you say that about a salad?! And it’s fantastic with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Wagyu Beef Cheek & Roasted Bone Marrow from III Forks
While this isn’t a seasonal item per se, it’s the type of winter indulgence I’d gladly partake in. This national steakhouse chain serves up Wagyu in a number of ways. The Wagyu beef cheek is like butter and the sweetness of the bone marrow will make you want more. Accompanied by some seasonal mostarda and toasted brioche, and you have a fine start to your dinner. Add in a 100 point Cabernet Sauvignon and great things will definitely come your way.
Oxtail Poutine at Hunky Dory
OK, seriously, these are French fries topped (smothered) with oxtail gravy and burrata. Seriously. Hunky Dory has some fantastic French fries on their own. I’m personally mad that more and more people are eating oxtail now. And then there’s burrata which is well, burrata. Add them all in and you have a decadent dish that will make you feel a bit guilty. Add in some Margaux and all is forgiven. And you will have wine as Hunky Dork has one of those wine lists that I just love to read and love to order from even more.
Lucille’s Roasted Butternut Squash
This unexpected combination of roasted sweetness coupled with a bit of spice was wonderful. Butternut squash is delicious on its own, but add in roasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro purée, spiced soy yogurt, and fennel and you turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Pair with some Vouvray and sit back and indulge a little.
Honorable Mention – Miso Quail with Collard Greens Kimchi and Serrano Cheddar Grits. You’ve never has Southern cuisine like this.
Mulled Red Wine Sangria at Sonoma Wine Bar and Restaurant
While many of us long to indulge in some hot mulled wine, the weather is confused and often doesn’t cooperate. Particularly when you get a string of eighty degree days in December. Not to worry as the folks at Sonoma have you covered. Mulled wine with all the spice and flavor you love, but served as a cool refreshing Sangria. Winning. Talk about the best of both worlds. Of course when winter actually appears, they have a cozy fireplace that is prefect to sit in front of while indulging in this or any other wine on their wine list.
*I was invited by the restaurant to try out the menu but the reviews and impressions are solely my own.