Stunning wine, delicious food: these are, of course, important ingredients in a great restaurant experience, but as with so many things in life, it’s the people that make the most difference. The staff, chef, and sommelier at 2941 were so palpably, infectiously jazzed about the chance to do a wine dinner around the wines of Pascal Maillard, that the food could have been a disaster and every bottle corked, and the evening still would have been a success.
Of course, this was not the case, and Chef Bertand Chemel outdid himself from the very first bite, a sashimi of snapper in a savory vinaigrette that paired perfectly with Pascal Maillard’s Chorey-les-Beaune Blanc 2010. Both elements shared a richness buttressed by snappy freshness that made them even better together.
As the meal went on, we were more and more impressed with the risks Chef Chemel and sommelier Jonathan Schuyler took with the menu, like this gorgeous venison with poached figs, served with the 2009 Aloxe Corton:
For example, most foodies would scoff at chicken as a main course, but Chef Chemel wowed us with a spin on a traditional French dish of chicken cooked inside a cow’s stomach. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your feelings on offal!), cow’s stomach is illegal in the US, so the chef created a rich, tender texture by cooking the chicken sous-vide and layering it with truffles. The heady aroma of truffles was the perfect counterpoint to the woodsy, almost feral aromas of Pascal Maillard’s 2008 Corton Renardes Grand Cru. Renarde is French for fox, and we are always surprised at how apt the name of this vineyard is.
Even dessert was elegant and unexpected. Poached quince with a chèvre sorbet left everyone feeling refreshed rather than weighed down and overfull, an all-too-common consequence of a multi-course meal like this.
Thanks to Pascal Maillard, Olivier Daubresse of Vinifrance Imports, the entire staff of 2941 Restaurant, and everyone who attended, for an incredible evening of wine and food. Browse the links below to see what you missed!