June 24, 2010

Two down, two more to go

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The birthday celebration continues... and I got together with some of the boys for dinner at Cipriani.  Four of us are hitting 40 this year, with another old man turning 50...  It's a big year for birthday celebrations, and they were kind enough to buy me dinner.

I brought a magnum of 1970 Bollinger R.D. for the occasion.  This has got to be the freshest, most vibrant example of Champagne from this vintage that I've ever tasted... the reason being very obvious once you remember that this is an RD - "recently disgorged".  There were lots of bubbles still... Nose of salty plum... you can smell the acidity and the saltiness.  Caramelized with peach notes.  A little acidic on the palate with some orange marmalade on the finish.  After an hour, the wine was really beautiful and a little toasty on the nose.

I saw tiger prawns wrapped with lardo di Collonata and immediately knew that this was the dish I wanted.  Anything with lardo is bound to be good.  They pan-fried the prawns until the lardo became crispy, and honestly a little more salty than I'd like, but the prawns were very, very delicious.  The arugula was a surprising touch. 

I reverted to my old standby yet again... and got with baked tagliolini with ham but with spinach tagliolini this time.  It's been a while since my last visit, and how I have missed this wonderful dish!  Impeccable execution on a simple and straightforward pasta.

The other wine I brought was a magnum of 1998 Chateau Montelena.  This wine is still very young, and it would have been better if I aged it for another 10 years...  But it was very enjoyable.  Nose of mint, pine needle, a bit smoky, ripe and sweet fruit with cedar.  I could still feel the sharpness of the alcohol.  Full-bodied and concentrated, but the tannins have started to soften so it was actually pretty smooth on the palate.

For dessert I once again reverted to the usual, ordering the vanilla meringue cake.  Can never go wrong with this...

'Twas a good evening... Two more 40th to go this year, and of course there's that big five-O coming up...

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