With tourist season over in Southwest Florida, it's much easier to get a seat in your favorite restaurants. Good for customers, not necessarily for the restaurants. Many, like Rumrunners in Cape Harbor, have events such as last week's Van Duzer wine dinner to keep the locals coming in for more.
I learned Van Duzer is not in Willam-ette valley it's Will-AM-it, Damnit! It's all in the pronunciation. I also learned that Van Duzer makes much more than just yummy Pinot Noirs. The whites were amazing!
We started the night with a sparkling wine that had an interesting, nutty flavor. It went well with the Foie Gras Pate and fig jam. But the smoked salmon with deviled quail egg was my favorite small bite.
First seated course was a Pistachio and Blue Cheesecake with orange roasted beets, served with the Van Duzer Pinot Noir Rose. The wine tasted of juicy strawberries and a little citrus rind with acidity that cut right through the rich cheese. Lovely combo!
The grilled Diver's Scallop in the next course was lightly wrapped in Chorizo, served with a creamy risotto and a decadent melted leek and Morel mushroom Fondue. I loved the garnish; a tomoato sliced super thin and roasted to a crisp chip. I wish I could've taken a bag home. The Estate Pinot Gris was bursting with apricot; a little melon and pear. It was crisp; once again cutting through the rich creamy dish as a delicious pairing.
Main course: Sous Vide Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin 'Saltimbocca' rubbed in Coriander, Fennel seed, sage and wrapped in a delicate slice of Prosciutto, with carrot mashed potato and Cherry-Port Glace. The Van Duzer Estate Pinot Noir had that typical, dirty Pinot nose. However, I could also smell some fennel and sage and immediately knew why Chef Todd used those herbs on the pork. The cherry really popped also (way too obvious joke set-up here).
Dessert was a chocolate mousse with hazelnut Anglaise and peanut butter and jelly chocolates from Norman Love with Perplexity red dessert wine. Every course was spot on; perfect proportions and pairings.
From June first-fifth, Rumrunners is saying thank you for a great "season" by offering dining incentives. For every $100 gift card you buy, you get an addition $50. Too good of an offer to pass up, so think business deals, stocking stuffers, etc.