Match of the week
Lettuce with smoked fish and vermouth sauce paired with vermouth
I hesitated to make this astounding drink pairing which I had at Mauro Colagreco’s new restaurant at Raffles in London recently my match of the week because I it would be really hard to replicate but I’m sure would fascinate the chefs, sommeliers and other food and drink professionals among you.
The menu is led by vegetables which reflects the style of his three-Michelin-starred restaurant Mirazur in the south of France. The lettuce was a red oak lettuce served with smoked fish and a just-warm creamy vermouth sauce and some some delicious crunchy shards of what looked like puffed rice. In other words a reimagined caesar salad
With it the sommelier had paired a vermouth called Vinmouth, an organic white vermouth from Perpignan, which worked brilliantly with the warm, rich dressing and the smokey fish. There don’t appear to be any UK stockists but you can buy it from Le Grand Epicerie in Paris.
In fact all the pairings on the drinks pairing menu were outstanding and could easily have made the match of the week slot.
There was a refreshing rhubarb ‘amuse’ that wasn’t on the menu which was paired with a medium-dry French cider called Maley
The first course of seabass sashimi and sea buckthorn was matched with a Tatomer grüner veltliner from California
Then the lettuce
Followed by a spectacular dish of Jerusalem artichoke, monkfish, wild mushrooms and hazelnut which was paired with a Filipa Pato Nossa Calcario Bical 2021 from Bairrada in Portugal (a clever low cost alternative to white burgundy)
The main course was a more conventional pairing of radicchio with grilled loin of venison and mustard sauce with Guigal Chateau d’Ampuis Cote Rotie 2018. Glorious
And finally a show-stopping dessert of citrus, crispy ravioli shell black lemon ice cream and yoghurt fontainebleu which was paired with a Masumi yuzushu yuzu liqueur - an extravagant burst of creamy citrus.
Of course, bearing in mind that this is a top Michelin-standard restaurant albeit it hasn’t been rated yet the price isn’t cheap - £165 for a 5 course tasting menu and £125 for the ‘Exploration Route’ pairing though that’s not out of order for a restaurant of this quality.
However there is a 3 course à la carte ‘discovery’ menu for £110 and a lunch menu for £60 from Tuesday to Saturday apart from Christmas and other holidays. Certainly worth taking advantage of at that price.
For more conventional caesar salad pairings see here
For other monkfish wine matches click this link
For venison pairings visit this page
I ate at Mauro Colagreco, Raffles as a guest of the restaurant.
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