A Krug champagne lunch at Murano: a perfect 10
It’s rare to go to a wine event and be blown away by the matches at every course but my recent lunch at Murano devised by Angela Hartnett and her sommelier Marc-Andréa Lévy was as close to perfection as it gets.
Three different expressions of Krug, of course, went a considerable way to make it so but it was Hartnett’s own understanding of the flavours of this exceptionally rich champagne which made it so outstanding.
We kicked off with a series of perfectly pitched deep-fried and cheesy nibbles - including truffle arancini and parmesan tuiles and, more improbably, some deep green but not excessively briny olives and some superb, finely sliced folds of prosciutto which complemented the Grande Cuvée, the freshest of the three champagnes, perfectly.
That was followed by scallop and bream ceviche of an almost milky consistency but without the usual bright Latin-American citrus tones you normally get in the dish, served with horseradish cream and a little pot of vegetable tempura, an inspired touch. A great match again with the Grande Cuvée.
Next, perhaps the most classic and the most successful pairing of the dinner: a rich raviolo of king prawn with a shellfish vinaigrette and fennel purée - shellfish, butter and fennel - always great with champagne - the perfect match for the sumptuously lush Krug Cuvée 2000.
The main course which was served with the extraordinarily complex 1998 was the hardest to get right but Hartnett came up with an imaginative dish of rare, roast rosé veal served with caramelised chicory, wild mushrooms, a shallot purée and toasted spiced breadcrumbs. There was a dash of orange in the chicory which helped to bring out the opulent sweetness of the old wine.
By contrast the cheese course couldn’t have been simpler - craggy lumps of mature parmiggiano reggiano with the Grande Cuvée again - a welcome change of pace after the fireworks of the main course. Champagne and parmesan, both rich in umami, is a match made in heaven.
Finally a spectacular-looking and -tasting dessert of ginger pain perdu, Earl Grey jelly and ginger ice cream which in no way dominated the Grande Cuvée. You might find that surprising - a sweet dish with a technically dry champagne - but I’ve come across it before several years ago when Krug did an event with the Pudding Club and paired their Grande Cuvée rosé with a ginger sponge pudding. Champagne and ginger. Remember that combination!
Angela Hartnett will be creating a number of seaonal menus for Krug which you can book (assuming your pocket is deep enough) at the chef’s table or in the restaurant at £250 a head. She’s also holding a winemaker dinner with Oliver Krug on November 28th at £175 a head
Krug is also launching an ‘Institute of Happiness’, a 4 day luxury pop-up in collaboration with Nuno Mendes of Viajante which will take place in a glass-walled house overlooking Highgate cemetery. Dishes will be based around “endorphin-releasing ingredients that will help guests in their pursuit of happiness.” The dinners will take place between 5th-9th December and cost from £220.
I attended the lunch as a guest of Krug and Murano.
For a full set of photographs of the event visit my Facebook page
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