Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Judy's Birthday

I am guilty of not always properly planning to celebrate my wife Judy's birthdays ... even to the point of forgetting to give a gift. This year, I was a bit better planned, buying and hiding a gift in advance and arranging with our friends that we would have a dinner out on her special day while we visited the Okanagan wine country. We try and make this trip twice a year, Spring and Fall, and enjoy the time spent with our friends

The dinner plan on May 6th was for one of the Spring Wine Festival dinners, and one of my friends suggested the Vanilla Pod dinner at Poplar Grove Winery.

It should be noted that Vanilla Pod has been a nice restaurant in Summerland, BC. My friend had been there on other visits and we had not yet had an opportunity to go there. It has now closed and will be reopening at the new Poplar Grove Winery in a few months. They have also taken over the food responsibility at the Summerland Golf and Country Club.

With the regulations and hoops necessary to go through in the past few months, the new restaurant was not ready in time for this event. An exceptionally creative menu was created to allow the chef to adapt to the tools he had at hand - including a favourite of mine, a Vermont Castings barbecue he had out on the deck.

We got a tour of the restaurant as it was coming into shape and got a good feel for the place which will shortly open with seating for 48 inside and 65 on the deck.

The dinner for this evening was scheduled to be served in the barrel room of the wine shop. Perhaps some of these circumstances led to the others who had reserved for dinner cancelling which left our party of six as the only guests for the evening!
Dinner Menu

It was a seven course wine paired dinner being created by the chef, Bruno Terroso. Bruno has been the chef at the Vanilla Pod for six years and it was most interesting to have a chance to talk with him directly both before and during the dinner.

Paul Jones, The Vanilla Pod

Our meal was delivered to the table by the owner, Paul Jones. Paul was a wonderful server, describing each of the courses and the reasons for pairing each wine with the course.

Greens & Endive
 with herb cream dressing

Garlic Goat Cheese Crostini

Scallops served on Fennel slaw
 with citrus beurre blanc

Duck Breast with braised
red cabbage and a red
onion marmalade
Lamb Rack served with an
Eggplant roll and rosemary aioli

Chef Bruno and Judy at
Dessert time

Vanilla creme brule

Party of six - how wonderful was that!

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