Friday, January 12, 2007

The Cellar Door's Tasting Challenge tonight, Downers Grove

I know this is the second wine notice this week, but I couldn't I resist.

If you live in Downers Grove, you must visit The Cellar Door at 5150 Main St. tonight. They are having a blind tasting challenge that starts at 5 p.m. and last until 9. What the challenge entails is tasting 4 wines - 2 reds and 2 whites. How hard could it be? Tasters (that's you) will be asked to guess the grape varietal, the country of origin, the region of origin, and the age of the wine. Are you up for the challenge? The taster with the highest score at the end of the evening will receive a $25 gift certificate to The Cellar Door (the winner need not be present at the end of the evening when we tally scores...they will contact the winner).

To help newbie wine enthusiasts, The Cellar Door will also provide you with a "cheat sheet" on wine tasting to aid you during the tasting. The cost of the blind tasting is only $5.00.

So, pull out that dusty copy of the Wine Lover's Bible and start reviewing today! What a great way to start your Friday evening. Stop by before you head out for dinner.

For more information, call 630/241-2030 or e-mail

Happy Eating (er ... drinking this time)! Mr. Foodie (See you there.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Courtright's Restaurant Winter Wine Dinner, Feb. 23, Willow Springs

William and Rebecca Courtright own and operate one of the finest restaurants in the Western Suburbs of Willow Springs to be exact - Courtright's Restaurant. I've dined at the award-winning white table cloth establishment, and executive chef Jonathan Harootunian does an outstanding job with every aspect of his menu. They also an outstanding wine program. One part of Courtright's that I enjoy is the restaurant hosts special events all the time.

The next one will be held Friday, Feb. 23 - it's their Winter Wine Dinner. The five-course wine dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a reception featuring Kim Crawford's 2005 Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) and passed hors d'oeuvres (gougiers with vella dry jack, tuna sashami with soy and ginger, and baked Manilla clams with garlic and chilies).

Dinner will follow at 7:30 in the restaurant's private dining room, and will include the following:
- cold smoked salmon served with yuzu and celery root salad, salmon caviar gelee and celery leaves, and paired with 0'Brien Chardonnay 2004 (Napa Valley)
- pan-seared quail served with truffled lentils, bacon and rapini and a black peppercorn beurre blanc, and paired with Costa de Oro Pinot Noir 2005 (Santa Maria Valley)
- grilled cocoa-dusted Denver venison served with butternut squash ravioli, Chinese long beans and a smoked fig and aged balsamic reduction, and paired with Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 (Napa Valley)
- chocolate tea ganach tarte with an almond sorbet, and paired with Dows 10-Year Tawny Porto (Portugal)

This is quite an exquisite dinner, and it is reasonably priced for $95 (all inclusive).

Courtright's Restaurant is located at 8989 Archer Ave. in Willow Springs. You can call them at (708) 839-8000 for reservations (and I just know this event will book quickly). Also, visit their Web site at to see the restaurant's full menu and to read more about this gem.

On a scale of 1 fork to 5 forks (1 fork is not good), I give Courtright's 4 1/2 forks.

Happy Eating! Mr. Foodie