Friday, December 7, 2012

Five Courses with Five Rieslings

Wine( and Beer) dinners are becoming a trend in our Cincinnati area. We may be a little late in joining the parade but we are catching up and actually leading the way in one aspect, PRICE, very reasonable.
I wrote about a wine dinner at our country club but now I want to alert all to the fact that "Mantra on the Hill" 934 Hatch St. 45202 (513) 621-1100 is producing every 2 or 3 weeks a wonderful wine dinner at a variable cost, depending on the food and wine. Those who are interested should contact them and ask to be put on their email list, or check the website with some regularity.

The dinner this week, with my comments, was as follows:
1st Course
Bhel Poori- puffed rice, green mango, jalapeno, pomegranate, red potato, chickpea vermicelli, date-tamarind sauce & mint( The mixture arrived "room temperature" in a ramekin dish with the look of breakfast cereal. All items were uniformly chopped and the flavors went from bland thru mild and on to sweet and then spicy.)
Wine-Revelry Riesling, which we had sampled upon arrival.
2nd Course
Reshmi Kebab- ground chicken kebab( sausage shaped), cashew, basil, ginger, mango salsa. (The kebab had been formed and grilled inside a firm casing. The meat contained numerous spices and was defiantly not mild. Evident was garlic, red pepper flakes, coriander, etc. The plate was garnished with small cashew pieces and the salsa was a base presented in a rough chopped form. (Very tasty.)
Wine- Selbach Riesling "Incline" 2011 Wine pours were about 2 to 3 oz, initially, but pouring continued as requested.
3rd Course
Moilee- red snapper, coconut leek sauce, mustard seed, curry leaves, tomato rice( Most interesting presentation and a real contrast from the previous course. The fish was steamed and cut into small chunks, placed in a copper, individual serving container(with handle) and covered with the sauce( soup). The tomato rice, in an individual bowl had the mustard seeds and curry leaves. We each had an attractive soup bowl into which we ladled as much of each item as we desired. I found the dish delightful)
Wine-Leitz Riesling "Leitz Out" 2011 All wines complimented the food excellently
4th Course
Vindaloo( Hot spicy, sauce, tomato based)- tangy tandoori pork tenderloin, potato bhaji, spinach-goat cheese naan (The tenderloin was thin sliced and covered with the sauce, not for the timid. The tiny purple potato's had been cut in half and oven, maybe tandoori, maybe not, roasted to perfection. The naan was stuffed and of the proper crispness.)
Wine- Geil Bechteiner Rosenberg Rieling Kabinett 2011
Halwa- roasted pumpkin, semolina, cardamon whipped cream( The pumpkin had been roasted and cut into cubes which covered the semolina. As you know semolina is a grain( wheat) and this had been moulded into a pudding. The whipped cream was, of course, the topping. A nice sweet dessert but not "clawing")
Wine- Merkelbach Urziger Warzgarten Riesling Spatlese (sweet) 2011

Service, atmosphere and hospitality all first rate. I'm waiting to see what "Mantra" offers next.

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