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Monday, October 15, 2012

Vincent Cider Dinner Part Deux

Hello! Oh my, it has been a loooooooong time. I bet by now you thought I had flown the coop, probably took off to Belize with a western hat and sunglasses. Or maybe that I had become a recluse and moved away to Maine to be a hermit in a cabin in the woods. I could have won a million dollars or had a freak accident where I broke all of my fingers...
It's not true though, any of it, my comings and goings have been far more lackluster than any of the above stated afterthoughts. The true story is more down the mundane path, although still exciting for me. Remember when I told you I was going to be moving when we were making paella together? It was so long ago! Well it finally happened-I am in my new home and happy as a clam. Unfortunately for me and my obsession for making all things cider related, my kitchen (and most of the house) was in a terrible state. It was only recently that I was able to get it cleaned up, with working appliances, and up and running.

So in that time I took a little hiatus, let myself shut down so I could re-boot and get back to things properly. So hooray! I'm back in action. And I'll pick up right where I left off, with the follow up to the cider dinner at Vincent- this video is really a beautiful piece, enjoy! 

So just to recap a little for you, this dinner was prepared by Executive Chef and Owner, Vincent Francoual of Vincent A Restaurant in Downtown Minneapolis. Vincent was born, raised, and classically trained in the culinary arts and pastry in France. He worked all over Europe before coming to the US and somehow we all got lucky enough that he ended up here in Minneapolis to open his own restaurant. Eating at Vincent's is always a treat and when he agreed to do a dinner paired with Crispin and Fox Barrel Ciders, I was over the moon with excitement. 
Four delicious courses were served along with a welcoming glass of the Cho-Tokkyu and a couple small bites while the guests mingled. If you have never tried the Cho-Tokkyu before you should, it really is an interesting cider and is exceptional when paired with the right foods. Chef Francoual chose to pass around a bite of compressed watermelon, salmon, and ginger; out of this world with the cider, really delicious-you see him prepping this in one of the first shots of the video. 

So moving on to the first course: 
Buckwheat Crepes with a Seafood Ragu, Red Bell Pepper, and Shellfish Broth paired with Crispin Honey Crisp Cider 
-Savory buckwheat crepes were generously filled with shrimp, mussels, red pepper  and finished with a  
 shellfish broth left me wishing I had more of it to eat. So light and delicate but very flavorful, and 
 paired with the Honey Crisp-so wonderful. The earthiness of the buckwheat really helped to play-up  
 the flavor of the yeast in the cider, a great start to a meal. 
Second Course: Pork Tenderloin "Nomandy" paired with Crispin 'The Saint' 
-This dish was totally amazing. Wonderfully succulent pork with a mixture of bacon, Granny Smith 
 apples and micro-greens on top and served alongside a puree of celery root. Just the right amount of  
 light and flavorful sauce accompanied the dish and 'The Saint' paired marvelously with it. 

Third Course: Bent River Camembert, Pont L'eveue Fromage & Tomato Cider Jam paired with 
       Crispin Brut 
 -This lovely little cheese course was great to wind down from the larger portion of the dinner. The
  natural bitterness of the cheese and acidity from the tomato jam came together in perfect harmony
  when enjoying the cider alongside it.

Fourth Course: Preserved Pears, Hazelnut Praline & Ginger Ice Cream paired with Fox Barrel 
-Oh my, I do love dessert, and this dish had my name all over it. I didn't catch exactly what he did to 
 these pears, but there were two different preparations them and they were equally as delicious. And the 
 praline was so good-with the ice cream-perfect end to my meal. 

Lovely dining room at Vincent 

Our wonderful chef giving us the rundown on his preparations-thank you Vincent! 

This dinner was such a wonderful experience. It's really such a treat for me to enjoy a meal that I didn't have to cook and especially one that's cider-centric! Thank you so much to everyone at Vincent for a fantastic evening, it was beautiful-cheers! Also a special thanks to the Bolster team for their work on the video, it's a great piece and wonderful to have a visual memory of the evening. 
If you're interested in finding cider dinners near you follow Crispin on Facebook or Twitter @CrispinCider for updates on all the happenings around your town. 

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