red red wine
My friend Helen loves to dine a handful of nights every week at a small homey local spot, Le Bistro, here in Lighthouse Point. The husband, Chef Andy Trousdale, has a fine European palate, while wife, Hostess Elin is warm and friendly. It always makes for a nice evening – as usual when combining great company with good food. Helen will invite me to join her every now and then when we need to catch up – she’s one of those friends you don’t talk to every day, or even every week, but when we do have dinner no one says ‘why haven’t you called me’, it’s unspoken that we split the check, and we laugh a lot without talking about business or other people. Friends like that are refreshing and easy to love.

Le Bistro had a Holiday Extravaganza featuring South American Wines for a Wine Tasting Food Pairing last night. Helen invited me even though I don’t think I have knowingly sipped South American wines. Always up for an adventure though.

I arrived a few minutes late, and Helen was entertaining two older gentlemen at the bar. She motioned for me to sit and suddenly got the brilliant idea (light bulb ON) for these two gentlemen to JOIN US at a table for four instead of our having two separate tables. Now, that may have seemed to be a good idea on paper to Helen, but I have a husband at home, and while all would have been innocent fo shizzle, it was not so good an idea IN PRACTICE. Those of you who are married to people you actually wish to stay married to will recognize this – if right now you are thinking there would be nothing wrong with a dinner for four, flip it around and imagine your husband at a table for four with his friend and two attractive women. FAIL!

Helen you are nuts – I am not having dinner with you and two men! So the two decidedly gay gentlemen bid adieu and got their own table and Helen and I remained seated at the bar. A young couple who were a chef and sommelier sat next to us – they were excited about the Big BOLD Red Wines from Chile we were having later.

Here we go for the ride… I had a gastric bypass in 2001 and Helen a LapBand in 2004- we don’t have a shot at getting through this menu, nor would we try. Just a few forkfuls of something from each plate.

First Course

California Goat Cheese & Broken Walnut Layered Roulade, Organic Pickled Vegetables & White Truffle Oil Crostini.

Emiliana Natura Chardonnay 2009
Wine guy says “Smooth, light, tropical, floral hints.”

Susan Maria says “Goat cheese with nuts is so delicious, vegetables are refreshing and crisp tender, and white wine rocks!”


Second Course

Grilled Roast Red Pepper and Hearts of Palm,
Chicken Mousseline Layered Terrine.

Emiliana Natura Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Wine guy says “Terrific citrus highlights, flower notes, long finish.”

Susan Maria says “Mmmmm… Very smooth light chicken meatloaf with roasted peppers and other stuff in the center is tasty and pretty too, this white wine is excellent!”


Third Course

Grass Fed Beef Bourguignon and Organic Mushroom En Croute.

Emiliana Natura Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine guy says “Big, red berry with a languishing taste on the tongue.”

Susan Maria says “OMG this little pot pie is so hot that the molten lava masquerading as gravy burned my mouth and had to take a big gulp of red wine FAST. Once it cooled a little, it was super tender pot roast with mushrooms and so delicious. Red wine not so good, but not terrible.”


Fourth Course

Confit of Wild Duck, Smoked Sausage, Organic Winter Squash,
Cranberry Orange Jam.

Emiliana Natura Carmenere
Wine guy says “The best organic wine, bold and smooth; great complexity.”

Susan Maria says “The duck confit is really rich and moist but since confit means cooked in fat, it made me a little sick feeling as fat is not good. Hated this red wine and because I didn’t finish the last red wine either – there are two glasses of red in front of me now. (Helen with Lap Band leaves to throw up… not because of the food, but because of her LapBand. Gak!)


Dessert Course

Rocky Road Swiss Chocolate Parfait, Pecan Brittle and
Organic Coffee Caramel Sauce.

Novas Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere

Wine guy says “Complex berry layers with minerals and spices. Elegant and long in the finish.”

Susan Maria says “Beautiful plated dessert – but this is one of those times where a bariatric person can’t really even afford a tiny taste as it is all FULL SUGAR and WAYYYYYYYYY too sweet for us. Can’t touch the brittle as it is pure sugar, so this dinner is over. RED WINE WITH DESSERT? Really hated this idea and this wine was really dry and I didn’t like it at all. Now I have THREE glasses of red wine in front of me, and the Sommelier next to Helen is eyeing our unfinished wine. Excuse me, are you drinking those. Nope! Would you like them?” Perfect! 


A good time was had by all and I called for a ride home!



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