Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Somm Showdown Alisha v. Andrey

I wasn't planning on blogging about the Somm Showdown since this is not an everyday restaurant you can visit, but this blog started on food adventures and this definitely was one!

I also want to support my St. Louis Sommelier heros: Alisha Blackwell and Andrey Ivanov and then executive chef Josh Charles was also involved so it was a great opportunity!

Executive Chef Josh Charles, Alisha Blackwell, and Andrey Ivanov
We didn't know the menu until we got there...

Menu
Love the "contestant" nicknames! Ha!

Nicknames
Chef Josh's courses were all quite challenging, so I was pretty impressed on how the sommeliers came to pick their wines.

The salad course came with a couple of hot peppers, but not all of them were hot so you didn't know what kind of bite you were going to get. (I admit I left those for Patience.)

Local vegetables with Honey + Thyme Vinaigrette
My vote went to Andrey this round since the Prosecco was very subtle with tight bubbles and let the salad shine, regardless what kinda of bite you had. Although if it were me, I would have gone with something closer to what Alisha picked.

Patience and I were stoked by the scallop on the menu although we were sad at how small they were. The scallops had been smoked for some time, and then served with passion fruit and lime. Talk about a tough pairing.

Smoked Scallop with Passion fruit and lime
Andrey had the perfect "passion fruit" wine pairing up his sleeve, but Alisha suggested a Riesling. I was torn.

The last course was a little heartier with fingerling potatoes and cheese curds in a gravy mixed with foie gras. I almost reached over and stole my neighbor's plate when he didn't finish.

Foie Gras, Roasted Potatoes, Brown Gravy and Cheese Curds
A heartier dish meant red wine and again we had two very different pairings. Andrey selected a fruity Gamay while Alisha picked a drier Italian wine. I preferred the drier wine myself since this dish was so rich.

Alisha came out the winner putting poor Andrey at 0-3. I hope he gets his chance to win again soon!

Photos by Patience Scanlon