Saturday, November 8, 2014

STLwinegirl Traveling Table at Juniper

The STLwinegirl “Traveling Table” is back! I was especially thrilled that the first restaurant chosen for the restart of the famous wine dinners was Juniper, since I had been to the previous versions of the restaurant, but not the latest “southern cooking” incarnation.

I don't eat southern cooking too often so most of the dishes are new to me. I also have to admit that I probably would never order any of these items on my own, so at the Traveling Tables there is always something new to try, taste, and pair.

While I've enjoyed a lot of oysters, I'm not sure I've had them fried as an appetizer before. The blue cornmeal on the outside was so crunchy and tasty, and the Saint Hilaire Sparkling Brut helped to cut through the grease.

Fried Oysters paired with Saint Hilaire Sparkling Brut
Instead of your typical “chicken and dumplings”, Cornish Game Hen and Sweet Potato Gnocchi took their place for this course. This was my favorite dish of the night because the game hen was so tender after sitting in the smoked chicken broth. We even were given a spoon to scoop up the rest of the delicious broth. This was paired with a Manciat Macon Morizottes to match up with the richness of this dish.

Cornish Game Hen with Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Smoked Chicken Broth
The last course was the Tasso Pork Chop, but most of us were way too full from the first two courses to make much of a dent. Yet, I thought this was the best pairing with the Trenel Beaujolais Villages since they both complimented each other so well. The sweet sauce on top of the pork paired perfectly with the jammy wine. I love all the fruit that comes with Beaujolais!

Tasso Pork Chop with spoon bread, pickled apples, and smoked onion petals
paired with Trenel Beaujolais Villages
When we first sat down, we all had wished that there was a dessert course, but no one was able to look at the menu by the time we got to the third course. So let this be a lesson for you, be sure to share a couple of dishes in order to save room at the end of your meal!

After all the different courses, I still will need to go back and tried their fried chicken, since I've heard about that dish the most.


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