Ken Frank of Napa Valley’s La Toque Restaurant recently teamed up on October 30th with two other Michelin star celebrity chefs, Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud in the Big Apple as the guest chefs for the inaugural Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Awards and the release of the 13th edition of the MICHELIN Guide New York City.
This gala dinner was prepared by some of the most renowned chefs from Michelin starred restaurants around the country held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York. This gala was the first collaborative event in the US between Michelin and Robert Parker Wine Advocate. At this coveted private event, Michelin-recognized chefs and restaurateurs, food press, vintners and other special guests were in attendance to celebrate the 2018 stars. Guests were also treated to the musical stylings of recording artist Colbie Cailet.
Guests at this exclusive high price tag dinner were treated like royalty, with an evening that began with a cocktail hour and passed canapes by Ziegfeld Ballroom Executive Chef Matthew Tiscornia. One of the highlights was their experience with a once in a lifetime five-course dinner prepared by these 3-world-renowned Michelin-starred chefs. Eric Ripert – Le Bernardin, New York; Daniel Boulud – Daniel, New York and Ken Frank – La Toque, Napa Valley.
The honored wines poured at this signature Gala were represented by vintages almost exclusively from the Napa Valley and were selected in conjunction with the Napa Valley Vintners Association.
This is the first year that with this special event that the new series of winery awards highlighted the best wineries in the country. Robert Parker Wine Advocate Editor and Chief Lisa Perrotti-Brown commented: “Each year our review team travels the wine world seeking greatness. The Extraordinary Winery Awards will bring to the attention of our subscribers those wineries that sit qualitatively above all others within their regions.”
The winner for the best Napa Valley Winery for 2017 by the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Awards was awarded to Harlan Estate at the Gala.
Ca’Momi Chef Valentina Guollo-Migotto Creates something for your Sweet Tooth with her Festive Libations and Chocolate bark
- Makes about 24 pieces
- 8 ” x 12” sheet pan
- Parchment Paper
- 1 tsp 1/3 oz. unsalted butter with 82% butterfat
- Scant 1 ½ (6 oz. cocoa nibs)
- ½ cup 3 ½ oz. granulated cane sugar
- 1 ½ cups 14 oz. by weight tempered white chocolate
- Make the Bark
- • Line the bottom of the sheet pan with parchment paper
- • Pour the chocolate into the prepared pan. Spread it evenly with a small offset spatula. Tap the pan on a work surface to even the top.
- • Sprinkle the caramelized nibs over the chocolate. When the chocolate loses its sheen and starts to set, after about 15 minutes, cut the bark with a sharp knifes into 2-inch squares or other fanciful shapes of your choice. Leave the bark at room temperature until it is completely set, about 1 hour and then separate the pieces.
- • Store in a cool, dry place, not in the refrigerator
- Put a piece of parchment paper or a nonstick baking liner on a work surface. Measure the butter and put it next to the stove.
- Put the nibs in and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Use an unlined copper pot if you have one. Place the pot over high heat and vigorously stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. As the sugar cooks, the mixture will smoke. When only a few specks of sugar remain un-melted, remove from the heat and stir in the butter, the nibs will glisten and separate into clumps.
- Scrape the nibs onto the parchment paper or baking liner and spread out the individual clumps. Let cool to room temperature and then break into ¼-inch pieces. Store them in a zippered bag at room temperature.
- You will need 1-cup (4 oz.) caramelized nibs for the bark. Reserve the remaining caramelized nibs for other uses.
Caramelized Cocoa Nib White Chocolate Bark from Recchiuti Confections:
This delicious treat is inspired by self-made Chocolatier Michael Recchiuti’s cookbook, Chocolate Obsession. A twist on a classic with seasonal toppings, this chocolate bark recipe
will make every home-chocolatier feel like a professional. Enjoy smoky cocoa nibs contrasting the sweetness of white chocolate.
New Year’s Celebrations in the Napa Valley
Silverado Resort New Year’s Eve Dinner in The Grill Sunday, December 31st Festive New Year’s Eve three-course dinner in The Grill, includes two tickets to the New Year’s Eve Party in the Mansion Lounge. $90 adults, $30 ages 9 and under, 3 and under complimentary (excludes tax and gratuity). 5:00pm-9:00pm For reservations call: 707-257-5400 or Open Table.
New Year’s Eve Party in the Mansion Lounge & Terrace Sunday, December 31st, 9:00pm-1:00 am DJ Music & Dancing, Midnight Balloon Drop, Sparkling Wine Toast and Party Favors. No reservations required. $35 admission (Complimentary to Hotel Guests and Patrons of The Grill).
New Year’s Day Brunch in The Grill Monday, January 1, 7am-11: 30 am Enjoy bottomless Mimosa’s with your delicious weekend brunch at The Grill. $10 per person in addition to brunch. Please call 707-257-5400 or Open Table for reservations. www.silveradoresort.com
JAM Cellars New Years Ever Brunch December 31st December 31st. The last day of 2017 is a Sunday, and we need Brunch! and we do have the best wines for this very occasion. Do you want a little JaM with your Toast and Butter? Bottomless Toastmosas, a shortlist of brunch classics, and plenty of great raffle prizes. The best or worst New Year’s resolution will also win complimentary event space for a party in January! www.jamcellars.com
New Years Eve Dinners Napa Valley
La Toque and The Westin Verasa Napa invite you to ring in the New Year in opulent style with our annual New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner and Party. Arrive at 7:30 for a Champagne and Hors D’Ouevres reception, followed by a sumptuous Six Course La Toque Dinner. Choose the Sommelier selected Wine Pairing, or make your wine selections from La Toque’s WS Grand Award-winning wine list. After dinner, retire to the La Toque Terrace for after-dinner beverages and mignardises; or join the fun for DJ dancing and the New Year’s Countdown and Toast at BANK Café and Bar.
Dinner is $300 per person and includes Valet Parking, Champagne Reception, Six Course Dinner, an after-dinner beverage of your choice, admission to the Red Tie Affair NYE Party in BANK Café and Bar, Champagne Toast at midnight, and all service charges and sales tax.
Optional Wine Pairing with dinner is $100 per person and includes all service charges and sales tax. Please add Wine Pairing at checkout when purchasing tickets. Traditional New Year’s Eve Dinner seating in La Toque is “festival style” at larger tables with other guests. A very limited number of private tables for the dinner are available for an extra charge at checkout. After dinner, the RED Tie Affair Party in BANK Café and Bar offers open seating. Tickets are available at https://latoque.ticketleap.com
Charlie Palmer Steak House Archer Hotel NEW YEAR’S EVE SUNDAY DECEMBER 31ST 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Napa’s newest hotspot, Charlie Palmer Steak and Archer Hotel Napa. You’ll ring in the new year with a feastful fete spanning two floors of the all-new space with live music, an expansive buffet dinner, passed hors-d’oeuvres, and flowing champagne. With three ways to join in on the party, there’s no shortage of celebrations:
DINNER + PARTY 7 pm – 1 am Heavy passed hors-d’oeuvres and food stations/buffet Champagne included. Cash bar $225 per person (excludes taxes/fees)
New Years Eve Bubbles
PARTY ONLY 9 pm – 1 am Passed hors-d’oeuvres and sweets Midnight champagne toast $75 per person (excludes taxes/fees) www.charliepalmersteak.com
Meritage Resort Napa New Year’s Eve Celebrations December 31, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Celebrate New Year’s Eve Napa style at The Meritage Resort and Spa as we welcome in 2018. We will offer multiple options for dinner, including dinners in the Estate Cave with Trinitas Cellars and a “Taste of the World” dinner and buffet in our Meritage Ballroom. Both dinners conclude with our annual ballroom celebration with midnight sparkling toast and balloon drop. $175-$269 per person, adults 21+ only. www.meritagecollection.com
Napa Valley Wine Train
End 2016 with a bang at “A Night in Paris” party on the Wine Train. The festivities will begin with an elegant Parisian style reception including a welcome glass of sparkling wine. The train will whisk guests away while the onboard culinary team prepares a four-course meal. Guests will arrive back to the station greeted with a DJ and dancing, a midnight toast, caricature artists, and a cabaret club. Tickets starting at $299. Transportation is provided to and from select hotels. www.winetrain.com
Blue Note Napa
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Napa’s newest live music venue as award-winning multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson takes the stage for two shows. The first show is at 7:30 p.m. – door 5:00 p.m. (Tickets $85 to $149 per person) – and 10:30 p.m. – door 10:00 p.m. (Tickets $99 to $185 per person). All tickets include a Champagne toast and party favors. www.bluenotenapa.com
Castello di Amorosa
Welcome in 2016 at the New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball for Wine Club members only from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Priced at $295 per person or $345 for a guest which includes a five-course dinner in the grand barrel room and sparkling wine to kick off 2017. www.castellodiamorosa.com
Ring in 2017 with a decadent six-course tasting menu created by Chef Levi Mezick. Begin the evening with a pristine Shigoku Oyster + Caviar followed by other delicious dishes such as White Truffle Risotto and American Kobe New York Strip. This special menu is one night only as a celebration of the year ahead. Details and reservations here. $125 per person; limited a la carte. www.harvesttablenapa.com
Meadowood Begin the evening with a Bubbles & Canape Reception in the kitchen, followed by an extravagant menu curated by Chef Christopher Kostow and his culinary team. As the clock counts down, you will ring in the New Year with a vintage Krug Champagne toast and midnight celebration. Dress to impress – Black Tie Required, red accents appreciated. www.therestaurantatmeadowood.com
FARM at Carneros New Year’s Offer: On New Year’s Day, FARM at Carneros invites guests to enjoy their first meal of the year with a decadent brunch. From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., guests can continue the celebrations with bubbly, oysters, caviar, and generous family-style courses. Priced at $45.00 per person, guests can indulge inCrispy Duck Confit Hash with frisée salad, poached egg, pickled onions, duck jus; Lobster Roll with crispy bacon and pink lady apples; and Roasted Baby Beets and Fresh Berries with fresh ricotta, garden greens, pistachio and granola, among others.
On January 1, FARM at Carneros will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be are strongly recommended and can be made by calling 707.299.4880 or visiting farmatcarneros.com
Braised pork belly with roasted K&J Orchards apricots, pickled green strawberries and nasturtium
- • 3lbs pork belly (no skin)
- • Belly rub (1C kosher salt, 1C brown sugar, 2T ground all spice, 1T ground clove, 1/2 T ground cinnamon, 1/4T ground star anise)
- • 2 quarts veal stock
- • Mirepoix of celery (onion, fennel, apple)
- Cut all items in quarters
- • Water as needed
- • 1 small pan to fit the belly flat (about 4in tall)
- For the pork-belly you will need to mix the dry ingredients for the cure before seasoning the belly. Start by gently scoring the skin side of the belly to form diamond shapes across the entire top of the belly, allowing it to expand as it cooks. Make straight lines about 1in apart. You do not need to cut through the fat into the meat, just enough to mark the fat.
- Once the skin side of the belly is marked, generously season with the rub. Allow this to cover the entire belly top and bottom. Next, fill the bottom of your braising pan with one even layer of the mirepoix and place the belly over the top with the skin side up.
- Bring the veal stock up to a boil and pour into the braising pan, only allowing the liquid to crown the corners of the belly, do not cover the belly with the liquid completely. Use the water as needed to reach the level desired.
- Cover with foil and cook at 300 degrees for 3.5 hours.
- Remove the cover and turn the oven to 400 degrees. Continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes to allow to caramelize, baste the belly every 10 minutes and do not let the belly burn; you want a dark brown color to be even on the belly surface.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool in the liquid. Once it is at room temperature, remove the pork belly and press under a weight to achieve an even thickness. Cut into portions of 2in by 2in.
- Strain the liquid and reserve.
- Pickled green strawberries
- • 2C granulated sugar
- • 2C white wine
- • 1C red wine vinegar
- • 1C champagne vinegar
- • 4 pints of green strawberries, washed with stems removed
- Combine the sugar, wine and vinegars and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling liquid over the top of the strawberries. Cover the container and let sit at room temperature until cool, refrigerate until ready to use. Store extra strawberries in the liquid.
- 4 apricots cut into quarters
- Granulated sugar
- Press one side of the quartered apricot gently into the sugar. Using a torch, brulee the sugar to gain a crispy and caramelized apricot.
When ready to serve
Using a small amount of grapeseed oil heat a sauté pan until the oil is almost at its smoking point. Sear the portioned belly pieces on all sides. Once you have reached the final side of the portion, add a small amount of the braising liquid and allow it to reduce. Basting the belly will allow the liquid to slowly glaze the pork belly as it reduces.
Place belly on the plate and garnish with fruits. Pick pedals off nasturtium flowers and place the leaves as well. Finish with fleur de sel.