A night of pure decadence… The Armand de Brignac Champagne pairing at Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant in West Kendall was nothing short of spectacular. This enchanting and romantically dimmed restaurant was the perfect backdrop for a pairing of the colloquial Ace of Spades and Chef Adrianne's masterfully crafted dishes simply accentuated its beauty. Chef Adrianne told us about her recent trip to Paris, the City of Lights and promised to show us the influences she picked up on her travels in the dishes prepared. And that she did!
The night began with an amuse bouche including a quail egg, shallot, truffle and Osetra caviar and the crostini charcuterie with truffle dijonnaise and cornichon caperberry relish perfectly paired with the Armand de Brignac Rose. This Rose is announced with a rich bouquet of red fruits with delicate, smoky grilled notes behind. It is fresh and full-bodied on the palate with aromas of strawberries and blackcurrant, and is lingering and complex in its finish and absolutely wonderful! And the bottles... So gorgeously hand painted in opaque metallic and all labels for each bottle of Armand de Brignac are made of real pewter, polished and applied by hand. Que fancy, eh?!
Here's a couple of fun facts and pop culture about Armand de Brignac: The brand was introduced in late 2006 by Sovereign Brands in partnership with Cattier. On November 5, 2014, it was announced that Jay-Z had acquired Armand de Brignac from Sovereign Brands. An appearance in Jay-Z's 2006 music video for "Show Me What You Got" prior to the launch of the Armand de Brignac brand sparked wide discussion on sites covering hip-hop and popular culture, following his public fallout with the makers of Cristal. Two days after the release of the video, Cattier (trading as Armand de Brignac) issued a press release identifying themselves as the brand in question. Since then, the brand has appeared in many other videos. In June 2011, Mark Cuban spent $90,000 on a 15-liter bottle (10 magnum bottles) of Armand de Brignac in celebration of the Dallas Mavericks' NBA Championship. A week later, the Boston Bruins "one-upped" the Mavericks' celebration by purchasing a 30-liter bottle of Armand de Brignac (dubbed the "Midas") for $100,000. At the time of the purchase, the Midas bottle was one of six bottles released to date worldwide. At least thats what Wikipedia says, but I digress…
With each course and pairing served, Chef Adrianne enthusiastically described each dish and explained how the ingredients and champagne meshed with such eloquence and passion that it soon became clear to me why Armand de Brignac is the chef's choice of champagne and her particular favorite.
The parade of deliciousness will now commence. The first course was a delectable vichyssoise with smoked salmon croque monsieur which was so creamy and flavorful that I was saddened when it was over. I was tempted to ask for another for my invisible friend.
The second course was the ever so fresh and tasty blue fin tuna on a crispy wonton with caper shallot cream and Osetra caviar in true Chef Adrianne flair. So good! I could've eaten all of them but my parents taught to me share. Darn morals.
Enter the Armand de Brignac Brut Gold whose cuvée is a blend of the grape varieties Pinot noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, making use of only Premier Cru and Grand Cru-rated grapes. It is complex and full-bodied with a lively pear, nectarine, honeysuckle and sweet butter, plus an undercurrent of spice, ginger and lemon pith adding energy and great palate coverage.
The third course was the creamy burrata with candied clementine, lavender, capiacoloa and balsamic which was a dance of lovers on my tongue. As I sipped on my glass of Armand de Brignac's Brut, I did not want the night to end. And I wanted more champagne. For me, and my invisible friend.
The fourth course was the phenomenal 24 hour braised short rib plus prime NY strip along with caramelized pearl onion soubise and a complimenting potatoes aligot. Chef Adrianne is a culinary genius! The true queen of maximum flavor. A toast to her, her amazing sous chef, Egg, and the best staff I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
To end this monumental dinner, Chef Adrianne presented us with the fifth and final course; a sinfully delicious goat cheese cheesecake with a perfectly paired poached pear (say that 5x quickly) that made me subconsciously smile in my sleep. Heaven! What a wonderful night of exquisite bubbly, deliciously scrumptious food and fabulous company. Thank you so much!