Monday, November 5, 2012

Prospect & Jacob's Creek.

Amidst the chaos and celebration of the 2012 World Series, the hubbs and I were invited to dine at San Francisco's urban-hip Prospect, located in the China Basin area just a short walk from AT&T park.  Reason being that the good people of Jacob's Creek wine were collaborating with the restaurant to share some of their most recent vintages with our fellow wine and food writers, distributors and industry professionals.  It was evening of great wine, great food and lovely company.  We were able to taste Jacob’s Creek’s latest Moscato varietals as well as their award-winning Reserve range wines, all paired with seasonal dishes created especially for the occasion by Prospect’s chef.  What made the event more special was the addition of Bernard Hickin, Jacob's Creek Chief Winemaker- a jovial, warm presence at our table throughout the night...

Prospect sits at the quiet corner of Spear Street and Folsom Street, gleaming under the heavy glass weight of a high rise apartment building.  The restaurant's slick minimalist styling is magnified by the floor-to-ceiling windows, enveloping the cozy, modern interior within. 

"Prospect is a collaboration of Chef Nancy Oakes, Pam Mazzola, and Kathy King from Boulevard Restaurant.  Located at the base of the Infinity Towers, we host a warm and modern urban environment, with high service standards and exceptional cuisine.  We’re proud to offer local, sustainable, organic ingredients, staying consistent with what you’ve come to expect from Boulevard."

The restaurant feels warm indeed, (especially our private dining area) with subdued lighting, comfy banquettes and velveteen curtains.  It's almost a mysterious feeling- with the chance of turning a corner and bumping into a beloved friend seated at the bar or chatting over appetizers in the corner.  I very much like the look of the place and would return to experience it's full-service dining atmosphere.

As we mingled amongst each other, some tasty starters were brought out for us to enjoy- starting with a persimmon, soft cheese and honey drizzle.  This was a delicious combo, light and fruity with the perfect creamy finish.  Next, we were brought grilled figs wrapped in prosciutto glazed in balsamic vinegar- a huge hits with the revelers.  Delicious, crispy on the outside, warm and sweet on the inside.  The beauty of both small bites was the simplicity of serving them on tiny bamboo skewers- practical and sophisticated all at once.  Jacob's Creek were kind enough to pour us flutes of their Classic Moscato, a "delicate frizzante Moscato" that "displays attractive tropical and subtle pear fruit flavours and aromas, with a great balance."

Once we seated, we were educated on the history of Jacob's Creek, their different wines and what makes them unique- along with several fun stories from Bernard himself on unusual life in Australia.  From vineyards, to spiders and slang terms used Down Under, it was a comprehensive (not to mention entertaining!) look at life from a grass-roots winemaking perspective.  You can find more fun Aussie facts and info on the Jacob's Creek website, along with great historical outlines, wine tasting notes and beautiful images to sift through.

Our first course was a Sashimi of Kona Kampache- with Shiro Miso, Mutsu Apple, Serrano Peppers, Shiso & Mizuna Salad in a Ginger Marinade.  This was served with a glass of the Reserve Barossa Valley Riesling 2010, a perfect complement to the fresh fish and savory miso.  The Shiso & Mizuna held a extraordinarily clean, crisp flavor which only highlighted the seasonal originality of this dish.

Next, were were served the Maine Lobster & Potato Gnocchi- with Chanterelles, Pea Tendrils and Lobster Nage.  The gnocchi melted on the tongue and the Chanterelles were cooked perfectly, giving a sweet nuttiness to the pasta.  The lobster paired well with the Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2011.  I eagerly finished this course and looked to the hubbs plate for any remnants he may have left behind... No such luck.

Following the table favorite, Liberty Valley Duck- served on a bed of Rye Berries with Confit Duck, Squash Brunoise, Squash Puree with Quince Relish and Scallion Whites.  A very deliberate dish, so many elements working together well.  The duck was tender, flavorful and rich.  The Reserve Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2010 was a perfect match for this hearty fall dish.

Dessert was a simple double serving of House-Made Sorbet- Raspberry & Grape, accompanied by a delicate Palmier cookie.  The sorbet was a huge hit, thanks to it's pure ingredients and delightful presentation awash with color.  The grape was my favorite, tasting precisely like it should.  Yum.  Paired with a cool glass of the Sparkling Moscato Rose, it was a refreshing end to Prospect's meal.

But wait!  A surprise from the kitchen!  A heaping bowl of Caramel Chocolate-Nib popcorn arrived unexpectedly, much to delight of the table.  I think this lasted about 5 minutes.  Salty-sweet, with cocoa undertones and buttery goodness, we devoured this bowl of crispy crunch in no time.

Our time spent at Prospect and with the folks of Jacob's Creek was short, but undoubtedly sweet.  We were wholy impressed with the value, quality and subtle nuances of the wine and equally impressed with taste and presentation of the food.  It was a great learning experience and good times were had by all- many thanks go out to the staff of Prospect, and to the wonderful staff of Jacob's Creek for providing us with such a exciting opportunity to get to know their wines.

Cheers to all!




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