• Quail
  • Antelope Pate
  • Dry-aged Prime NY Strip

Last week, Halls Chophouse hosted an elegant dinner with Peter Mondavi of Charles Krug Winery as part of the Charleston Wine +Food Festival. Charles Krug Winery is Napa’s first winery, which started in 1861. The Mondavi family bought the winery in more than 69 years ago and it’s still a family run business (unlike that of Robert Mondavi Winery).

The night started off with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc and small bites before moving into the main courses.

Four carefully crafted courses were created by Executive Chef Matthew Niessner. A confit of quail, fall-off-the-bone tender, crisp gaufrette potatoes, and a medley of forest mushrooms paired well with the 2011 Chardonnay, which exudes citrus and peach flavors with a buttery texture. The spicy berries and hints of vanilla of the 2011 PInot Noir complimented the antelope pate, pistachio biscotti, and black cherry gastrique.

  • Chocolates and wild berries danced with the vibrant Zinfandel Port.

Each dish was tasty in its own way, but there’s no leaving Halls without a perfectly cooked steak. The dry-aged prime New York strip was cooked to a perfect medium-rare, sliced, and then fanned out on top of a creamy bed of black truffle risotto. The 2010 Reserve Generations, a deep garnet blend, revealed a mouthful of dark berries and nutmeg, which went hand in hand with the beef.

The good company and great pairings made for a wonderful night. Before the dinner, I had heard of Charles Krug Winery but had not tried any of the wines. I must say, the wine is quite impressive. Yesterday, I picked up one bottle each of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Cheers to Halls Chophouse and Peter Mondavi for that.