Robin’s Birthday Lunch at Bacquet’s Restaurant in Eagle, ID


Bacquet’s Restaurant, Address: 1117 E Winding Creek Dr #150, Eagle, ID 83616, Hours: 11:30am – 10PM. Phone: (208) 577-6238. Easily a 5-Star French (the best in the area and the only one) restaurant and well worth the trip. Suggest you call for reservations, though. Here is some of what we had. Enjoy. We did.

Menu

House Salad
organic greens, tomatoes, shallots, parmesan cheese house balsamic dressing

Delicious!

French Onion Soup

Traditional Flatbread
bacon, shallots, Swiss cheese, cream on a cracker-like crust

Salmon with Pasta and Capers

Salmon Champenoise
fresh salmon filet baked in white wine, cream, pesto and crusted with Parmesan cheese and served over vegetable basmati rice

Birthday Lemon Cheesecake

Chocolate Mousse

An awesome, 5-Star late lunch. Thanks Chef for a great Birthday meal. Thanks Marnie for treating us.

Spring Release at Parma Ridge Winery


 
A really good release party at Parma Ridge Winery on April 18. Warm temperatures. Clear skies. Great food. Great wines. Here are the wines that were released and the Tapas we had. Left-Click any photo to see enlarged.

 

 

2018 Avielle. 100% Merlot. This Rosé is maned after Avielle, our fiery daughter with Strawberry Blonde hair. Enjoy notes of sweet honey and ripened strawberries with a crisp finish. [Blog Note: Don’t miss this one. It is superb!]
Paring: Crostini with Borsin, Crispy Prosciutto and Blackberry Compote.

 

 

2018 Tre Bianchi. 63% Gewürztraminer, 20% Riesling and 17% Viognier. Meaning “Three Whites” in Italian, this full-bodied white features pronounced citrus and melon notes.
Paring: Tempura Halibut Bites with Unagi Sauce.

 

2016 The Last Zin. 75% Merlot and 26% Zinfandel. “The Last Zin” is a final hurrah to our Zinfandel that perished in the hard-freeze of 2016. This estate-grown red is balanced with notes of wild blackberry, smooth tannins and a touch of charred caramel.
Paring:“The Rochester” – A Korean Chicken Slider with Arugula, Grilled local sweet Onions and Sriracha Aioli. [Superb!]

 
2016 Tempranillo. 100% Tempranillo. This Spanish Varietal features subtle spices, roasted red pepper and dried cranberry with a smooth oak finish.
Paring: Fresh Fried Chips and Chipotle Cheddar Dip wwith Smoked Chorizo and Filet Mignon Bites.

Japanese Special March Festival


I found this to be interesting. That’s probably because of my Cultural Anthropology background.

Hina Matsuri in Japan

Source: https://matcha-jp.com/en/753
Although it is not a national holiday, March 3rd is a special day for girls. Families who don’t have young daughters might not do anything special on this day.
March 3rd is Japanese Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri. Ornate dolls are displayed in the family home to mark the beginning of spring and to wish good health and good fortune for all of the girls in the family.
However, a tradition of this festival is still passed down until now. Actually, how people celebrate Hina Matsuri is different from place to place. We will introduce here what the Japanese people usually do on this day.
Hina Dolls represent what the imperial family was like in the ancient times. The dolls on the top tire of the platforms represent the emperor and the empress. The rest of the dolls are three court ladies, five musicians and the minister of the Right and Left who used to support the government in the old days. There are some decorations such as Gissha (oxcarts), small cupboards, Japanese paper lamps called “Bonbori”, and orange and peach tree branches displayed on the tire of platforms.
The facial expressions and costumes of each doll are also different depending on their personality and position.
The special meals for Hina Matsuri are Amazake (sweet drink), Chirashizushi (a style of sushi) and Hina Arare (sweet colorful rice crackers).
Amazake is a traditional Japanese sweet and thick drink made from fermented glutinous rice. Amazake literally means “sweet alcohol” but it has less than 1 percent of Shirozake alcohol in it. So children are also able to drink it.

Shirozake
Drinking Shirozake, which is a traditional sweet sake, was one of the customs to get rid of bad things out from your body. But Shirozake is an alcoholic drink, so Amazake was made with the children in mind.
Hina Arare are colorful and cute small rice crackers. The colors of these rice crackers have meanings. White represents the earth of the winter, pink and red represent life, while green represents the green shoots in the spring. Hina Arare is a snack showing our expectations toward the arrival of spring after the long cold winter. People also say that you will live healthy for this coming year if you eat each color of Hina Arare.
Chirashizushi is a type of Sushi which has lotus roots, shrimp and thinly shredded egg omelet on the top of vinegar rice. It has been a dish enjoyed widely at celebrations.
The ingredients in Chirashizushi have meanings as well. The lotus root is said to give one the power to see what will happen in the future, shrimps are a symbol of longevity and so on.

Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/japanese-girls-day-hinamatsuri-party-dishes-2031057
As with almost all holidays, food and drink play a role on Girls’ Day, with rice wine and rice cakes taking center stage, along with flower blossoms. Hinamatsuri is also called Momo no Sekku, which means a festival of peach blossoms. Peach blossoms, shiro-zake (white fermented rice wine) and hishi-mochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes) are placed on the stand with the hina dolls. Hishi-mochi are colored pink representing peach flowers, white representing snow, and green representing new growth.
Traditionally, girls in Japan invited their friends to a home party to celebrate this festival. Many people prepare a special meal for girls on this day, including savory dishes such as chirashi, which is sugar-flavored, vinegared sushi rice with raw fish on top; clam soup served in the shell; and edamame maze-gohan, mixed rice usually consisting of brown rice and soybeans.
Other popular dishes to serve at a Girl’s Day celebration are inari sushi—rice-stuffed tofu pockets—with miso grilled salmon and cabbage ramen salad. Sweets are on the menu as well, incorporating a feminine shade of pink, like chi chi dango, which are pink pillows of mochi (glutinous rice flour and coconut milk), a favorite among children, and sakura-mochi, a pink, sweet rice cake. Some families include an impressive edible centerpiece, such as the layered chirashi sushi cake.

Some recipes for Hina Matsuri
(The recipes listed below can be found at the link above.)

Chirashizuchi
Easy Seafood Chirashizushi: Use a shortcut of packaged sushi seasoning to quickly season steamed rice and add pre-cooked gomoku vegetables for this delectable dish. Add your favorite toppings of choice.
Edamame Maze-Gohan (Mixed Rice): Is easy to prepare, especially for large crowds. Steamed rice is mixed with furikake seasoning, bottled nametake (seasoned mushrooms), and shelled edamame for a delicious rice dish.
Inari Sushi: Preparing a dish for a large crowd doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out the secrets of making quick inari sushi with impressive results.
Cabbage Ramen Salad: This spin on the traditional Chinese chicken salad recipe uses crunchy dried ramen noodles, cabbage, and shredded chicken to create a zesty Japanese-fusion salad.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings: Let your slow cooker do all the work to whip-up a batch of delicious teriyaki chicken wings with just a few ingredients, and use the free time to prepare a few other dishes.
Miso Ginger Marinated Grilled Salmon
Miso Grilled Salmon: Miso-grilled salmon can easily be prepared by making the marinade ahead of time and then letting the salmon marinade for a few days in the fridge. All you need is an oven or a grill to cook up delicious fillets in under 40 minutes.
Clam Soup: A traditional soup that is often enjoyed on Hinamatsuri is clam soup. This clear style soup is known as sumashijiru and is simply seasoned from the broth of the clams.
Chi Chi Dango: These pillowy soft bites of mochi are made of glutinous rice flour and coconut milk. These pink, soft mochi are an absolute favorite among children.
Sakura Mochi: Sakura mochi is a glutinous rice dish that is often enjoyed during Hinamatsuri. This slightly sweetened, pink mochi is filled with sweet red beans (koshian) and wrapped in a salted sakura (young cherry blossom) leaf.

Farm to Table Feast


And it was a good feast! Held at Peaceful Belly Farm and the new event room and building – Grand Opening November 16–18, noon until 6 pm.
The Farm to Table Dinner Series, “Josie of Peaceful Belly, Scott from Snake River Winery, Clay from Stack Rock Cidery, Nate Whitley chef at the Modern Hotel and Chef Abby Carlson have teamed up to create an amazing 5-course meal held on our magical Sunny Slope farm. The plates are creative, unique, and 100% local and seasonal. These dinners will transport you to another time and place where fresh food is cooked with amazing brilliance and presented to the table in a picturesque farm setting.” Here are some photos from the evening. Enjoy and Left-Click to see any of these photos enlarged. All in all – A good dinner.

Sunset at the farm.
The menu for the dinner.
New event room and tasting room.
Appetizer –

Fingerling Potato, Lentils and Onion

Smoked Trout
Warm Fingerling Potatoes
Buttermilk
Shallots
Arugula
2012 Arena Valley Riesling

Beef Tongue Carpaccio
Black Garlic Aioli
Roasted Chilis
Sunny Slope Cide
r

Roasted Winter Squash
Leeks
Kale
Brown Butter Tamari Vinaigrette
2014 Blauer Zweigelt

Reflections at the Intermezzo

Intermezzo
Pumpkin Pie Sorbet

Roasted Pork Loin
Onion Puree
Lentils
Tomato
Swiss Chard
2009 Reserve Bordeaux Blend

Tri of Ice Cream Sandwiches
2014 Orange Muscat

Great Dinner at Richard’s in Boise


Yes it indeed was and this is why Richard’s, located at the INN at 500 Capitol, 500 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, Idaho (208) 472-1463, is a 5-Star restaurant in Boise. One of the top restaurants. (Richard’s Boise) And when you make your reservations, ask to be seated where David will be your Server. Superb!
Here is what we had for dinner on the special. Robin had one and I had the other. And then we sampled. It was fun and exciting! It is good to note that Chef Richard Langston, Chef-Owner of Richard’s, tries very hard to source his food products from Idaho or from within 200 miles of Boise.
“…Chef Langston and his team share a culinary philosophy that celebrates the integrity of seasonal ingredients, locally sourced when possible. Dining at Richard’s is further enhanced by impeccably mixed drinks, a noteworthy wine list of old favorites and new finds, and sophisticated service in a stylish setting.”
Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

The Menu
Robin and our Server, David.

Crostini with Butternut Squash Puree
fried sage and pecans


 

Tomato Basil Soup


 

Roasted Beet Salad
citrus, arugula, herbs, dressed with labneh horseradish sauce

 

Risotto with Smoked Chicken, Apples and Hazelnuts


 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
hazelnut brown butter, Grana Padano and currents


 

Idaho Trout
pan-roasted, brown butter caper lemon sauce, seasonal vegetable


 

Grilled Sirloin Coulette Steak
sliced on a grape and spinach salad, fingerling potatoes, sweet onion soubise

Wines with dessert: Sticky and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand and a rare Madeira.

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta
cranberry compote, local honey drizzle


 

Apple Crostata
cinnamon crème anglaise


 

 

Wine Dinner at Grit – American Cuisine and 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards Wines


A very good dinner and some fine wines. Grit – American Cuisine, located at 360 S Eagle Rd, Eagle, ID 83616, Hours: 11AM–9PM, Phone: (208) 576-6666, presented a very good wine dinner showcasing 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, 900 Pearl Rd, Eagle, ID 83616, Phone: (208) 863-6561. This was thee first time Robin and I have been to Grit – American Cuisine and it is worth a 4-Star rating, out of 5-Stars. Good food, especially the French Lentil Soup, pictured below. It was superb. The appetizers, Seared Beef Filet and Crab Cakes with Aioli were also superb. They are also pictured below. The wines with the appetizers, a Roussanne, were paired perfectly. The wine with the soup, Eagle Foothills Sangiovese was also a perfect pairing. Left-Click any photo to see enlarged.
Gary and Martha Cunningham, owners of 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, did a fantastic job keeping us informed about the wines that were served and some of the specifics of the wines. The parings with our dinner were well received. 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards is in the Eagle Foothills AVA, Idaho’s newest AVA. Look at what we had. Hope to see you next time at an interesting Wine Dinner someplace.
 

Appetizer
Amuse Bouche of Bleu Cheese Crackers with Seared Beef Filet
Crab Cakes with Aioli
Roussanne

 

French Lentil Soup with Rye Croutons and House Cured Ham.
Sangiovese – Eagle Foothillsills

 


Frisee Salad with Lardons
Poached Egg
Champagne Vinargrette
Pinot Gris – Eagle Foothills

 

Sorry, but the photo I took of the next course was not good enough to post.
Mussels with Pernod
Fennel and Basil
Syrah – Eagle Foothills


 
 

Beef Wellington
with
Cognac Shitake Mushroom Duxelle
Glazed Carrots
Potato Puree
Sauce Bearnaise
Beau Geste – Eagle Foothills

 

Beef Wellington

 

Baba au Rhum
with
Cream and Vanilla Strawberry Jam
Riesling – Snake River Valley

 

Really a good night of fine food and delicious wines. Great to meet and make new friends.