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Rick and Julie (and little Holden) are staying for a couple of nights, so we celebrated in fine style. First, more soup, from more or less the same mixture of vegetables as before.

We opened a 1998 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne to go with this, and with the next course, little flans of smoked trout. They were actually halfway between flans and souflées, since they puffed up a fair amount. With these went a marinated radicchio salad- Chris left us a big bag of theirs in the fridge.

Next came a roasted carrot risotto- really simple, but it tasted like fall on a plate and sang with a 1983 Drouhin Bonnes-Mares.

Last were lamb chops, with the espresso rub, seared up and served with parsnip/yogurt/truffle oil purée and sautéed bok choy, as well as a pesto of mint and rosemary from outside. The lamb pan deglazed with wine and demi-glace to dribble over all. With this mighty plate went their gift- a 1989 Optima cabernet, which was absolutely gorgeous. Quite a meal.

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