John’s Birthday

Phillipe and Lea hosted a party for John, and several people brought some food and wine. Phillipe made fantastic boeuf bourgignon and a sublime gratin of cauliflower; Liz curated the perfect salad from her garden and made her signature cashew cream to pour on gorgeous fresh berries for dessert (there was also cake.) I made the raw sweet potato salad, twice-baked tiny blue potatoes with fromage blanc, chives, and truffle oil mixed in and baby chioggia beet chips to garnish, sautéed scallops with a red wine-butter sauce, and last little Moroccan-inspired savory lemon tartlets that I thought up recently. It’s basically a zabaglione style lemon tart, but with salty preserved lemon in the custard, a dollop of cumin-enhanced tapenade on top, and a drop of homemade harissa to finish. I baked the crusts in the muffin tin and filled them after they cooled.

We drank many things: my last half bottle of Sine Qua Non “Pagan Poetry” rosé, Pleiades XI and XV, Liz’s 2002 Kistler pinot noir, a 2002 Joblot Givry, a 1998 Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus (I know it’s one of John’s favorites, so I dug it out) and Gerard brought an insanely good double magnum of 1990 Le Pergole Torte. Then we had champagne, Billiot and a grand cru rosé I bought that afternoon and failed to write down for posterity. It was very good. We never made it to the 1967 Barolo that we gave him. I also forgot to bring the camera.

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