Bacon Unwrapped

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What happens when you mix bacon with wine on a Monday night?

A hangover on Tuesday - that's what happens when you mix bacon with wine on a Monday night. But it was a hangover worth the pain, because it was induced by Chef Greggory Hill's monthly Aphrodisiac Bacon Dinner.

As a continuation of our 'adventures in pork' at David Greggory RestauLounge in Washington, DC, we finally were able to attend one of these highly regarded dinners last night. And once again, Chef Hill did not disappoint.

When you walk in the front door of David Greggory on the night of a Bacon Dinner, you are immediately hit with the scent of cooking bacon. It is amazing to me that people were able to eat in the regular dining room and order non-bacon dishes while being immersed in the bacon aroma. After a pre-dinner cocktail at the bar, we were escorted to the back of the restaurant where the private dining room had been set up for the event. At the entrance to the dining room was a display of pig paraphernalia that Chef Hill has collected over time. We were particularly fascinated by the pig lighters.

A representative from The Grateful Palate was on hand to host the evening and take us on a tour of the Australian wines we were 'sampling' (sampling being a loosely used term). We had a couple pre-dinner glasses of wine and bacon appetizers. The Nodine's Garlic Bacon wrapped tempura bananas were definitely my favorite appetizer. A bacon wrapped tuna loin was also served. The appetizers were matched with Scarpantoni Chardonnay from McLaren Vale, Australia.

We were then seated at our table which was garnished with miniature rubber pigs that quickly became the focalpoint of entertainment for the evening. Several of the photos I've posted here include the various poses that were produced with the pigs, although I have censored out some of the more X-rated versions. :)

The first course was Shad Roe wrapped in Burger's Country Bacon and served with potato crisps and lemon-thyme butter sauce. This course was matched with Paringa White Wine from South Australia. Next up came Newsome's Smoked Bacon roulade with corn beef, cabbage and vegetable puree in the spirit of St. Patty's Day, which was matched with RBJ Theologicum from the Barossa Valley. That was one of my favorite courses. After that came the Hempler's Bacon and chipotle-cherry sausage with Guinness Glaze and mashed potatoes, which was spicy and also fantastic. That course was served with Trevor Jones' Boots Grenache (and yes, Jayne, Grenache is a grape). Last, we went back to Burger's bacon again which was served in a pork ravioli with a smoky spinach and tomato sauce. I actually had to have someone remind me this morning that we had ravioli, but once I remembered I do recall it being very delicious! The last course was served with Burge Family The Redoux, also from the Barossa region.

And of course there was the grand finale - bacon dessert - which was a chocolate truffle with Edward's Brown Sugar Bacon and a caramel-almond sauce. Absolutely outstanding - once again, I was pleasantly surprised by how good bacon can taste for dessert. And the dessert was matched with Jonesy Old Tawny Port - I'm a big port fan, which is actually something I acquired a taste for while studying abroad in Australia many years ago, so I might have stolen a couple extra glasses from my dining companions but just can't remember for sure...

The night was capped off with parting gifts that included a pound of bacon. And of course we had one more cocktail at the bar to shut the place down properly. The Aphrodisiac Bacon Dinner is an awesome dining experience and an absolute blast. We're not worthy, Chef Hill.

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