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Stef – December 5, 2010Posted in: Events

We were truly privileged to take part in the O’Brien wine dinner, it turned out to be the best we’ve been to so far. Having been to Strata several times, we are big fans of their food, and certainly looked forward to the creative holiday-themed menu the amazing Chef Ly would put forth. A quick Google of “Bart O’Brien wine” led me to find that it was a Napa vineyard.  Having just been to Napa and only visiting one winery, I was eager to try another, especially after I saw that they were not located on the “mickey mouse route”.

There was a large turn out at the dinner, which led me to believe that this wine must be exceptional, and even quite popular. Bart introduced himself and told us the story behind how he and his wife acquired their vineyard and started making wine. It was like we were getting to know them both (though his wife, Barb wasn’t there), and really learn about the heart of the wine. The wines we had on this night were from the Romantic Portfolio and each label had a piece of poetry on the back, that told the story of the developing relationship between two lovers, all written by Bart and Barb, which I just thought was the sweetest thing – the romantic tales were just as fun and entertaining as the entire dinner.

Before each course, Bart would set the tone, by introducing the wine and reading the poetry on the bottel. Overall, the wines were superb, and the food pairings that Strata put together only enhanced the flavor even more.  Catherine, Chef Ly’s sister, has always done an amazingly stunning job at pairings.

Let’s further visit our journey into this enticing evening.  I would love to show you every detail of every plate as each was simply incredible.  But given the low light of the evening and not wanting to wash out the photo with the flash, we will tease you with just a few.

watermelon consomme w citrus sorbet

seared jumbo shrimp w quail egg yolk confit, sugar plum compote and baby frisee

roasted whole leg of lamb with chantrelle mushrooms, house-cured pancetta and yukon potato stuffing

braised pork cheeks w pomegranate reduction, candied pecans and grilled watercress

gingerbread house w eggnog mousse

I suggest you check out some O’Brien wines soon, would make a perfect date night. And if you havent already – you MUST go eat at Strata!


The romantic and intriguing story teller behind all the wine, Mr. Bart O’Brien

The amazing Chef John Ly showing off his roasted whole leg of lamb.  Chef Ly can do no wrong.