Good food, good wine, and good times—all the hallmarks of a fun night out. Which is exactly what a group of guests had at the recent annual wine dinner at local restaurant, CJ’s on the Bay. The event was held on Tuesday, June 26, and began at 6:30 PM. Guests were treated to a wine foursome with accompanying select foods, a collaboration of CJ’s on the Bay’s head chef, Laura Owen, and beverage manager James Hubbard.
The wine dinner, affectionately called the Summer Supper by Chef Laura, was open by reservation, and is an annual event hosted by the restaurant. The showcased wines were carefully selected, and Chef Laura tailored a scrumptious menu to compliment them, equaling four decadent courses of a unique wine and dine experience.
The evening began with James’ famous white sangria, accompanied by canapé selections as guests arrived and mingled. Once everyone arrived, theysat down to a duo of New England Diver scallops and jumbo Gulf shrimp over a warm asparagus salad as the first wine was explained in detail. The exposition was given by Robert Fairbrother, of Republic National Distributors, on the Sauvignon Blanc from Hedges CMs, which can be found on CJ’s extensive wine list. At the end of the first course, no scallop was left uneaten, and guests were excitedly awaiting the next plate of culinary interest.
The next wine, described to be a “nice weather, sitting and sipping on the patio” Rosé, was from Merryvale, California. It accompanied a salad of prosciutto, fennel and tomatoes. The main event followed, a cherry horseradish veal osso bucco with a Petite Petit wine, Michael David, California. This wine can also be found on the wine list at CJ’s on the Bay. The veal seemed to be the overwhelming favorite of themeal, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy dessert.
Really, though, who doesn’t enjoy a good dessert? Especially a dessert of grilled peach and pistachio tart, with a side of blue cheese and accompanied by Dow’s Tawny port wine.
The evening was a resounding success. Attendee Jack Dehanas said “We love it here, it’s the best place on Marco.” He declared the sauvignon blanc and the white sangria to be his favorites of the night, adding, “but I like them all,” a sentiment Richard Droste agreed with, calling the sangria “awesome.” Debra Shanahan chose the veal as her favorite, “but everything was wonderful,” she said. J. Marie Griffing also thought the veal was the best, stating that she would have to say “it was all wonderful. Everything was above expectation, but the veal was my most favorite.”
CJ’s on the Bay is located in the Esplanade Plaza on N. Collier Blvd. Reservations are recommended.