Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ivy Restaurant Wheaton Family Holiday Dinner

Gala Family Holiday Dinner at Ivy Restaurant Wheaton Features BYOB Clark-Claudon Estate Napa Cabernet

For our annual gala family holiday dinner, this year we dined at Ivy Restaurant in Wheaton. We arranged to dine at the balcony table overlooking the restaurant. Ivy, named for the ivy covered exterior walls overlooking the garden dining terrace, is housed in a historic building that was built as a chapel in 1928. The main dining room features stained glass windows and the commanding cathedral ceiling preserved from the original site.

The balcony setting afforded a wonderful view overlooking the restaurant, while providing ample room for our extended group including five grandchildren. It allowed a relaxed casual setting with room to roam for the small children without disturbing other diners.

We ordered the rib-eye steaks, filet medallions, the Chilean Sea Bass special, the Maryland Crab Cakes, the Filet of Beef, and the Filet and Shrimp entrees. The grand-kids were accommodated with appropriate choices from the kids menu.

For the appetizer course, we had the mussels and the coconut shrimp with Piper Heidsieck Brut NV (non-vintage) Champagne from the wine-list.

Ivy's corkage policy accommodated us to bring this BYOB selection from our cellar, Clark-Claudon Estate Napa Cabernet 2000. We met and dined with Clark-Claudon proprietors Tom and Laurie during our Napa Wine Experience winemaker dinners back in 1999. For a family dinner, I felt it appropriate to open a wine from family owned and oriented wine producer.

Since then, we have acquired and still hold thirteen vintages of this Estate Cab in our cellar dating back to the 1994 inaugural release, according to our Cellartracker records. We hold several vintages in magnum including this 2000.

 Clark-Claudon Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

This was a perfect accompaniment to our beef entrees and was probably at the peak of its drinking window, not likely to improve further with age, and ready to drink in its prime. Being a magnum, this likely had aged more gracefully and held its drinking window better or longer than perhaps standard size bottles. We hold several more bottles of this vintage and I don't feel rushed to consume them any time soon.

Dark garnet/purple colored, medium-full bodied, full, complex concentrated forward black berry and black raspberry and currant fruits are accented by a layer of spice, toasty oak, tones of cedar and sweet vanilla with nicely balanced acidity and smooth tannins on the lingering finish.

RM 91 points.