Sunday, January 13, 2019

Cakebread Napa Valley Chardonnay for Raymes Seafood Dinner

Cakebread Napa Valley Chardonnay for Raymes Lisle Seafood dinner

Friday night out for a casual dinner we dined at Raymes Steak and Fish House in Lisle (IL), blocks from where I got off the train commuting home from the city. While Raymies is the primary fine dining restaurant in all of Lisle we have only dined there a few times in the decades we've lived in town.

Readers of these pages know we place a high emphasis on wine as part of our dining experience. Raymes have a minimalist, barely adequate wine list, and as such, we had not planned ahead so as to bring a bottle BYOB so we ordered from their winelist. Indeed, they promote themselves as 'Home of the King Sized Cocktail', and their logo even features a martini glass. So it shouldn't come a surprise that this is not a wine oriented restaurant. Hence, one of the reasons we don't frequent there. Based on this evening's experience, though, we will definitely return, presuming we can arrange BYOB to accompany the dinner.

Raymies Seafood Special - Grilled Sea Bass in lemon butter
This was our first time in the 'new' Raymes, totally rebuilt from the ground up on the location of the old restaurant on the site along the commuter rail blocks from downtown and the commuter station.

The new restaurant is open, airy and cosmopolitan in its black furniture contrasting the white tablecloths on the tightly packed grid of tables. When we arrived for early dinner at 530 we got the last window table and the dining room was wide open. By 700 the dining room was full at this point was lively and boisterous but not excessively noisy.

The American style menu has a great selection for our tastes; steaks, chops, ribs, meatloaf, pot roast and a great seafood selection with a half dozen entrees. Entrees come with potatoe or rice, soup or salad and a basket of fresh hot bread. The seafood special was Grilled Sea Bass served in basic lemon and butter. Other choices included Lump Crab Cakes, Sea Scallops, Grouper in crusted parmesan, and fresh water selections Blue Gill or Walleye.

We opted for the Grilled Sea Bass, Scallops, Crab Cakes and the Grouper. To accompany our entree selections we chose from the wine list the Cakebread Chardonnay which was an ideal compliment to the fresh seafood selections.

We tasted the Reserve version of  this wine during our private tasting at the Cakebread Cellars Estate during our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2018. This is a popular restaurant wine, quality, dependable, a well known brand that is widely available so as to be a safe and easy choice fpr consumers. For our taste and preference, it was the only premium selection on the wine list that offered only three wines at pricepoints of $30, $50 and the Cakebread at $75, winelist prices based on ~2 times retail.

Cakebread Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014

This is a French-inspired elegant wine with a bit more acid and mineral quality than the big fuller bodied oak infused buttery style commonly produced in California. Almost clear, light almond colored, medium bodied, crisp, clean, predominate lemon citrus tones laced with minerals and stone fruit.

RM 89 points. 

This is sourced from 91% Carneros district and 9% Napa Valley fruit. Grapes grown in the cool-climate Carneros district at the southern tip of the valley are subject to fog and cooling breezes from nearby San Pablo Bay. Hence, Carneros typically has a long growing season that ripens the fruit fully while retaining the bright acidity that gives Chardonnay freshness and vitality. Added to the Carneros fruit is grapes from warmer sites further up the valley that yield a bit riper, fuller chardonnay, the combination resulting in richer, more elegant and complex chardonnay, but not the fuller, highly oaked, big buttery fruit bombs that are predominantly Napa Valley fruit from the hotter upper reaches of the area.

Raymes Lump Crab Cakes and Asparagus

Raymes Sea Scallops Appetizer
Raymes, Lisle, IL - Lincoln Hwy (Rt 53) at Burlington