Saturday, February 22, 2020

Long Shadows Pirouette and Lewis Chardonnay

Long Shadows Pirouette and Lewis Chardonnay BYOB at Carnivore & The Queen Supper Club

For a Saturday night outing we dined with neighbors/friends Mark and Shirley at a new local eatery that bills itself as a Supper Club.

Whimsically named, Carnivore & The Queen Supper Club is designed after a bygone area of nostalgic dining, a contemporary revival of a classic prohibition-era supper club with a 'casual vibe & approachable classic food'.

Carnivore & The Queen is the work of husband-and-wife team Chris Matus and Kelli Lodico-Matus. It is located down the street from Lisle (Illinois) in adjacent Downers Grove at the intersection of Maple and Belmont Avenues.

It actually opened a year ago February in a strip mall that I drive past several times a week to/from the nearby train station from where I commute into the City, but only noticed it recently, and immediately earmarked it for a visit.

Their concept is a Supper Club, an independently owned fine and fun dining destination with ambiance and decor reflecting that of the owners style and offerings, thoughtful dishes intended for sharing, a showcase for the owners’ family recipes, treating diners to an evening-long experience.

Lodico-Matus came up with the name while on a walk one day. “The name Carnivore & the Queen to me sounded indulgent, grandiose, and a bit … theatrical?” she says. “I thought it described our personalities … and it stuck! Everything on the menu is foods we like to eat and indulge in, with no guilt."

They offer daily menus featuring their recipes and the seasons' local ingredients from localvor  farmers, fishmongers & ranchers. They strive to deliver an experience that both their mothers provided, like gathering the family around the dinner table every night. There is a price-fix three course and a five course offering. There is also a menu offering with wine pairings accompaniment.

By 630 pm the restaurant was full and by 700 there was a crowd at the bar waiting for tables. It was lively and vibrant and very socialable and comfortable, like a neighborhood favorite eatery should be! We were very comfortable at the tall tabletop adjacent the bar despite the crowd. We look forward to returning again.

We've already noted their Friday Beer Battered Walleye Special, and their Sundays Only Queen's Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken Dinner. The optional up-charge to the five course supper is the hot ticket and reasonable value.  

Prior to dinner we had the special plate of olives, beets, veggies and relishes with salads. The wedge salad was delightful.

With the salad and anti-pasta courses we ordered from the winelist Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne.

For our dinner entrees Mark ordered the sea scallops, Linda the chicken breast, and Shirley and I both had the NY Strip. Linda never orders chicken but was compelled to do so tonight and she liked it. I ordered my regular favorite, 'Pittsburgh' style preparation - charred with hot pink center, and it was done perfectly!

'Pittsburgh' style New York Strip with wedge potatos.

We took BYOB two special bottles from our cellar to celebrate Linda's recent birthday and the festive gathering occasion, Lewis Cellars Chardonnay and Long Shadows Pirouette.

 Lewis Cellars Sonoma County Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2004

My recent tasting notes just last month for this label: Perfect complement to lobster tails. Ideal drinking window for this is five to ten years. At sixteen, this is past its apex and showing its age turning from golden straw colored to honey brown, and the fruits are starting to take on notes of smoke. This was delicious none-the-less, but time to drink.

RM 88 points.

My earlier tasting notes from 2018 for this label: This is clearly crafted in the California versus the classic Burgundian style with layers of big rich oak, straw colored, medium bodied, note of of creamy vanilla, green apple, hints of nut and stone, nice acidic balance for crisp pleasurable drinking. Its density calls for drinking with food and was perfect with our buttery lobster.

RM 90 points

Long Shadows "Pirouette" Columbia Valley Red 2011

Another label from the Long Shadows Collection, this is crafted by legendary world renouned winemakers Augustin Huneeus Sr. and Philippe Melka. I recently had the 2016 release of this label at a business dinner and it was outstanding. Hence I was eager to try to an aged vintage release of this label from my cellar.

This is a classic Bordeaux Blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec; aged for 22 months in 75% new French oak;

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave this 93 points,  Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar gave it 92 points.

Dark garnet colored, medium-full-bodied, deep, rich, complex, nicely balanced, well integrated flavors of black berry and black currant with notes of cassis, licorice, coffee, dark bitter chocolate and hints of floral violets, with ample, finely polished tannin on the lengthy finish.

RM 92 points.