Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Parkers Ocean Grill Wine & Dine - Off Tuesday?

Parkers Ocean Grill Wine & Dine - Off Tuesday?

For the actual date of our anniversary, we went to Parker's Ocean Grill in Downers Grove (Illinois) for dinner. They have an extensive winelist selection from which to pair with the cuisine. We both ordered seafood entrees and selected a Napa Chardonnay as an accompaniment. 

We've been to Parker's several times over the years and never noticed until tonight, and not until exiting the premises, that they have an outdoor patio to the rear of the restaurant. Pity, as we would've far preferred to dine outside on a delightful summer evening, had it been offered, or had we even known that the option existed. 

Perhaps it was due to being a Tuesday evening, or not, but both of our entrees were sub-par, bordering on disappointing. I mention Tuesday, as perhaps their ordering/delivering of fresh fish does not occur at the beginning of the week, such that the selections are less fresh than optimal. I've heard that one never orders Sushi in Tokyo on a Monday, as there is no fresh catch on Sundays to supply the freshest of fish for serving on Monday. Perhaps, we were subject to or victims of this same phenomenon? 

In any event, our dinner's were at the least, uninspiring. 

We both had the Lobster/Crab bisque, which was too salty, and diminimous of meat. 

For entrees, Linda ordered the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Avocado, Wakame, Snap Peas, Daikon, Carrot and Ponzu Sauce. The indication it might be less than optimal was its darkish color of the Ahi. 

I ordered the Wood Roasted Copper River Sockeye Salmon with Roasted Corn & Tomato Salsa, Fingerling Potatoes, Lemon Buerre Blanc Sauce and Chive Oil. While probably prepared properly I would've preferred some sprites of the Beuerre Blanc sauce and less of the red peppers, which weren't in the entree description, unless it was the tomatoes influenced by the roasted corn that infused the flavor into the fish. The only essence of the lemon sauce was in the saturated fingerling potatoes, which would've been better without such, not soaked in it. Pity. 

 With our dinner, we ordered a Plumpjack Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay, as it was what we presumed would be the best or most complementary pairing with the entrees. 

Plumpjack Napa Valley Chardonnay Reserve 2018

Plumpjack was formed from the partnership of current California Governor Gavin Newsom and composer/philanthropist Gordon Getty. Together, they opened the Plumpjack wine store in San Francisco back in 1992. Pretty much everything Newsom has accomplished in his career is due to the benefactor mentor relationship he has with Getty, whose financial fortunes are the legacy of his father, he is the fourth child of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty. His mother, Ann Rork, was his father's fourth wife. 

We discovered Plumpjack back in the earliest days in the mid-nineties, and we hosted a winemaker dinner with then associate winemaker May Pisor at the Meadowwood resort back in the late nineties.

 During that time we acquired early releases of Plumpjack Estate and Reserve wines, many of which we still hold in our cellar today. Over the years, the Plumpjack brand and portfolio has grown exponentially with the acquisition of several more properties and the development of affiliate brands Cade and Odette.

While we regret that the brand has succumbed to the legacy of politician Governor Newsom, we still hold, but tend not to acquire any more of their wines. Never-the-less, tonight we selected a Plumpjack wine, more due to fond memories of visits to the estate and Winery back in those early days, than our current support for their politics of the brand. We did recently visit Plumpjack during our Napa Valley Wine Experience in 2018. 

The Winery tasting notes for this label release: "The 2018 PlumpJack Chardonnay is packed with the fresh aromas of Meyer lemon, pomelo, green pear, honeysuckle, and orange blossom with a touch of toast and apple cinnamon. The palate is creamy, silky, and bright, giving the sensations of great weight and vibrant freshness. Our Chardonnay grapes are sourced from two vineyards in the Napa Valley – one in Los Carneros and the other in St. Helena. At just 30 miles apart, Los Carneros can be 10 -15 degrees cooler than St Helena. Due to this difference in temperature along with other differences, such as soil type, these two vineyard sites vary greatly in character and expression but add layers and layers of flavor to the nose and palate."  

This was straw colored, medium bodied, crisp and creamy, clean acidity with notes of lemon, pear, hints of buttery oak and a touch of cinnamon spice. 

RM 90 points.