By Mark Gauert
City & Shore Magazine
We could spend our evening worrying about which wines to pour with wild Florida cobia or black truffle foam or sponge cake. Or we could just turn all the worries over to a pro for the evening, and relax.
“Louis Roederer Cristal Rose 2006,” recommends Nino Milenkovski, sommelier at the St. Regis Bal Harbour.
Champagne. With Cobia? Of course! (We were just about to say that).
We’ll try giving Milenkovski – keeper of the keys here to the St. Regis’ heavenly wine vault – a little more of a challenge the next course.
How about a plate of tuna tartare, a Kumamoto oyster and caramelized scallops, which Chef Scott Thomas Dolbee sends out with black truffle foam, crystallized grapefruit and parsley.
“Louis Roederer Brut Nature Millésimé 2006.’’ Milenkovski pours.
Impressive (and delicious). Yes! We even love the bottle’s label, designed by Philippe Starck.
OK, we’re rolling up our sleeves now and getting as serious as we can get serious in the relaxing dining room of the J&G Grill, the St. Regis’ oceanfront restaurant inspired by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
How about a little something with … dessert? (Nobody ever gets that pairing right).
And not just any dessert. How about Chef Dolbee’s chocolate mousse with black sesame sponge cake and passion fruit sorbet?
Give it up. We’ve stumped the sommelier.
“Ramos Pinto Tawny 20-year-old Port,” Milenkovski says, before we can even put a dessert spoon to our lips.
“It’s an amazing classic port wine,” he says, “super food friendly, goes very well chocolate.”
We could spend our evening worrying about which wines to pair with such dishes. Or we could just let Nino Milenkovski make the decisions for us in a new series of monthly three-course sommelier dinners, “partnering with a different winery each month to bring guests the finest wines paired with exquisite cuisine.”
The first one, as you may have guessed from the pairings above, was in partnership with Champagne Louis Roederer. The next dinner on April 5 will pair dishes with Champagne Taittinger. The next session on May 19 will pour Armand de Brignac Champagne (the Ace of Spades).
We know where we’ll be. We know what we’ll do.
J&G Grill in the St. Regis Bal Harbour, 9703 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour. For information about the dinners or to make reservations, call 305-993-0614.