The Annual Grouse Supper is one of the pivotal events for the Reunion des Gastronomes. And this year we were delighted that Past President Brian Clivaz was able to host us at his iconic L ’Escargot – London’s oldest French Restaurant.
Following a reception of Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne, accompanied by canapés and the most delicious snails, members and their guests enjoyed a wonderful 4-course menu accompanied by carefully selected wines.
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The meal started with a Terrine de Fois Gras with Damsons. Unusually, we were presented with a choice of wines to accompany this most rich-tasting and well-presented treat.
For those who prefer a white Burgundy, the 2015 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Jaffelin provided a fresh and fruity well-balanced wine with delicious flavours of citrus fruit and apricot and a well-rounded, buttery note which lingered on the palate.
For the more adventurous amongst us, Brian offered a Noé Pedro Ximenez, Muy Viejo V.O.R.S. This is a highly unusual and rare Sherry that falls into the category of Liqueur Wine. It had an intense ebony colour, with aromas of figs, coffee and spices and a very sweet, fresh and silky palate.
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The main course – and focus of the evening – was, of course, the Roast Grouse. As anticipated it was cooked and presented to perfection. A whole grouse, garnished with game chips was served with Pommes Dauphinoise. What a feast to the eyes – and to the taste buds! The grouse itself was cooked to perfection, being full of flavour, moist and with plenty of meat on the breast.
From the very north of the Beaujolais region, the 2009 Moulin à Vent, “Vieilles Vignes”, X & N Barbet was a well-chosen match for the Grouse. Typically from the Gamay grape, this wine choice gave us fresh red fruits but with good intensity and depth, it was sweet and fleshy on the palate initially but showed good minerally character and a silkiness with good length on the finish.
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For dessert we were served a Blackberry & Apple Tart with clotted cream. Elegant in its simplicity, this struck just the right note after our main course.
This was matched with a 2013 Ungeheuer Auslese, Reichsrat Von Buhl. A medium sweet lime-citrus dessert wine, with bright golden colour. It was rich, smooth and well-rounded in the mouth with a good balance.
At variance to the true French fashion (cheese after dessert??), but nevertheless delicious, platters of Stilton and Brie accompanied by a top-notch and very robust 1991 Graham’s Port rounded off this splendid meal.
For those who still had room to eat, Coffee and Snails (chocolate!) were served to round off a truly splendid event.
Serge Pradier, President Réunion des Gastronomes formally thanked Head Chef James “Jimmy” Tyrrell and his brigade, together with the front-of house team for their hospitality, leading us with a rousing “Santé du Chef et Service” for making this such an enjoyable and amicable evening.
Glasses were then raised by members to toast both Town, Country and Retired members