I was intrigued when I first saw the invite to The 408’s Winter Forest Wine Dinner. One, because I was ready for a night out with friends after a few months of hunkering down. Two, the menu sounded amazing. And three. Besides a birthday party we attended when they had just opened, we haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time in this VERY COOL space, located above Cantina on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. And I must say, everything about the evening was spectacular.
BACK ON THE CIRCUIT
D and I just LOVE trying new foods, new wines and meeting new people. It had been a LONG time since we accepted an invite for open seating with strangers. Something that we have ALWAYS loved about attending wine dinners in the past. Making new friends while taking advantage of the talents of our local wine experts and chefs is something that I’ve really missed these last couple of years.
The evening started with sparkling wine and conversation. The space, perfectly decorated for a “Winter Forest” theme, brought natural elements to the modern space in the most fitting of ways. The gorgeous centerpieces, with accents of candle lit pine and metallics were the perfect welcome to the beautiful courses to come.
My favorite part of the evening was enjoying chef Mary Nickler introduce the courses that brought us from winter into spring. Making it VERY obvious just how much heart she put into this evening (and I’m confident, every event she prepares for). Mary was followed by Patty from Massanois Fine Wines, who, equally as passionately, followed with wine introductions and education.
Starting with a gorgeously presented root soup to compliment the sparkling wine, we moved onto the second course which included the most beautiful beet salad and Vouvray. The asparagus and mushroom strudel that came next was brought to life by the paired Rosé. The citrus snapper in the fourth course was balanced by the delicate Pinot Noir, taking up what I thought was the last space in my stomach. Until the venison course came. Alongside my favorite wine of the night… a spicy Syrah. And just when I was about to throw in the linen napkin, I simply couldn’t refuse the black forest cake and sour cherry wine.
AN EVENING THAT SURPASSED OUR EXPECTATIONS
Although I am NO wine expert, each wine seemed to pair perfectly with the course. As for the food? I’m a bit more seasoned in that category (in other words, I love to eat). And I have to admit, each course was a culinary masterpiece, from presentation to taste. Chef Mary’s passion and perfectionism translated perfectly to our plates and palettes.
Overhearing (not one but) two people on the way out say that they will be looking into The 408 for their next event proved to me that I wasn’t the only one incredibly impressed with the food, space and service that evening. And, that I better book my event soon. Because the culinary cat’s obviously out the bag.