Blue Collar: Five Wines, Five Plates, Five States

The setting is Blue Collar restaurant, the date is June 27, the time is 7 p.m., the price is $85, and the idea is this: A five-course dinner with each dish pegged to a particular state and paired with a wine from the same area. Chef Danny Serfer is taking care of the cuisine, and master sommelier Allegra Angelo is selecting the wines.

The first course, for instance, is huevos rancheros from New Mexico. This particular rendition will bring a green chile poached egg, pinto stew, game sausage and fry bread. A New Mexico Sparkling "Blanc de Noirs" by Gruet will be poured. Other featured states are Washington, Oregon, New York and Virginia.

"Why these particular states?," I asked Serfer.

"Because they are producing great wines," he said. "Everyone already knows that California has amazing wine, so we wanted to showcase some other states with notable wines that people might not be aware of."

My other question regarded the chocolate egg cream sauce he's pairing with corned beef hash, but we'll get to that in a moment.

There will be another regional element involved in this dinner: Each course will be accompanied by music from bands native to the states being represented. One can only pray that the New Mexico course won't bring a mariachi band.

The second course comes from Washington: Dungeness crab cake with roasted fiddlehead ferns and Macintosh apple butter. This sounds great; fddleheads are in season now. The wine is a 2011 Washington State Riesling "Kung Fu Girl" by Charles Smith. Presumably it's not too serious a wine.

Third course, from Oregon, also sounds delicious: Miner's lettuce salad with pickled mushrooms, huckleberries, "hipster charcuterie" and Verjus vinaigrette. The wine is Oregon Pino Noir by A to Z (2010). It's the fourth course that sounds a bit trippy.

From New York, a "Manhattan cut strip" with corned beef hash and chocolate egg cream sauce. My question: "Huh?" Serfer's reply: "I chose to do an egg cream sauce because an egg cream is so New York. I felt it really tied the dish together and gave it a nice salty and sweet flavor, which I love."

Sounds like one of those dishes you have to try before passing judgement. What wine pairs well with beef, corned beef, and chocolate egg cream? Long Island Merlot Blend "Famiglia" by Mattebella Vineyards. But you knew that.

Virginia spoon bread is the dessert, with baked plums, Ranier Cherry Gastrique, and a Virginia Petit Manseng 2011 by Lovingston.

It all sounds pretty tasty and unique. It's one night only, and Blue Collar is not a large place, so if you're interested you might want to reserve now by calling 305-756-0366 (an RSVP is required by June 24).

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