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Buck's T-4

Personal Wine Dinner Sunday-Saturday Next Week

3 Courses With 3 Wines, $39

For our last week of the 2010-2011 ski season, Chuck and Bibber have created another mouth-watering menu for your dining pleasure, and I've selected wines to match. This week's selections riff on a spring theme, beginning with a salad showcasing fresh flavors of cucumber, citrus and mint paired with a Dry Creek Chardonnay from an old student of our longtime friend (and my former employer) Jed Steele. Next we move to Washington, where we pair the star-crossed syrah-based Syzygy wine with a hearty seafood cioppino, or grilled bison with Bibber's new "Montana Risotto". We've been tweaking the risotto this week in the Dining Room to resounding acclaim. Finally, we look again to Washington to a classic strawberry rhubarb dish from Chuck's childhood paired with a Walla Walla classic winery and their eclectic white blend.

 

The dinner is available from 6:00-9:00, Sunday, April 3-Saturday, April 9. Call for reservations at 995-4111 and be sure to let us know you want the Personal Wine Dinner. Please note, April 9 is the last night the restaurants at Buck's will be open until May 6.

 

1st course

Wild baby arugula and cucumber salad, citrus and mint chick pea cake, vanilla bean vinaigrette

Handley Chardonnay, Dry Creek, 2006

 

2nd course

Sea scallop, shrimp, calamari in a roasted tomato saffron cioppino, warm baguette, truffle aioli

 

Or

 

Char-grilled Bison tenderloin, pistachio gorgonzola compound butter, Montana risotto with locally grown barley, kamut, oyster mushroom, leeks.

Syzygy Red Blend, Columbia Valley, 2007

 

3rd course

"Rhubarb Strudel"

Grandma Mary’s rhubarb cake wrapped in cinnamon phyllo; frozen strawberry mascarpone mousse

White Blend "Melange Blanc", Waterbrook, 2007

The Wines

For the first course, our spring fever somes through. Bibber pairs the classic chardonnay flavors in the Handley with bright arugula, citrus and mint with complex vanilla in the dressing. Milla Handley was an early student of Big Sky favorite Jed Steele during his tenure at Mendocino's Edmeades. While working for Jed, I really became a Mendocino convert. These too-often undersung wines are truly stellar, and the Handley is no exception.

 

It doesn't take a close inspection of our wine list to see that I love Washington wines. Syzygy is a fairly new entrant to the Columbia Valley scene, and the wines don't dissapoint. Zach Brettler, winery founder and owner, used an astronomical theme in the name; Syzygy refers to the alignment of three clestial bodies, such as a total solar eclipse. The Syzygy Red is a blend of Syrah, Cab, Merlot and Malbec and helps us accentuate the classic cioppino flavors as well as the grilled bison. Bibber's been working up a "Montana Risotto" which showcases Montana's Kamut wheat with his own twist. We've been playing wih it this week on specials and the response has been clean plates all around.  You can be sure that this will find a place on the new summer menu.

 

 

So many chefs and restaurants today are working wonders by combining old-school comfort food with classic culinary technique. For my money, Chuck Schommer wrote that book. His mom's cooking was a huge influence on his culinary style, and this course brings "Grandma Mary's" rhubarb cake to the table with Chuck's own influence woven in. He adds phyllo and a frozen strawberry mousse to end the meal with a blissful fruity richness.

 

Waterbrook was the fourth bonded winery in the Walla Walla AVA, an appelation that today sports over 100 wineries. The Melange Blanc combines seven landmark white varietals to bring forth a wine that's fruity yet crisp, with notes of tropical fruit and honey that backdrop the rhubarb cake nicely.

 

We thank you for being our guests. I hope you can find a chance to come in next week and enjoy Bibber's handiwork.

 

David O'Connor (DOC)

Managing Partner and Wine Director

Buck's T-4 • PO Box 160279 • Big Sky • MT • 59716

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