We had the opportunity to dine at The Crow Bar for a special “Made in Mudgee” 4 course wine pairing dinner, organised by Taste.E. A night filled with perfectly executed dishes paired with exquisite wines from Bunnamagoo Estate Wines. For those unfamiliar with Taste.E, they specialise in creating experiences and events where the food is married to either wine, whisky or beer to create an holistic experience for their guests. Running everything from wine dinners, tastings, themed events, private functions and event management.
The Crow Bar is an elegant and stylish restaurant and bar in the heart of Crows Nest’s dining district. It has ambiance and sophistication and yet has a comfortable and casual feel. The perfect destination for that romantic Friday night dinner or just a pit stop after work on a thirsty hump day.
We started the evening with a couple of ‘his and her’ cocktails, care of The Crow Bar. The “Old Fashioned” (whiskey, sugar cube and angostura bitters). Known as a gentleman’s drink, it was delicious in flavour but came with a god almighty power kick! The “Merry Magpie” went down a lot smoother (rose and cucumber infused gin, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh apple, cucumber and lemon). Absolutely delicious.
The Made in Mudgee menu started with “Beetroot Four Ways” consisting of lemon labna, pickled onion and pomegranate molasses dressing. As a beetroot lover, this dish was right up my alley. It tantalized the taste buds – the creamy labna, the tart pickled onion and the sweet pomegranate molasses. A medley of flavours and textures that married beautifully. This was paired with a 2015 Bunnamagoo Rose. What a beautiful wine. Light and fruity with subtle berry notes, it cut through the richness of the labna perfectly and complimented the sharp bite in the pickled onions.
Our second starter was salmon cured in rosemary gin, radish, peas, leeks, fennel and avocado cream. Oh my. The salmon was fresh, firm and meaty with an amazing flavour that could only be attributed to the rosemary gin. The accompanying vegetables were perfectly suited as they were light and full of flavour. A 2015 Bunnamagoo Sauvignon Blanc Semillon was paired with this starter which was a harmonious match. Light, fruity with a delightful aftertaste. Superb.
We were then introduced to the 2010 Bunnamagoo ‘1827’ Cabernet Sauvignon. Bunnamagoo Estate apparently adopted the name “1827” for special releases of their finest wines in commemoration of when their property was settled. Made from hand picked grapes from their own vineyard, this was a smooth red that was very easy to drink. It had some body but was not too heavy, with a fragrant berry note. An excellent glass of vino and the favourite drop of the night.
The 1827 Cab Sav was served with a main course of charred lamb backstrap, celeriac and potato puree, spiced carrots and port jus. The lamb was cooked to absolute perfection. The cut was very lean, very meaty and extremely tender. The port jus was rich and just sweet enough, while the puree was smooth and creamy. The shining star of this dish was without a doubt the perfectly cooked medium rare lamb that paired so well with the Cab Sav. So well in fact, that I may have indulged in a second glass!
The dessert course was a dark chocolate mousse, strawberries, salted honeycomb and olive oil ice cream. Yes! Olive oil! A first for us as well. The olive oil (thankfully!) is quite subtle. You’re really getting the savoury elements of the olive oil. Amazing – and so innovative! The savoury (but still sweet) ice cream married well with the sweeter aspects of the dish, with the freshness of the strawberries cutting through all the richness. The stand out was definitely the ice cream and also the crunchy salted honeycomb. This last course paired with a 2013 Bunnamagoo Autumn Semillon dessert wine. Surprisingly, a dessert wine that wasn’t overly sweet as they often tend to be. A sweetness that complimented the dessert as opposed to overpowering it. The perfect end to a thoroughly enjoyable meal.
The ‘Made in Mudgee’ wine pairing dinner was absolutely lovely. It consisted of a very well thought out menu that optimized the attributes of the accompanying wines, along with faultless execution of amazing dish after dish by the very talented chef Anna Borna. All within the backdrop of a casual, comfortable yet upmarket bar on the north shore. Guests left with a satiated smile on their faces. A mark of a successful event
The Crow Bar
6 Burlington Street,
Crows Nest, NSW, 2065
Contributed by Susan, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys