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Farm and wine dinner

candle light at pino alto restaurant
candle light at pino alto restaurant
Susanna Gaertner

Pino Alto Restaurant was host to this season's second Farm & Wine Dinner, showcasing produce from Route 1 Farms accompanied by wines from Guglielmo Winery, presented by Greg Richtarek, Director of Marketing. Students from Cabrillo's cooking program plan the menu, prepare, and serve the four-course meal for c. 50 guests in the beautifully appointed Sesnon House main dining hall.

Five appetizers were artfully arranged for guests to enjoy before the meal; the Indian spiced chicken kabob with beets and dandelions were a hit, as were the baked onions with balsamic and dandelions...the dandelion theme was continued in the table decoration. Two wines were poured: a crisp Pinot Grigio and a Syrah from Guglielmo's TRE line.

Once seated, diners enjoyed a kale and artichoke cheese dip, a stand-out of the evening. Our first course of goat cheese and roast beet en croute over dandelion greens was complemented by a ruby-red 2010 Sangiovese, which displayed allspice and stone fruit in good balance and kept its strawberry-scented freshness throughout the meal. It was my personal favorite of the evening.

Diners around me found the kohlrabi and apple salad a bit bland; the almond and honey dijon vinaigrette lacked pep, which could not be said of the snappy Chardonnay served alongside. Coho salmon anchored the main course and a Meyer lemon custard cake rounded out the meal.

Route 1 Farms has grown from half an acre in 1981 to its current 150 acres, with 65 of those on the ocean in Davenport. Owner Jeff Larkey maintains that “soil with high organic matter maintains moisture better and we are all about sustainability: bio-diesel, local compost, solar-powered coolers, reusable containers, and of course fully organic.”

The next Farm and Wine Dinner takes place on May 9th and will feature Fiesta Farms and 37th Parallel Winery. Savannah Chanelle will be the host winery for this season's final event on May 16th.

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