Hi y’all! We’re doing something a little bit different here today. I inadvertently found the mothership a couple of months ago. Real live awesome food, travel, and lifestyle (and some other topics) bloggers here in my home city of Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Food Bloggers! You have no idea how excited I was to discover that I was not alone, floating around the interwebs. I tend to live in a vacuum (under a rock) and these wonderful new friends are totally pulling me out from my job and from behind my computer!
I have been lucky enough to participate in several events, “Eat Ups,” and informational/educational programs that the Charlotte Food Bloggers have arranged, coordinated, and sponsored. This week I was honored to be part of a wine pairing and dinner at Corkbuzz. I cannot even begin to tell you what an amazing experience this was. It was so fantastic I’m going to share it with you!
We arrived and were greeted with a delicious and fancy pants cocktail that was a take on the Negroni. It was made with a white vermouth, white wine, and gin with a lemon peel twist. Whoa! It was so herbaceous and refreshing!
After gathering at the bar, we were escorted into our dining room and introduced to one of the two co-owners, Frank Vafier. He was enjoying a glass of wine and told us about his business partner, Laura Maniec, who is a Master Sommelier. Frank also shared their business philosophy. This is a place where you can totally be yourself, learn about wine from an unpretentious and friendly staff, and enjoy some seriously creative, impressive, and fantastic food. This is a restaurant that not only has an excellent wine selection with people who can educate you, but this is a restaurant that is right up there with the Charlotte epic establishments. No joke. Check it out.
Here is where I should have taken a photo of the beautiful table that was set for us in our own personal dining room. Sadly, I did not. It was a cozy and inviting room that can be reserved for up to 20 people for any special occasion and/or wine pairing. I’m envisioning my next birthday party. Seriously.
On with it Rach –
We had one food menu with 5 courses. I KNOW!
We had a second menu with the same courses, but with exciting and experimental wine and/or beer pairings.
Our first course was a trio:
Scallop Noodles with apple, mint, jalapeno, and preserved lemon.
Fried Oysters with caviar, cucumber, creme fraiche
Pickled Shrimp with sea beans and smoked ricotta. Whoa! That ricotta is made in house and is to die for.
For this course we had one wine that was absolutely out of this world. Man o’ War Sauvigon Blanc ’14 from Waheke Island, New Zeland. We also had beer pairings for each of the three first course creations – Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Briney Melon Gose – California, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Hornet’s Nest Hefeweizen – North Carolina (Charlotte and right up the street from me!), Benford Brewing Co. World’s Problem Solver America IPA – South Carolina.
The second course was Veal Tartare with fermented cabbage, turnip, quail egg, and cheddar chips. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that raw meat is totally not my jam, but this was really an interesting and delicious combination even if the texture is not something familiar. I really liked the quail egg on top and the cheddar chips were amaze-balls.
This course was served with Grangeneuve les Dames Blances du Sud ’14 – Gringnan-les-Adhemar, France (right?!) and Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Rubentis ’15 – Getaria, Spain. (again! right?!)
By now, you can imagine that we were having a pretty great time. It’s true. We were. And we moved on to the third course.
Corvina Sea Bass with braised radishes, fiddlehead ferns. I do love me some sea bass and this was cooked perfectly. It was absolutely delicious and I think my favorite on the whole menu. I’ll be honest. I had never had a fiddlehead fern before now. LOVED.
They came in with Cordero di Montezemolo Arneis ’14 – Langhe, Italy for the traditional wine on this one, but broke out the Kurt Darting Pinot Meunier Trocken ’13 – Pfatz, Germany as the rouge match up. They were both absolutely delicious and I really loved the walk on the wild side with the red aside a fish dish.
You can imagine that by now I’m getting pretty full. And they brought out the Confit Pork Belly with pork tenderloin, nduja, roasted broccoli, gnocchi, and parmesan consomme. What?!?!
And the consomme. I took an action shot for you.
I think I was too busy eating this masterpiece and enjoying wine to take any pictures of the wine. Oops.
Then there was dessert. Like I needed that?!?! Our fifth course was Avonlea Cloth Bound Cheddar, blueberries, strawberry jam on rosemary toast. And that little cloud looking thing? Tasted like cotton candy. Whaaaaat?
And this one the objective was to have some leftover red wine from your last course to carry over to the dessert. I’m not saying whether or not we actually had leftover wine or needed refills…..
Yes, that is the same photo, but I want you to see that there was also beer. It was a (13% whoa!) La Perle Mondiale Strong Ale – Belgium. And it was amazing.
Everything I ate and drank at Corkbuzz was absolutely delicious and the creativity there is so impressive! I’m going to give a FULL DISCLOSURE HERE and tell you that everything I experienced at Corkbuzz was complimentary, no one asked me to write about this, and my opinions are all my own. Thank you, Corkbuzz. I had a wonderful time!
Having said that, Corkbuzz is your perfect place for a special occasion, date night dinner, or just because place because you want some fancy pants wine and food pairing without anyone looking down his nose at you. Do it!
I would also like to thank the Charlotte Food Bloggers for inviting me to participate in this epic event. A special thanks to LeAndra Spicer from Love & Flour for making this happen. I loved hanging with my Charlotte Food Blogger friends:
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
As if I wasn’t craving wine enough already, I am seriously craving it now. I would love to learn more about food and wine pairings, as I am pretty clueless when it comes to that kind of stuff.
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
What a fun experience, Rachelle! That’s so nice that you got to meet some food bloggers in your area. Isn’t that amazing? I went to a food blogging conference a few weeks ago and was able to meet some wonderful bloggers that I’ve been talking to for the past two years, so I love getting together with people that actually understand what I do for a living! 🙂 Sounds like you ate some delicious food!
David @ Spiced
Wow! What an awesome night, Rachelle! You’re lucky that the Charlotte Food Bloggers group is so well organized. 🙂 Yet another reason I need to move back south. (I’ve been eyeing up Asheville or the NC mountains…although I’m sure it’ll be a while. There’s that whole problem of Laura finding a job in that area.) Anyways, I clearly need to put this restaurant on my list if and when I make it to Charlotte again! (They have a curling club down there now…so maybe…)
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food
What an awesome evening, Rachelle! That food looks unbelievably amazing!! And so great that you got to me some fellow food bloggers!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Okay it’s official. I NEED to crash one of the CFB parties! It looks worth the hour drive… but I’ll need to crash at your place, because after all that food and wine I’ll be beat! 😉 Corkbuzz looks like a fabulous place and one I’m penciling in on my list of to-do’s when I finally make it your way!! Which I PROMISE will be soon!! Glad you had an awesome time, Rach! Thanks for sharing it with us… and making me jealous. hahaha! Cheers, girlfriend!
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom
Wow! What an amazing night! And that’s so awesome you got to meet some other local bloggers – sounds like a fun group! I could see doing that every month. Cheers girlie 😉
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
Woah! What a beautiful night, Rachellle. I have never been to any food blogging conference or a meet. That local bloggers meet sounds like the best idea ever. I want all that food and and wine! 🙂
What incredible food and company! Looks like you had a beautiful night!
All I can say is WOW! By the time I got to the end of your post I was full! I really need to plan a trip down south and hopefully have some fun with all you awesome Charlotte Bloggers!!
Aaw yay! That is awesome that there are so many local food bloggers! It sounds like such a fun evening and all the food looks amazing!
Food blogging is amazing! So glad you had fun there! Thanks for sharing the details from this great night!
Sarah @ BucketListTummy
Oh my, I was envisioning my birthday there too! There private rooms are perfect for events! I’m usually not a raw meat gal either, but their tartare had me stopping in my tracks. I think I like it now! Great review 🙂
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
How fun! What a wonderful opportunity to get together with other bloggers and feast on fine food and wine!
Woah! looks like a big party!
karrie @ Tasty Ever After
Why can’t I live in Charlotte?? That menu is to die for! I’m super jelly over here 😉
Vicky & Ruth- May I Have That Recipe
Wow! This looks like such a great event! Thanks for sharing the event with us 🙂