Pasta ?? - Risotto ?? - it didn't take long - the Arborio rice won - Montebello owner Joe Bozic prepped it at the table - so formal - so old world - so wonderful - gingerly taking the physically ugly white truffle from its glass container where it had rested on its own bed of rice - out came the truffle shaver - perhaps the least frequently used tool in the entire kitchen arsenal - one stroke - two strokes - then many more - shavings fell on each individually receptive risotto serving- the aroma was immediate - subtle but firm - the taste - delicious - the treat - the thrill - well - you had to have been there - it was amazing -
The wait staff had a little trouble opening the Margaux - at one point our host jumping up to assist - i.e. - prevent disaster - eventually succeeding in getting cork out - a glass for each (6) - the tannins were all gone - one vote for just in time - there was an ever so slight bite - my knee jerk was another year or two (see next paragraph) - but the fruit was just right - who's to be picky - this bottle is why people drink french wine with food - thank you Jay -
The very deep colour, the rich, intense nose and the magnificent structure on the palate are very reminiscent of the 1986. They have the same powerful, ripe tannins, with perhaps a little less concentration, but also less austerity. Unlike 1986, in fact, 1988 is starting to open out; we can therefore drink it, knowing full well that it will continue to improve for several years - seven or eight at least. (Winemaker Notes - November 2006)
White Truffles and Margaux '88 - perfect - who could want more ...........
The second course -
White Truffles shaved over Veal Scaloppini in a light butter sauce - beyond the Risotto - for me - this was WOW -
Wine for the second course - Cannubi - Marchesi Di Barolo - 03 - big - rich - massively fragrant - this white truffles pushed - the Barolo pushed back - this is the other side of Margaux et al - a great Italian contrast in styles - it balanced the evening -
A last food note - which actually came first - fresh buffalo mozzarella with roasted red bell peppers and tomato - imported by the restaurant from Naples - this was the lightest - most "melt in your mouth" mozzarella I had ever experienced - alone - worth a revisit without truffles as the lead in -
We packed it in several hours after we started - this was a meal - not to be rushed - capped it with a splash of liquor - Cognac - Grappa - Sambucca - a cleansing Espresso .........
Thank you - Jay and Deb -