DINE WITH DOS HERMANOS: VIVA VINOTECA
Well, it hardly seems like it, but it was a little over three years ago that, one Sunday afternoon after a large rib of beef, a bottle of something red and a few too many Yorkshire’s, I turned to HP and said “I am going to start a blog” and DOS HERMANOS was born.
It took HP a few months to get his head around it and begin posting, but once he did, after a meal at The Anchor & Hope, there was no stopping him. Here we are with well over 700 posts behind us and a readership that has grown from the 10’s a day to the 00’s a day and now, god bless ‘em to a few thousand souls every day who seem to have a bizarre and slightly scary interest in what we are shoving down our throats and what we think about it.
Well, in celebration, it would have been good to invite the whole readership (freaks excluded, of course) to join us for a meal. But, instead, we decided on the relatively more exclusive environs of the private dining room of the splendid Vinoteca, where Caitlin Ferguson, Head Chef Ross Goodall and the fantastic chefs went far out of the way to make it a special evening for thirty lucky people.
First up, a wine tasting courtesy of Casa Leal, importers of some really delicious wines from Portugal. They had kindly agreed to provide the wines for the event for which I know everyone was very, very grateful.
Then to the food itself with a splendid selection of shared starters including platters of cured meat, tea smoked duck, blood orange salads and, for me at least, best of all deep fried squid with harrisa.
Main courses provided a choice of belly pork with a crisp cracking and a clove rich apple sauce, a deep and rich mutton pie and large chunks of achingly fresh Pollack on lentils all of which received rave reviews from their various recipients.
Vinoteca were kind enough to include a complimentary cheese course, which came in the form of a slice of nettle crusted Mayfield cheese with some splendid house made oatcakes.
We then turned our attention to drawing lots for a selection of prizes, which ranged from the very first copy of EAT MY GLOBE hot off the presses, to a selection of chocolates from Paul A Young and brownies from Petra of Choc star, to a superb hamper of gold star winners from The Real Food Festival. All very much appreciated.
Pre-dessert came courtesy of Henrietta Lovell at The Rare Tea Company where a perfect parfait was accompanied by a glass of smoky oolong (er, I think. I was in my cups by then) and then desserts arrived where the choice was rice pudding oven baked in Vin Santo, buttermilk sponge with forced rhubarb and brownie ice cream.
As if that were not enough, we were able to make sure that no one, not even those who came up blank in the prize draw, left empty handed. Over the last few weeks, I had been in touch with a few chums in the food world to beg for some goodies to place in the bags and have to tip my cap to the good folks at
Gonzalez Byass for their hugely generous supply of bottles of Oloroso
Biona Pomegranate Juice
Trees Can’t Dance
Galaxy Hot Chocolate
Everyone appreciated your generosity very much indeed.
Given the success of the evening, HP and I have decided that we should lend the DH name to a few more such shindigs along the way and we have started a
DINE WITH DOS HERMANOS group on Facebook, where we will announce all future events.
So, if you want to come along, head over there and join up.