Wining and dining


The Mrs. and I just finished off another lovely Valentine’s holiday. The romantic fun started on Tuesday last week when we and a handful of other happy couples from Twin Valley Church assembled at Malara’s Italian Restaurant (at my suggestion) for dinner together. We’d discovered this little place a few years ago, and it was a delight to share it with our friends from church and enjoy some homemade pasta together.

I went on a shopping trip or two during the week and assembled a Valentine’s gift basket for Vivian (with an illustrated card, of course) and a bouquet of red roses to surprise her with when I returned home from work on Friday. I even got a small “love bug” pot of flowers for my littlest Valentine, Hannah.

Dining Room at James Arthur VineyardsIMG_4697

On Valentine’s Day, Hannah and Aaron brought a couple Valentine gifts to the grandparents, which included a handmade card with their footprints turned into painted flower petals.

Then Grammy and Pop-Pop came to watch the kids as Vivian and I drove down to Raymond, Nebraska to attend “a chocolate affair winemaker dinner” at James Arthur Vineyards. Vivian had learned about this romantic five-course dinner with wine pairings a year ago, so I made a note to sign us up as early as we had the opportunity (which meant calling the vineyard in January to reserve a spot before the event had even been announced!) It was a tasty affair, to say the least, with Roasted Cauliflower Soup, Chicken Pecan Salad, a roast beef on a baguettea bacon-wrapped filet, and a chocolatey dessert (including a tuxedoed strawberry), each with its own unique wine pairing. We left feeling quite satisfied and ready to come back again next summer perhaps for some live music or a murder mystery.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you were able to enjoy it with someone you love.

“Meet Your Winemaker” Five-Course Dinner
Food by Dinner & Company and wine from James Arthur Vineyards

  1. Soup: Roasted Cauliflower Soup. Paired with Amo Te or Dry Seyval.
  2. Salad: Chicken Pecan Salad with Chocolate BBQ sauce. Paired with Horizon.
  3. Appetizer: Roast Beef with Caramelized Onions & Blue Cheese on a Baguette. Paired with Sweet Charlotte.
  4. Entree: Bacon-wrapped filet with rich balsamic cocoa glaze. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Loaded Baked Potato. Paired with St. Vincent or San Realto.
  5. Dessert: Chocolate TrioChocolate-Dipped Strawberry, Churro with Chocolate Dipping Sauce, Chocolate Truffle Meringues. Paired with Tropasti.

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