Each month, Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse, located minutes away from Disney/Universal at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, (formerly The Peabody Orlando) hosts a wine-dinner with a four-course menu. Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing Chef James Stafford exquisite culinary creations paired with Merryvale Vineyards.
The first winery built in Napa Valley following the repeal of Prohibition, Merryvale is located in the heart of America’s premier wine region, Napa. Where sustainable winemaking thrives in the care of the Schlatter family, along with Winemakers Sean Foster, Jeff Crawford and Simon Faury. Starmont is Merryale’s vision for a state-of-the-art, solar powered winery dedicated to producing exceptional Napa Valley varietal wines and proudly boast the accolade of being Certified Napa Green.
Without further adieu, I present to you Fiorenzo’s Wine Dinner. These mouth-watering photographs are courtesy of the talented Bokeh Studio. Our luxurious evening commenced with Starmont Sauvignon Blanc paired with Yellow Beets, Creme Fraiche, Green Apple Fennel on Whole Grain Crostini.
First Course: Starmont Chardonnay paired with Crispy Duck Breast, Kale, White Asparagus, Pecorino, Pistachio, Pluots. Immaculately cooked duck fared seamlessly with the rich mouth feel and long finish of the lively chardonnay. White asparagus and kale are always a welcoming treat, rendering textural interplay to the dish.
Second Course: Goat Cheese Agnolotti, Butternut Squash, Toasted Hazelnuts, Tat Soi paired with Merryvale Pinot Noir. One word – Stunning! Hand-made pillow filled with creamy goat cheese, slathered with sublime sweet butternut squash, this dish paired brilliantly with the sensual berry flavors of the pinot noir. To be honest, I won’t mind taking a bath in the butternut squash puree – it was so GOOD!!
Third Course: Dry Rubbed Smoked Veal Breast, Rice Beans, Escarole, Rich Tomato Broth paired with Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon. The richness of the veal embodied the richness and complexity of the noble Cabernet Sauvignon. The smoked spices uplifted the dark berry flavors and aromas of the bold Cabernet. This dish truly demonstrated the culinary expertise of the chefs. BRAVO!!
Fourth Course: Roasted Hazelnut Torte, Praline Cream, Sauteed Apricots paired with Merryvale Antigua Muscat. Crunchy hazelnut torte sandwiched between a delectable praline cream – it was indeed a magnificent finale to our luxurious wine dinner at Fiorenzo. The nutty nuances of Merryvale’s Muscat de Frontignan dessert wine highlighted the caramel and sweet notes of the praline cream, enhancing the overall hazelnut flavor. Mille grazie (thousand thanks) to everyone including Chef Stafford, Merryvale Vineyards and the attentive staff at Fiorenzo for orchestrating this delightful event. I whole heartedly agree with the Italians: Wine and Bread are as essential to an Italian dinner as a fork and knife (if not more). Along with olive oil they make “Santa Trinita Mediterranea” – the Mediterranean Holy Trinity. Chef James Stafford completely dazzled me with his luscious creations showcasing the best of both worlds by creating an ideal marriage of classic and nouveau cuisine. PS: Fiorenzo Steakhouse is participating in Magical Dining – So you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to experience fine dining. Click HERE for their menu and reservations.