It’s very rare that I will go out to eat for Valentine’s Day. It’s one of the big dining days I generally try to avoid and opt to stay at home for dinner. This year we did our date night dinner a few days before at YaYa’s Euro Bistro. They recently hired a new Executive Chef David Wooding Jr. and had a special event called the Justin Wine Dinner.

The evening consisted of a four-course meal each paired with a wine from Justin Vineyards & Winery.

Here’s a look at our wine dinner experience with YaYa’s Euro Bistro. Don’t expect too much commentary on the wine. I’m such a newbie when it comes to wine and literally just drink whatever is put in front of me.

When we arrived, we were greeted near the entrance and handed a glass of Justin Sauvignon Blanc.

Upon arriving at our table, the Justin Sauvignon Blanc was paired with a gulf oyster shooter with bloody mary granita and a foie gras PB&J.

I love a good oyster shooter and could knock down dozens of them.

At our table, two more glasses of wine were then served: a Justin Rosé and a Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

The Justin Rosé was paired a beet cured salmon belly and an amuse that consisted of a smoked salmon mousse, beet isomalt tuile, buttermilk/horseradish gel, tart apple gel, mizuna and royal osetra.

For starters, the Rosé was our favorite wine of the night. So much, we ended up purchasing two bottles of it. The wine I’m told was a smooth, warmer, sweet wine. I thought it went amazing with our salmon belly and amuse. It really changed the flavor profile with each sip.

I actually dislike beets, but this course was out of this world. There was still a slight beet taste that wasn’t so overpowering. The smoked salmon mousse gave it a subtle smoky aftertaste my taste buds loved. I was quite impressed with the creativity and usage of an ingredient I’m not particularly fond of.

The Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 was paired with a Muscovy duck. The duck was stuffed with some sort of parsnip puree and wrapped with a guanciale. Then it was all placed on top of a sweet potato and crème fraiche. Once again we loved it. We actually spent some time googling some of the ingredients to educate ourselves on it and even asked the chef and server a few questions. It was a pretty cool education lesson on dishes we haven’t had before.

Up next, we were given two glasses of wine: a Justin Justification 2016 and a Justin Isosceles 2017 which was paired with Australian Wagyu.

The Wagyu was placed over white asparagus and served with a small side of plum and hazelnut cream. I’m not sure what we loved more the cured salmon belly or the Wagyu which had a nice fatty and tender bite to it. It was so smooth going down as was the Isosceles wine it was paired with.

Our evening ended with a passion fruit crème brûlée which was unlike most others we’ve had around town. It was served with chocolate surrounding the dish. The dessert had a tart and sweet flavor to it with a pudding-like texture. When it comes to dessert, I prefer tarty tasting things than the rich chocolate type, so this was right up my alley.

We walked away extremely impressed with the wine dinner. It’s not something I’ve seen much of in town over the past year with everything going on. This was a nice one night getaway for the both of us to have a date night and not have to worry about deciding what to eat or drink. Sometimes it’s great to walk into a restaurant and have everything decided for you. I love these types of dinners and wish more places offered them.

I was told that YaYa’s will likely be doing more of these special dinners in the future so be on the lookout for them on their webpage or Facebook page.

Happy Dining,
Eddy


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