Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of dining at Namu Gaji for a private Veuve Clicquot tasting. It was an evening filled with Clicquot-yellow and lots and lots of bubbly! Veuve Clicquot Champagne Specialist, Francois Hurtel hosted the tasting and walked us through four rare vintages including a Vintage Blanc 2004, Non-Vintage Rosé, Vintage Rosé 2004, and Clicquot Demi-Sec. It was such a treat to take part in such a memorable evening. Prior to the event, Namu Gaji was on my foodie list of places to try out, so I was ecstatic to finally cross that one off the list. Okay, but enough small talk - let's get to the food, shall we?
iPhone photos by moi; all other photos by: Drew Altizer
Before we were all seated for dinner, we were greeted by flutes of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and small bites. Succulents and Clicquot-yellow dahlias filled the room and perfectly complemented the Clicquot bottles that were placed all around the restaurant. Plates of oysters and salmon roe kept us busy until the real deal came out. Shortly after finishing up our flutes, we were seated at a beautifully decorated long wooden communal table. I found my seat and quickly started debating my options for dinner.
I started with an albacore and compressed watermelon, tamari and basil dish, which was incredibly delicious. The locally sourced albacore was fresh and practically melted in my mouth. The albacore was paired with Clicquot Vintage Blanc 2004.
Following the albacore, I had uni on a grilled lavash crackers, with pistou, egg white foam, and citrus. It was my second time having uni (remember the first time?) and it was amazing. The egg white foam and citrus complemented the sweet uni taste. The second course was paired with Non-Vintage Rosé.
The third course was my absolute favorite. I almost went with the dry boat scallop and cured salmon dish, but my server encouraged me to try the pork to balance out all the seafood from my first and second courses, and I'm so happy she did. The smoked pork loin chop was made with poha berries and miso glaze, topped with grilled peaches. The pork was incredibly soft and flavorful. This dish was paired with the Vintage Rosé 2004.
Finally, we ended the evening with a peach tart, topped with basil ice cream, and flutes of Veuve Cliquot Demi-Sec. An amazingly delicious sweet treat - and by far, my favorite bubbly of the evening.
A big thank you to the Veuve Cliquot team and Namu Gaji for their hospitality. Such a wonderful evening filled with great food, great bubbly, and great conversation.