BISTREAUX RESTAURANT AT THE MAISON DUPUY NEW ORLEANS FRENCH QUARTER HOSTS SELBY WINES OF SONOMA
NEW ORLEANS WINE AND FOOD EXPERIENCE WINE DINNER BISTREAUX MAISON DUPUY PAIRED WITH SELBY WINERY, HEALDSBURG, SONOMA COUNTY, CA Story and photos by Dwight Cashmere
MAISON DUPUY BISTREAUX RESTAURANT EXECUTIVE CHEF MATT REGAN
SELBY WINEMAKER AND OWNER SUSIE SELBY
(ABOVE AND BELOW) CHEF REGAN'S CUISINE PAIRED WITH SELBY WINES
BISTREAUX RESTAURANT'S BRITTANY POLK SERVES GUEST EDWARD "BUZZ" PALMER
SELBY WINES PAIRED PERFECTLY WITH THE CUISINE OF CHEF MATT REGAN
by Dwight Casimere
Maison Dupuy Executive Chef Matt Regan created an exquisite pairing of Bistreaux Restaurant's superlative cuisine with the exceptional wines of Selby Winery of Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California.
Maison Dupuy is the boutique hotel located in the quaint, residential section of the French Quarter. The locale, brimming over with local history and charm, is quiet, yet just blocks from the bustle of Bourbon Street and within walking distance to all of the major attractions such as Jackson Square and the French Market.
Bistreaux Restaurant is as noted for its cuisine as it is for the murals of famed French artist Toulouse Lautrec that surround the dining room. Chef Regan's distinctive cuisine matches the restaurant's mood of casual elegance, which references the French Quarter's storied past with a modern sensibility.
Selby Winery of Healdsburg is one of the nation's few wholly female-owned and operated wineries. Susie Selby is the sole proprietor and winemaker. Founded in 1994 by she and her late father, Dr. David K. Selby. A modern-day Renaissance man, Dr. Selby was a world-renowned spinal surgeon, sculptor and Vietnam war hero who also was an international traveler. As a child, Susie often accompanied him on his trips, primarily to Europe. There, he introduced her to Old World Wines, for which she developed a life-long affinity.
WINEMAKER AND OWNER SUZIE SELBY AT HOME IN THE WINE CELLAR
Chef Matt Regan comes to the Maison Dupuy with a distinguished background as Head Chef at John Besh's Brasserie Luke, where he served for two years, and prior stints in kitchens at The American Sector, another Besh landmark within the World War II Museum, and Lafayette's Victoria Inn. Chef Regan comes to the world of cuisine from an entirely different arena, the world of music, where he studied Classical Guitar.This summer will mark his second year at the helm of Bistreaux.
The recent addition of the Rampart streetcar line has added to the already steady stream of tourists and locals who have become loyalists to his distinctive culinary style which blends international flavors and elements of the Gulf Coast with a decidedly Southern flair. The complex flavors and textures in the five-course menu, specially created for the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) Wine Dinner Series, paired perfectly with the elegance of Selby's wines. Just as Chef Regan's artistry reflects the flavors of New Orleans and a host of global tastes and aromas, so do Selby wines display an adherence to the singular terroir of Sonoma County. The careful crafting of the wines reflects the best of the Old World, while incorporating the modern viticultural techniques and evolving culinary trends of today.
Both the wines of Susie Selby and the dishes prepared by Chef Regan display a zest for life and the sheer enjoyment of gastronomy. Here are the highlights of their memorable collaboaration during the week of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience.
SUMMER IN A GLASS AND ON THE PLATE
CRISPY OYSTER CORN VELOUTE, HERBSAINT BUTTER
PAIRED WITH SELBY SAUVIGNON BLANC
Chef Regan chose a New Orleans local favorite to pair with this luscious example of the bright fruit and crisp minerality that is so characteristic of the white wines of Sonoma County. This wine paired perfectly with the salinity of the oyster. Just the right amount of acidity in the wine cut through the richness of the butter sauce to give a lasting, pleasurable feel in the mouth. This is a perfect way to start a summertime meal.
BACON WRAPPED RABBIT THIGH FARCI, WHITE BEANS, HEIRLOOM TOMATO VINAIGRETTE
PAIRED WITH SELBY PINOT NOIR
This was by far the star of the show. Perfectly prepared Rabbit with a nice mineral backnote from the beans brought out the delicate floral notes of the Pinot Noir and the rich dark fruit flavors of the wine. The pairing worked perfectly from start to finish.
Mirliton is the unofficial Squash of New Orleans. Also known in the local parlance as chayote, it is also called the "vegetable pear." This member of the gourd family is often served with seafood and shrimp as its natural foil. Once again, this dish exemplified how Chef Regan pays homage to the roots of New Orleans cuisine. This was the perfect example of how down home Creole spice-meets-French-styled elegance. Selby Merlot is perfectly balanced in style with deep, concentrated flavors of dark cherries and notes of nutmeg and clove from careful aging in French oak. The wine has a rich mouth feel and plenty of smoky spice that paired perfectly with the blackened seafood and Cajun-inspired spices on the shrimp. The wine created a sunburst of flavor in the mouth when combined with the seafood and the sensation of a luscious, velvety feeling going down. Five stars for this matchup!
Beef cheeks are perhaps the most underutilized cut of meat, but chefs are wisely discovering its delights. Its bound to be the 'next short rib' on the culinary horizon. Chef Regan wisely incorporated the big, juicy, flavors of robust wild blackberries and raspberries in the wine to create this dish which literally hits you in the nose with its bold flavors. Creole mustard brought out the rich mineral flavors of the beef, which in turn was reflected in the wine. The wine has good acidity which cut right through the fatty, umami texture of the meat creating an entirely pleasurable sensation in the mouth as you savored each and every bite. I would have been perfectly happy with another serving of this fabulous dish that was set off nicely by the chef's original take on Pierogi.
WHITE CHOCOLATE-AVOCADO AND COCONUT SEMI-FREDDO, WITH SMOKED ALMOND-PRETZEL BRITTLE
PAIRED WITH SELBY CHARDONNAY
Selby Chardonnay is in a class by itself. If you love supple, ripe fruit flavors with a touch of toasty oak, this is an outstanding example of a white wine from the Russian River Valley. Chef Regan was wise to create a dessert that took a step back from sugary sweetness with this Italian-inspired dish. Translated from the original Italian, the term "semi-freddo" means semi-frozen. The dish creatively uses as its ingredients White Chocolate-Avocado and Coconut. The Semi Freddo was flavorful, but not overly sweet, which allowed the flavors of the wine to "breath" and expand in the mouth. The dessert was couched with a Smoked Almond-Pretzel Brittle that brought out the wine's exceptional incorporation of oaky spice. Once again, the chef did a nod to local cuisine, the brittle brought a touching reminder of the pralines and other local confections that are made by hand in shops all over New Orleans. It was an exquisite touch that ended the meal on an harmonious note.
Selby Winemaker and Owner Susie Selby is to be commended for her skill at creating wines that are geographically explicit, yet reflective of the meticulous hand of their creator.
Chef Matt Regan and his team at Bistreaux created a symphony of flavors to complement the exceptional wines of Selby Winery of Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California. His creations clearly bear the mark of a culinary Maestro.