Freeman WineryWe welcome Ken Freeman to The Carlton on Friday, November 6 to introduce his prestigious small production Russian River Valley Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs to a Pittsburgh audience!  Ken has enjoyed a super successful career in business, but was able to realize a dream when he and his wife purchased a small Russian River Valley winery in 2001.  Today, his exclusive and highly rated wines are found at the finest restaurants and he has been heralded as one of the top Pinot Noir producers in the world!

Here’s the menu:

“FREEMAN WINERY” WINE DINNER
Friday, November 6, 2009 – 6:30 p.m.

With Ken Freeman
Culinary selections by Executive Chef Mark Swomley
$109 per person excluding gratuity

FREEMAN RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY RYO-FU CHARDONNAY’06

HONEY GLAZED SALMON
With creamy Leeks, whipped Carrots, Apple Butter & fresh Thyme

FREEMAN SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR’06

ROAST GAME HEN
With Butternut Squash Ravioli, sautéed Pearl Onions, Veloute and crisp Arugula

FREEMAN RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR’06

CHILLED PEPPER CRUSTED TUNA
Seared rare and served with Basmati, Pickled Ginger and Mango Vinaigrette

FREEMAN RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY “KEEFER RANCH”’07

PLUM & WASABI ROAST DUCK
With Scallion Pancake, dark Soy Glaze & Lemon Daikon Salad

ROYAL TOKAJI “FIVE PETUNAS”’03

BANANA CASHEW WONTON

Bodega Benegas Wine DinnerVintage Import’s Lee Kuehn presents the Bodega Benegas Wines from Argentina on Friday, October 30 at The Carlton Restaurant!  Argentinian wines captured the attention of Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker in his August 2009 cover story!  He hailed the value and strength of these offerings and singled out the Bodega Benegas wines by giving 7 of their offerings scores of greater than 90 points!  Come sample two Malbecs and some wonderfully blended reds paired with great cuisine!

Here’s the menu:

“BODEGA BENEGAS” WINE DINNER
Friday, October 30, 2009 – 6:30 p.m.

With Vintage Import’s Lee Kuehn
Culinary offerings by Mark Swomley
$89 per person – excluding Taxes & Gratuity

CLARA BENEGAS CHARDONNAY’07

CHILLED SHRIMP & CLAM SALAD
Served in crisp Phyllo with Macadamia Slaw,
Champagne Vinaigrette and Citrus Zest

DON TIBURCIO’05

BEEF CARPACCIO PINWHEEL
Beef Carpaccio rolled with fresh Mozzarella, Red Pepper Pesto, Olives and Spinach.
Served with Balsamic Vinaigrette, chopped Egg and Smoked Sea Salt

JUAN BENEGAS MALBEC’06
BENEGAS “ESTATE” MALBEC’06

VEAL ROULADE
Roasted with Shiitake Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Pine Nuts, grated Asiago.
Served with Herb Pilaf, Roast Tomato Cream and Micro Herbs.

BENEGAS ESTATE FINCA LIBERTAD’05
BENEGAS LYNCH MERITAGE’05

FILET MIGNON
Served with Horseradish crushed Potatoes, grilled Vegetables,
Roast Garlic Butter and Blue Cheese

d’ARENBERG CHARDONNAY-SEMILLON “THE NOBLE”’06

GRILLED PEAR “SHORTCAKE”
With toasted Macadamia and Raspberry Drizzle

Gary Eberle, Eberle Wine DinnerWe welcome back native Gary Eberle,  of Eberle Winery, to Pittsburgh on Monday, October 12 to savor the wonderful wines from his Paso Robles vineyard!  After Gary finished playing college football at Penn State in the 60’s he went on to LSU where he studied cellular genetics and then to U.C. Davis for work on a enology doctorate.  After co-founding Estrella River Winery (now Meridian), Gary decided to produce premium, small production wines in Paso Robles.  He began his own label with the release of the 1979 Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon.  Please join us in saluting the success of one of our own and I guarantee you will leave a big fan of Eberle!

Here’s the menu:

“EBERLE WINERY” WINE DINNER
Monday, October 12, 2009 – 6:30 p.m.

With Gary Eberle – Proprietor
Culinary offerings by Mark Swomley
$99 per person – excluding Taxes & Gratuity

EBERLE COTES du ROBLES BLANC’08

ALMOND CRUSTED SEA BASS
Oven roasted and served with Mixed Grain-Cranberry Risotto and Citrus Cream

EBERLE CHARDONNAY’08

ROAST LOBSTER TAIL
Served with Brie Risotto, French Beans,
Three Tomato Tartar, Crab Relish and Beurre Blanc

EBERLE ZINFANDEL’06

BRAISED SHORT RIBS
Tender slowly braised Short Ribs in Pastry with Caramelized Onions, Pancetta,
Roast Peppers, Boursin Cheese, Pan Jus Reduction and Herb Butter.

EBERLE “ESTATE” CABERNET SAUVIGNON’05

TENDERLOIN OF BEEF
Served with Fingerling-Vegetable Hash, Saga Blue Cheese Cream,
shaved Truffle and Cabernet Demi-Glace

EBERLE MUSCAT CANELLI’08

WARM APPLE NAPOLEON

zinfandelZinfandel first appeared in the United States in the 1820s when Long Island nursery owner George Gibbs imported several grape vines from the Imperial collection in Vienna. One of the vines was Zinfandel. (The current thinking is that Zinfandel originated in Croatia where it is called Plavac Mali.) In the 1850s, Zinfandel made its way to California.

Source: http://www.beekmanwine.com/factsquotes.htm

TutankhamunIt is said that the first evidence of white wine in ancient Egypt is from Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Wine has been considered to be mainly red in ancient Egypt linked with the blood of Osiris, the God of resurrection. No text that refers to white wines from the Dynastic Period (3150-332 BC) exists. The first white wine from ancient Egypt was made near Alexandria during the third century AD. To investigate the presence of white wine in ancient Egypt, dry residue samples from King Tutankhamun’s amphorae were studied. This investigation into the existence of white wines in Tutankhamun’s tomb shed new light on the symbolism of white wine in ancient Egypt.

Reference: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17816727

Iron Horse WineryCEO Joy Sterling presents the wonderful offerings from Iron Horse Winery at The Carlton on Thursday, October 8.  One of Sonoma County’s most prestigious, small independent family owned wineries, Iron Horse was founded by Audrey and Barry Sterling in 1975.  Iron Horse had their award winning sparkling wines served at the White House in five consecutive presidential administrations!   In addition to highly rated wines and well paired cuisine, you will enjoy our charming host!  Joy is Yale educated, a former ABC correspondent and has authored four books!  As a second generation owner, she is taking Iron Horse to new heights!

Here’s the Menu:

“IRON HORSE VINEYARDS” WINE DINNER
Thursday, October 8, 2009 – 6:30 p.m.

With Iron Horse Vineyards CEO – Joy Sterling
Culinary offerings by Mark Swomley
$99 per person excluding Tax & Gratuity

IRON HORSE WEDDING CUVEE “BLANC DE NOIR”’05

SHELLFISH STEW
Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Oysters and Mussels in a rich Tomato Cream with sautéed
Ricotta Gnocchi, Red Pepper Coulis and Spinach Chiffonade

IRON HORSE “UNOAKED” CHARDONNAY’07
IRON HORSE “ESTATE” CHARDONNAY’08

SEARED SCALLOP
Served over Brioche Crostini with Smoked Cheddar Orzo,
Sun-dried Tomato Butter and Yukon Gold Gaufrette

IRON HORSE “ESTATE” PINOT NOIR’06

RACK OF LAMB
Served with a Wild Mushroom & Onion Risotto Cake, Bacon-Spinach Sauté,
Cabernet Demi-Glace & Roast Garlic Mousse

IRON HORSE T-BAR-T BdX3’05

VENISON LOIN
Served with Sausage-Fennel Ragout, Roast Corn Butter,
Bourbon Glaze and crisp Onion Straws

IRON HORSE CLASSIC VINTAGE BRUT’04

LEMON TART
With fresh Berries

Pittsburgh Business RadioI am trying my hand as a radio talk show host for the first time next Wednesday (Sept. 23) from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.  on Pittsburgh Business Radio, 1360 AM.  Just as there are many folks that think they could be successful restaurateurs, I have always wondered what it would be like to be the guy asking the questions on a radio talk show!  I am looking forward to this trial run fully cognizant that I could easily fail!

We will be talking about next week’s G-20 Summit and will interview Auditor General Jack Wagner and perhaps other distinguished Western Pennsylvanians that would like to be PA’s Governor in 2010.  Please tune in if you are near a radio or computer!