Last night, Stephanie and I had the pleasure of getting to attend a wine dinner with our dear friends, The Lowders, at Carrabba’s in Winston-Salem. It was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. Of course, the moon landing was the goal of that mission and it was successful.
The best part was afterward when several of the diners including Stephanie and me, went out with the Astronomy Club and Proprietario of Carrabba’s WS, my friend Daniel Butner, to see extraplanetary and celestial wonders like Saturn, Jupiter (and several of its moons), and our Moon through some cool telescopes. And the kicker? The International Space Station passed by around 9:37 pm or so.
Daniel, a repeat guest on our podcast, is a huge space buff and the fact that the whole of Carrabba’s (nationwide) was doing these dinners across the country was like a dream come true for him. “You mean I get to participate in two of my passions (the restaurant and space) at once?” he asked. Sign him up!
But, this is a food blog, so let’s talk about the dinner, shall we?
First Course: Calabrian Roasted Wings paired with Blue Moon Wheat.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wings? Beer? At Carrabba’s? Well, that question isn’t too far-fetched. I believe Daniel questioned it, too, but he, like everyone else, totally understood as soon as we tasted the wings. Baked and seasoned and then seasoned with spicy Italian Calabrian peppers. Served with a lovely gorgonzola sauce. I even ate the Calabrian pepper. It was hot but it was tolerable. Great starter. And, we got to keep the commemorative Apollo 11 50th-anniversary pilsner glasses from Blue Moon.
Second Course: Mezzaluna Carrabba paired with Rocca Delle Macie Moonlite (white blend).
Mezzaluna translates to “middle-moon” or “half-moon.” These were half-moon shaped ravioli stuffed with chicken, spinach, Ricotta and Romano cheeses and tossed in Alfredo sauce. It was then topped with wood-grilled chicken, stuffed mushrooms and peas. I loved the mezzaluna ravioli.
Third Course: Pollo Sorrento paired with Alta Lina Pinot Noir.
Wood-grilled chicken stuffed with crispy eggplant, mozzarella and tomatoes then topped with their housemade Lombardo Marsala sauce. I wasn’t big on the Pinot Noir by itself but this dish made the wine POP! Daniel had sent me a picture of the prep of this dish with the eggplant and mozzarella getting ready to become the warming food blanket that it was. That sauce, that Lombardo Marsala sauce kicked this dish up about three notches. It was my favorite dish of the night.
Cinnamon Apple Crostata
Fourth Course: Cinnamon Apple Crostata paired with Saint M Riesling from Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Crispy cinnamon apple tart with a thin layer of hazelnut filling topped with caramel sauce and mint. A nice, mildly-sweet Riesling to go with the sweetness of the Crostata was a great end to a delicious wine dinner. At least as far as the food goes.
In addition to the stargazing and food, we were presented with a history of the US Space Program into the 70s and a brief talk on the recent Solar Eclipse that happened in 2017 and one that happened two weeks ago. One of the presenters from the Astronomy Club viewed the latest one from Brazil while on “business.” He shared a timelapse video of it. I have always been moderately interested in space stuff but this really made me think a lot about it. I was fascinated all night long.
They’re doing all this again next Tuesday, July 23. There are spaces available. You will not be disappointed. You can sign up by visiting HERE.