Sparkling Wine Festival in Salt Lake City

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One of our favorite things about the holiday season is celebrating with a glass of bubbly.  Sparkling wine is the most celebratory of all drinks!

The inagural Sparkling Wine Festival hosted by the LaSalle and Trio Restaurant Groups is the ideal way to celebrate the holidays and usher in the new year. Beverage Director Jim Santangelo has selected some of the finest sparkling wines from around the world that will be paired with each chef’s special winter delicacies. These will be available from Dec. 3 through the end of January 2016 and prices will vary by restaurant.

If you’re looking to be educated in all things bubbly and delicious, Santangelo and Under Current Bar’s general manager Amy Eldredge will also offer the next in their seasonal line of educational events, a “Winter Sparkling Wine” forum on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at Under Current Bar. The evening will include a lively discussion on bubbles and small bite pairings from Executive Chef Logen Crew. The cost to attend is just $55 for the event (or $30 without sparkling wine pairings). It’s a great value!  RSVPs are required and can be made by emailing events@currentfishandoyster.com

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Jimmy Santangelo, photo credit: Adam Finkle

“A bottle of bubbles will make any occasion a celebration!” says Santangelo. “Sparkling wine is always a home run with food pairing. In fact, I’ve paired sparkling wines with each course throughout the meal. It’s very versatile….and tasty!!”

Participating restaurants include: Current Fish & Oyster, Under Current Bar, Fresco Italian Café, Café Trio (Downtown and Cottonwood), Oasis Café and Caffé Niche.

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Selected Sparking wines will include:

Oasis Café: Zonin Prosecco – a lively Italian Sparkling wine bursting with white peach and pear flavors.

Caffe Niche: Sumarroca Brut ‘Reserva’ Cava, Spain 2011- This vintage Cava tastes more like premium Champagne but without the price tag.

Fresco: Adami ‘Garbel 13’ Prosecco, Italy – bursts on the palate with honeydew melon with a green apple like finish.

Café Trio(s): Michelle Brut Rosé, Columbia Valley, WA – dry blush colored sparkling wine bursting with raspberry and strawberry.

Under Current Bar: Sofia ‘blanc de blancs’ Sparkling Wine, CA – Sparkling wine in a can, with your own straw! Enjoy the holidays all on your own with this delicious juicy fresh pears, melon, and honeysuckle.

 Current Fish & Oyster: Willm Cremant d’Alsace blanc de blancs Brut, France – This sparkling wine from Alsace is made in the same methodé traditionnelle used in Champagne to produce sparkling wine. Think fresh apples, peaches and apricots in a glass.

 

 

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Fall into Current Fish & Oyster

photo 4When Dave and I were first dating in the mid 90’s we spent a lot of time exploring downtown Salt Lake City. Our favorite destinations were coffee shops, book stores and antique shops. We spent a lot of time wandering through the antique store at the corner of 3rd South and 279 East. Who knew that 20 years later our favorite restaurant would inhabit that space?

After a million dollar renovation, Current Fish & Oyster opened last spring. Expectations were high with both the LaSalle  and Mikel Trapp’s Trio Restaurant Group developing this new restaurant. With Chef Logan Crew behind the menu, the contemporary seafood restaurant quickly became a Salt Lake City favorite. “We extracted what we feel are the golden nuggets from each region in creating this menu,” said Chef Crew. “We are not trying to recreate the wheel here. We just want to offer our favorite classic American seafood preparations and add our contemporary spin on some new tastes with innovative dishes. Oysters are huge for us. We like to highlight regions and educate people about different profiles and pairings and watch with delight as our guests discover some new favorites.”

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The Grilled West Coast Oysters with a Grapefruit Spice oyster back

In the months since Current opened, they’ve expanded their hours, serving lunch and brunch on the weekends. Under Current, their crafty bar, opened next door. Their latest addition is an updated menu for fall and winter. “We now have a good feel for our diners’ preferences,” said Crew. “This is a great opportunity to really tailor our new fall and winter menu offerings to seasonal specialties and to what’s resonating with Salt Lake City’s tastes.”

Both Dave and I fell in love with Current Fish & Oyster while I was researching my review for SLUG Magazine. We enjoyed dinner and brunch, sampling a variety of dishes from each menu. We were recently invited to sample the new dinner menu and were beyond impressed.

photo 1(2)Of course we started our meal with drinks. Amy Eldredge has crafted an innovative and delightful cocktail menu. I opted for the Vesper, a sophisticated combination of vodka, gin and Lillet Blanc, a fancy French aperitif.

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Octopus a la Plancha

Whenever we dine at Current, it’s a fun opportunity to try something new.  Since we’d never eaten octopus, we opted for the Octopus a la Plancha ($16). Each bite was tender and juicy with a pleasantly mellow flavor. A creamy bean puree with bright, briny olives accentuated the tender octopus while a champagne sauce added a whisper of sweet and sour.

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Grilled Hawaiian Prawns

The Grilled Hawaiian Prawns ($25) served with hominy, Utah corn and a thick tomatillo sauce were earthy and satisfying. It was a good dish to share; we each had two shrimp and plenty of other good stuff.

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Oysters Casino

Since it’s ridiculous to NOT order oysters at Current, we opted for a new oyster dish. The Oysters Casino ($10) were delectable. Raw oyster goodness topped with pork-fried breadcrumbs topped with a dollop of  what tasted like good bbq sauce. Next time we’re ordering two plates.

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The special that night was unforgettable. Marlin was flown in that day and elegantly prepared with olive oil and thinly sliced shallots. The fish was barely grilled, letting the true flavor shine.

We’ve never enjoyed such a perfectly paced dinner! Splitting every dish, and only ordering one cocktail left us with room for cappuccinos and dessert.

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Two lovely cappuccinos

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Yuzu Posset

Desserts are popular at Current Fish & Oyster. Pastry chef Alexa Norlin makes crave-able and imaginative desserts. Her Yuzu Posset ($7) is the most popular dessert in town! It’s a tart, creamy custard dotted with rosemary jelly and dusted with a feather-light powdered olive oil. If you don’t like rich overtly sweet treats, this is the dessert for you!

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Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Our other dessert was a new item. The Vanilla Bean Cheesecake ($7) was scrumptious. Served with chopped green apples, graham crumbs and caramel white chocolate gelato drizzled with warm caramel, this cheesecake was the ultimate fall dessert. Each carefully constructed bite was a caramel apple masterpiece with different flavors and textures.

Current Fish & Oyster is a comfortable, sophisticated restaurant with impressive food and drink. The service is spot-on – friendly and knowledgeable without hovering. The restaurant itself is gorgeous – both contemporary and rustic with high wooden ceilings and preserved brick walls.

Current is the perfect balance of comfy and fancy for us. The well executed menu, with interesting cocktail and dessert options is exactly what we crave.