Oh, Citysearch. How you thrill me. How you bring me plate after plate of mushroom dishes. How you keep refilling my glass with the greatest wine I’ve ever had (Torbreck Cuvee Juveniles if you must know). How you ask nothing of me – not even a bill? I’m not worthy.
I was so fortunate to receive an e-mail from the people at Veggie Thing inviting me to a Mushroom and Wine Tasting last night. Not only do I have a deep yearning for all things mushroom, but the idea of free food is almost enough to make me weep. Though no tears were shed, the beautiful set-up in Desert Rose’s outdoor courtyard was definitely swoonworthy. I sat down at a table and attempted to make conversation – usually a feat for me, but I had the luck of sitting next to two lovely women who were great dinner companions.
The evening started out with a really great glass of wine – the Juveniles. It was fruity but not too sweet and had a velvety finish with just a hint of sharpness. Apparently you can find this fella for $20 in town, which is more than what I normally go for, but now I know what to bring to the wine heads for parties. I tend to be of the Two Buck Chuck school. Shh.
The first dishes brought out were the Baba Ghanouj and Stuffed Grape Leaves. Not someone who normally likes grape leaves, I tasted with trepidation to be happily surprised. These grape leaves lacked the bitterness I’m used to and the stuffing had more serious substance. Maybe I’ve been eating at the wrong places my whole life? The Baba Ghanouj was okay – maybe I’m just not a fan. These two dishes are normal Desert Rose fare whereas the rest of the menu was provided by Citysearch.
The next dish out was Maitake-Walnut-Daiya Cheese Stuffed Medjool Dates. What a mouthful. Literally. I mean you could pop the whole thing in your mouth and have a party. The Maitake mushrooms were a bit overpowered by the sweetness of the dates, but the whole thing would make a really nice dessert. The crunchy walnuts and the salty Daiya offset the sweet nicely.
Next up was the Beech Mushroom Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika Oil and Baby Spinach. I have to say that I’m not a lentil soup fan, so I didn’t love it, but I did eat all the Beech Mushrooms. Love! Tiny little precious buttons of fungus. Does that sound unappetizing? I love eating fungus. Deal.
Next were Maitake Mushroom Falafel with Tahini-Lemon Sauce. Dense little falafel with hidden bits of Maitake and a smooth, tart sauce? Yeah I’ll take 40. And eat them all. Now. They were a little over-fried but I kind of liked the superdupercrunchy factor.
Out come the Beech Mushroom and Maitake Cabbage Rolls with Tomato Lemon Broth. I was already stuffed to the gills by the time these guys arrived, but I managed a taste and they were delicious! There were crunchy garbanzo beans garnishing the top – that might have been my favorite part. All throughout the night my dinner date and I had been trying to figure out who the woman across from us worked for – she runs a blog under “Hollywood Assistant.” It was a fun game that I’m sure drove her completely nuts – but added intrigue(!!) to the whole evening. We may or may not have figured out who it was and it may or may not have been verrrry interesting.
Finally the dish that I had been waiting for all night arrived – the Harissa Glazed Roasted King Trumpet Mushroom Tajen. I had food coming out my ears at this point, but I had been longing for this dish all night! These mushroom are SO beautiful. I’m mesmerized by Trumpet Mushrooms.
Thanks so much to everyone at Citysearch and Veggie Thing for hosting a fun and delicious evening!