Talisker on Main: The Wine Dinner

The Utah wine crowd is a fun one. I know, you wouldn’t think it, but it is true. We get together for some sort of wine dinner every time we are in town, which is sadly limited to once a year. This year’s festivities took place upstairs in a private room at Talisker on Main. We set out the fifteen or so (who’s counting?) bottles of Syrah from all over the world and started popping the corks.

The upstairs decor is reminiscent of a New England fishing town. It is really cute – not terribly Utah-esque, but charming nonetheless. our group slowly trickled in, opened the wines and enjoyed the fact that for once, while at a restaurant, we had room to move around and talk to everyone. As we mingled, food started arriving. Short rib on a tortilla chip with Serrano pepper foam and a goat cheese on toast with caramelized onions.

Our waiter, Leon, indulged my need for incessant Airplane! jokes (“… and Leon is getting larger” Seriously, nobody can be expected to resist that one) for the entire evening, even as he got us all seated and comfortable with the next round of appetizers: elk with a crazy array of sauteed wild mushrooms (and some other stuff, but it was the mushrooms that were impressive) and hush puppies made with crab.

The wines and food were both flowing, when the first course arrived: Brussel sprout salad with bacon. My friend Travis, always paying attention, alerted Leon to the fact that some of us don’t eat bacon. After giving him the run-down of all the stuff I would be avoiding, he brought over new plates of sprouts to the bacon-free zone. I frankly didn’t see why he’d bother since I normally can’t stand them anyway, but I am glad he did. They were fabulous. Apparently, I can enjoy a brussel sprout if it is in a salad and slathered in butter. Who knew?

Next up was a trout, mine was specially prepared in a pool of butter. (This is the part of the meal where I really hope my doctor doesn’t read the blog.) It was a delicious, perfectly cooked piece of fish with a wonderfully tasty and buttery “sauce”.

The chef also prepared a duo of lamb, in a chop and sausage and followed the whole thing up with a beautiful dessert plate.

The mean was spectacular, and we truly had a good time. We drank Syrah/Shiraz from across the globe, laughed a lot and caught up. We left the restaurant (eventually – we were there for several hours) wanting to come back. I’d say that is clearly a sign of a successful meal. I did learn that my friend Travis has yet to actually see Airplane! I had no idea that there was anyone over the age of 30 who missed this comedy classic. I will remedy that soon enough.

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