My Engagement Dinner: Reynolds Landing

I’ve never really considered myself the “mysterious type”.

Most of my friends will tell you that I’m pretty much an open book. Yet, I’ve tried to maintain a modicum of anonymity in writing this blog, as many food writers do these days. Occasionally, I’ll give my readers a glimpse into the “real me”, and I have a tendency to write like I talk, so those of you that follow me probably have a pretty good idea of what I’d be like to sit down and have a beer with.

But I’m going to break the trend a little and get a little personal.

A few weeks back, I took the plunge and finally proposed to the “better half” that I often refer to dining with in many of my reviews. While I won’t bore you with the details of how it all went down, I obviously had to make an amazing meal part of the experience. And I thought it only appropriate to at least share that part with you.

The actual proposal took place up at Lake Oconee, in Greensboro, Ga. After popping the question (she said yes – cue squealing), I surprised my new bride-to-be with a romantic chef’s table dinner for two at the clubhouse at Reynolds Landing. What she didn’t know was that both of our families were waiting for us in the club, so the dinner for two was actually dinner for ten.

We had the pleasure of good wine, great company, and a fabulous 6-course meal created by the Reynolds Landing Chef De Cuisine, Matt Felix. The entire day worked out better than I could have asked for, and the food was the perfect way to cap it all off.

I’m a sucker for a good caprese salad. Give me some ripe tomatoes, some soft cheese, and a healthy dose of balsamic, and I’ll beg for more. Chef Felix put his own Georgia twist on the traditional caprese, adding sliced Vidalia onions and sweet peppers, and trading out the mozzarella for the nutty goat milk Midnight Moon cheese.

This soup was probably my favorite course of the night, and something that I wish I could get here in Atlanta. This is the “Light as Air Corn Bisque”. Felix takes his corn bisque, pours it into a whipped cream canister, and fires it back into the pot, whipping up the bisque and giving it a light, airy texture. As if that wasn’t appetizing enough, he then adds fresh lump blue crab meat and tops it off with a healthy dose of tarragon. It’s a good thing that my future in-laws have known me for so long, because most people might have gotten worried when the man marrying their daughter was licking the bottom of his bowl at the dinner table.

Next up was the Crispy Red Snapper with Tuscan Olive Ragout and Asparagus. The fish was cooked perfectly, and the crispy flesh added a lot of flavor and texture. There was a citrus reduction drizzled across the fish that gave it all a great acidic bite.

For our 4th course, we have a nice little Intermezzo – a house made Georgia White Peach Sorbet.

Our 5th course was the “Perfect” Prime Filet, which was center cut pieces of filet served with roasted shallot gratin and a decadent sauce au poivre. Most of you know my stance on filets (not my favorite…least flavorful and most overpriced cut of steak), but this was one of the exceptions. Felix’s sauce au poivre added so much beefy goodness to the steak that any shortcomings in flavor were totally overshadowed. There was not a drop of the sauce left when I finished.

Our 6th and final course was a surprisingly light goat’s cheesecake, paired with a sweet blackberry coulis. It was a perfect way to round out the meal.

For you winos out there, here was the breakdown on our pairings:

1st Course – (Caprese Salad) Riondo Prosecco

2nd Course – (Corn Bisque) Riondo Prosecco

3rd Course – (Red Snapper) Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, 2009

5th Course – (Prime Filet) Lewis Cabernet, 2003

6th Course – (Cheesecake) Tokaji Aszu, 1993, 5 puttoyos, Hilltop Neszmely

It was a perfect meal for a perfect day, and I couldn’t have been happier with either. I’ve known for a long time how lucky I am. But having the woman of my dreams agree to spend the rest of her life with me is the best reminder of that I could imagine.

I hope she knows what she is signing up for!

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  1. Posted September 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations and Best Wishes for a long and happy life together. Thanks for sharing the moment!

  2. Posted September 6, 2010 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    You know you found a good woman when she’s willing to put up with the shenanigans of a food blogger who takes pictures at his engagement dinner 😉 you’re a class act thru and thru, and so is the soon to be mrs. CONGRATS!

  3. Posted September 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks guys!

  4. Posted September 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! What an exciting day and lovely dinner. Thanks for sharing.

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