As spring in Texas refuses to make a choice between the chill of winter and the warmth of summer, now is the perfect time to gather with friends to discover new wines and enjoy an excellent meal. Last night I was fortunate to do both at the private dining room, Prive, located next to The Second Floor Bistro inside the Westin Galleria Dallas. Chefs Scott Gottlich and Daniel Tarasevich brought in Barr Smith of Barlow Vineyard for a memorable dinner and wine experience comprised of four courses and four featured Barlow wines.
If you haven’t seen the Prive space yet, it’s beautifully appointed. From the chic hanging lighting fixtures, which I’d love to have one or two of, to the elegant high back white leather chairs, this private dining room was the ideal location for the evening. As guests arrived, they were greeted with a glass of Spanish cava and an affable hello from Gina Gottlich, sommelier to both Bijoux and The Second Floor Bistro. Eager food and wine lovers chatted around the sleek bar area and absorbed the ambiance of smiling faces and aromas beginning to waft in from the kitchen; an enticing menu awaited diners at their seats.
Chef Gottlich, who also garners high praise for his work at Bijoux, spoke briefly to diners once everyone was seated. He conveyed enthusiasm about the menu he had created with executive chef, Daniel Tarasevich, formerly of Tillman’s Roadhouse in Fort Worth. Our night began with an amuse of salmon belly tartare on a thinly sliced cucumber. The bite was bright and fresh, and with that we were off to a great start. The cucumber of the amuse was an excellent transition into the crisp flavors of shaved apple and fennel which the pan seared scallops of our first course sat atop. The perfectly seared scallops were buttery which worked harmoniously with the Barlow sauvignon blanc being poured.
Between the first and second course, guests were treated to a fantastic oration from the vineyard owner himself, Barr Smith. He warmed the group with the history of Barlow Vineyard, located in Calistoga, California. His charming tales provided a great deal of insight into the Barlow way of crafting distinctive wines that many people enjoy. Smith’s words and witty delivery had the group laughing and wanting to ask many questions. Luckily he played musical chairs between courses to accommodate everyone that wanted to hear more.
The second course was prefaced with a glass of Barlow Merlot. This red was smooth and the smell alone made me finally realize why people buy candles and other items that smell like wine. The kobe beef pot-au-feu arrived and was equally intoxicating to the senses. An eight hour braise left the meat tender and rich with flavor. Served in the braising liquid, basil mash and root vegetables, the hearty bowlful left next to no bowls full.
The third course was a rack of lamb accompanied by green lentils, mache and a mint crème fraiche. The protein was executed with precision to highlight the full flavor of the meat and was balanced nicely by the earthiness of the lentils. The wine was a Barlow 2008 Barrouge, and was my favorite of the evening. I found this red to have a great depth of flavor with a silky finish and subtle notes of vanilla and berries.
We wrapped up the evening with an unexpected yet appreciated departure from the typical last course of an overly sweet chocolate dessert. Diners were delighted by the ballerina aged Dutch goat’s milk Gouda which was plated with an arugula puree, turnips and baked crostini. The places that this well-crafted cheese was able to hit your palate were comparable to the way you feel a muscle activate when you haven’t swung a golf club in a while. The bold yet savory Gouda, accented nicely by the puree and delicate sweetness of the root vegetable, truly was a thoughtful compliment to the Barlow cabernet sauvignon pairing. The unfiltered cab was velvety and complex. Being the third red wine of the evening, it was clear that Barlow means business when it comes to giving a discerning wine drinker what they are looking for.
Be sure to check out Barlow Vineyards to find out more about their stunning collection and make reservations at The Second Floor when you’re looking for a memorable and unique dining experience right here in Dallas. With thoughtful décor, incredible staff and delicious food, keep Prive in mind for your future event and private dining needs.