Monthly ‘Insider’s View’ Wine Dinners at DPOV
If you haven’t been up to Different Pointe of View for one of their Insider’s View Wine Dinners, then you’re missing out. All wine enthusiasts should sign up for one of their intimate wine dinners at least once; it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Guests are seated at a private table (dinners are usually limited to 12-15 people) where Executive Chef Anthony DeMuro cooks and prepares your meal tableside right in front of your eyes, and the dinner’s guest host (usually a winemaker or vineyard owner) explains each pairing and offers a bit of ‘insider’ information into the world of winemaking.
Taryn and I had the opportunity to attend November’s dinner that took place on November 4th with Chris Benziger of Benziger Winery as the evening’s guest host. What an experience! Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of Benziger Chardonnay and welcomed with passed appetizers in the lounge area that borders the main dining room. Typically, the appetizer reception is held outside on DPOV’s breathtaking patio, showcasing one of the best, panoramic views in the Valley, but this evening it was particularly windy and wet. We were thankful to be seated inside for the reception to take in the beauty of the restaurant. Though the Insider’s View dinner was scheduled for the evening, the restaurant remained open and there wasn’t an empty table! It is obvious Phoenix shares the same opinion of one of our favorite restaurants!
As the reception wrapped up, we were escorted to our table that was set aside just away from the crowd. Chef Anthony DeMuro received his guests as he prepped for the first course, making sure all of his burners were hot and ready to go. Chef Anthony gave a short introduction and prefaced the evening’s four-course menu, each to be paired thoughtfully with a Benziger Wine. While Chef Anthony began preparing the first course (a pan seared Mediterranean Turbot), Chris took the floor and recounted stories of his days at the winery. Though Chef Anthony was moving about his workspace while Chris introduced us to his wines, he did it with grace. That might have been what amazed me most… never once have I seen Chef Anthony rushed or in a hustle. His refinement shows not only on the plate, but in his kitchen demeanor as well. And, he’s a genuinely nice guy!
When the first course graced our place settings, my mouth started to water (who doesn’t love the smell of bacon?). The Pan Seared Mediterranean Turbot sat before us with sautéed red lentils with smoked bacon and Brussels leafs. At first bite, I was struck. If a dish were made for me, with my name on it, it would have been this one. I’m a huge fan of lentils and Brussels sprouts, but add in bacon and I’m a fan for life. The lemon-scented saffron butter sauce that skirted the mild white fish subbed my ‘squeeze of lemon’ inclination. Yum. Hands down, my favorite dish of the evening. Its pairing? The vibrant Benziger Sauvignon Blanc 2010.
Though our meal was being prepared right before us, the wait between courses wasn’t near as long as I would have imagined. Again, Chef Anthony’s timing was impeccable… that man definitely had a plan. The second course arrived before our eyes in perfect time – a Charred Noisette of Palo Verde Pork Tenderloin. This dish was very pretty, like a fall holiday on a plate. The pork tenderloin was tender and juicy and sat atop a savory Piquillo pepper and parmesan polenta, and a sweet potato blis maple puree with chanterelle mushrooms and charred shallots. The savory and sweet notes of the polenta and the sweet potato puree perfectly complimented the natural saltiness of the pork. The second course was paired with a spicy “Signaterra” Pinto Noir, my absolute favorite glass of the evening.
Course three quickly made its way onto our plates with a ‘meat and potatoes’ dish, something Taryn and I love to see. Cedar River Beef Medallions coupled with olive oil poached fingerling potatoes with chervil and Perigord truffles with a pomegranate tarragon reduction. The third course was paired with “Tribute” Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. I had been looking forward to this plate all evening only because of that pomegranate reduction, and it certainly did not disappoint! The beef medallions were exquisite and perfectly cooked and the chervil-truffle potatoes were wonderful. The pomegranate tarragon reduction was gorgeous and not nearly as sweet as one would imagine, but lovely with the beef. This ‘meat and potatoes’ girl left full and happy!
The dessert course, prepared in the kitchen by Pastry Chef Lara Coleman, was the perfect way to end the indulgent meal. A Miniature Pumpkin Pie made its way to our table, but know that this is not your ordinary pumpkin pie! Cream Cheese & Streusel Topping, Apple Spice Ice Cream and Pine Cone Syrup danced around the mini creation. It was almost too pretty to eat (almost), but I did it anyway. Delicious! All of my favorite cold-weather flavors in one bite.
All in all, it was an evening of all hits and no misses. Getting to interact with Chef Anthony right at our table and watching him prepare our meal firsthand was such an experience. Learning more about winemaking and how/why each wine was chosen specifically for our courses added so much to the meal that it was much more than just a fantastic plate of gourmet food and delicious wine. We really encourage you to sign up for one of their Winemaker’s Dinners – you will not be disappointed! The restaurant has taken a hiatus for December because of the holidays, but the Insider’s View Dinner Series kicks off again in January with Vinum Cellars. The dinner is priced at $99 per person and limited to 15 people, so make your reservations (call 602-866-6350) with plenty of time to spare!
For more information about Different Pointe of View and the Insider’s View Dinner Series, visit tapatiocliffshilton.com.
For more information about Benziger Wines, visit benziger.com.
Different Pointe of View | 11111 N. Seventh St. | Phoenix, AZ | 602-866-6350
Recap by Amy Martin, PhoenixBites Editor in Chief
*This meal was provided complimentary as a part of a media invitation. However, this has no effect on our opinions and comments regarding our experience. View our Disclosure Policy for further explanation.