The evening for this particular privé soirée had been planned for an earlier date, but the universe was trying to tell us that the original date was never meant to be. A few of our guests cancelled, the chef got sick, and the sous chef got hit by a cab etc… (daily occurrence in NYC—evidently he is ok, his bike? not so much….) Perhaps something was in the stars? Switching the dinner to the following week did mean some more scrambling around, but as it is on the great white way, the show must go on!! After all, we were convening our guests to celebrate some special wines from the cauldrons of Sean Thackrey.
DineGirl’s task was to set the stage and elevate this seemingly impossible fête to fabulousness. In setting the mood, we dressed the table with muted end of summer/fall floral arrangements from our new favorite florist, Starbright Floral Designs. Even our flowers were from the stars! Dusty mauve thistle peppered in with burnt orange florals, succulents and earthy greenery set the stage. West coast (Bolinas, California) chic. No peonies or East coast hydrangeas here!
Onto the wines…Unconventional, mysterious and edgy, Sean Thackrey wines have quite a cult following. Much to the chagrin of some classical wine makers, his wines consistently receive top ratings from Robert Parker and the like. Mr. Thackrey himself is also somewhat an elusive, renegade type figure which only adds to the mystique. Thinking back on it now, it’s no surprise that the whole process felt a little out of control and punk rock. Finally, things started to turn our way and around 7pm, guests began to arrive in their formal attire ala duncan quinn; bespoke with a punk rock heart and soul.
The Thackrey verticals of the evening consisted of magnum Orion 1990, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Andromeda 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Incomparable to anything you’ve ever tasted, one slurp and your eyes look up (to the stars) in wonderment of the unique composition.
Chef Ben Freemole–a tall and rugged character, seemingly plucked right out of Sedona via the Hudson Valley and WD-50–created a bold, creative and edgy 6-course tasting menu to compliment the grapes. Highlights included the spicy Calabrese “nadjua” (spicy sausage) starter with peaches and shallots, a scallop crudo with romesco, and the smoked cauliflower with uni, quinoa, beef jerky and caviar. Uni + beef jerky + caviar??? Wild! Crazy!! Mad scientist food! Incredible! Sublime…
As the night rolled into a magical armagnac haze (1970 DQ Armangnac), chef Ben came out for his final curtain call and applause. A collective nod of appreciation, sparkly smiles around the table and copious empty wine glasses told us that the stars were aligned once again.