So imagine my surprise when Saturday afternoon my husband told me to drop the laundry basket, run a brush through the hair and clean the goop of my shirt because we were going to none other than The Vinoy. An early Valentine’s gift!
Wow! The Vinoy? Isn’t that where the moneyed go? With fancy cars and no remnants of goop on their clothes? It is; but as I learned, it’s also a place where everyday people can go to enjoy drinks on the expansive porch, dinner paired with luscious wines at Marchand’s, and dessert by the fire pits.
When we arrived, we enjoyed cocktails on the front porch, people-watching and making up stories about them. And the stories became more colorful and detailed the more we enjoyed the Aymer’s Promenade Punch. Aymer’s is The Vinoy’s signature cocktail; a rum-based, fruity concoction that reminds you of far-off places.
After unwinding on the verandah, we strolled the lobby and then headed to dinner. I had already decided to do wine-by-the-glass. Although it’s generally more expensive than ordering a bottle, I didn’t want to get tied down to just one type. Isn’t that how I got into this Twilight Zone?
We started dinner with the grilled prawns (AKA big shrimp) in a ginger salad with a glass of Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Good start and excellent wine to prepare the palate for what was to come.
Next we had a “he said, she said” incident wherein he said pickled beet salad and I said “really?” Although my selection was good, I have to admit his was better because it was topped with a piece of orange blossom honeycomb. I mean who thinks of something like that with pickled beets? Only at Marchand’s! And only with the Acrobat Pinot Noir from Oregon. Hey, glass two — not counting the Aymer’s.
My third glass of wine was an Argentine Malbec blend, Trivento, Amado Sur. This was paired with prime rib and French fries that were fried with little bits truffle shavings. Mouthwatering!
What better way to cap off the evening than with, you guessed it, a glass of wine and dessert? Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel from Contra Costa County, California and chocolate. Luscious chocolate cake that was a chocolate and wine pairer’s dream come true.
As we thanked the babysitter and shut out all the lights, it finally hit me. The Vinoy plus the vino, not to mention the Aymer’s punch, equals vavoom! I just hope that this doesn’t mean the arrival of another little set of fat fingers dropping trails of Cheerios in order to find where he hid his blankey. Now that would be a belated Valentine's Day gift.