The focus of the meal was in honor of this year’s Kentucky Derby, and the celebrations that it brings. The Big Reds & Bourbon cocktail pairing dinner featured Bulleit Bourbon and premium red wines from Sterling Vineyards and BV BeauRouge.
The five-course menu was celebrated nationwide at 74 Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations. The dinner also marked the U.S. launch of Bulleit Bourbon’s new 10 Year Old, Small Batch Bourbon and feature courses developed in conjunction with Joey Altman, cookbook author and celebrity TV show host.
Our first-course was Bacon Wrapped Scallops with a citrus beurre blanc drizzle, and paired with a Bulleit Bourbon Mint Julep. The crispy bacon fit nicely around the slightly sweet, silky, melt-in-your mouth scallops. The mint julep was a refreshing start to the evening, and quite the talk at our table of 15 guests.
Our second-course was Roasted Pear, Spiced Pecans & Bleu Cheese Salad with mixed spring greens and balsamic vinaigrette, and paired with the Sterling Vineyards Pinot Noir, Carneros. The combination of seasoned pears with cinnamon, bleu cheese, and dressing atop a bed of greens offered a light course packed with flavor. We would’ve preferred the pecans sans the spice, as the salad offered more than enough combination of flavors on it’s own! The pinot noir was smooth, and earthy with hints of nutmeg and oak that combined nicely with the flavorful salad.
The third-course was a Pan Roasted Fresh Salmon with horseradish whole-grain mustard sauce and bacon-onion jam, and paired with Bulleit Rye. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the spicy complex flavors in the rye complimented the dish well. The dish equally paired nicely with the pinot noir from the second-course as well.
The fourth-course was a Southern BBQ Mixed Grill including Filet Mignon with bacon barbeque butter, New Orleans barbecue Shrimp, and Peach Glazed & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast. It was paired with BV BeauRouge Red Blend, Napa Valley. In fashionable ‘Nola style, the dish came out sizzling: literally. The aroma was tantalizing.
My craving on the plate was the filet, which was cooked medium rare and tasted delicious with the butter atop. The chicken was a bit overcooked, however I did enjoy the flavors of the cheese and peach glaze. The barbeque shrimp was spicy and flavorful. The mixed grill was accompanied by a southwestern mac n’ cheese that was a huge hit among our guests, including my husband and I. We were all in agreement that this should be a regular occurrence on the Ruth’s Chris menu! The BV BeauRouge Red Blend, described as a “kitchen sink” of varietals included a blend of Merlot and Cab Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Sirah, Grenache, and Petit Verdot. This bold, zesty wine was fitting for the course and complimented the flavors well.
The final course was S’mores Cheesecake with toasted marshmallow and chocolate graham cracker crisps, paired with Bulleit 10 year, small batch bourbon. The cheesecake was incredible and a nice completion to our meal. The limited release Bulleit 10 year was quite a treat, leaving many of our fellow guests inquiring about a second round.
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