I've been getting this group of women together for wine dinners since 2006 (we call ourselves Lady Lushes mostly because it's so fitting). I love these women; they all truly appreciate good wine and food and want to be educated in a really casual environment. Plus, I think we all hate drinking alone. We try to meet at spots where there are female sommeliers (there's a growing number up here) and usually do 3 or 4 courses with ample amounts of wine. I always have a great time and we've had some unforgettable meals (Silvertone & Oleana are tied as faves). Last night we made it to La Morra (where I hosted the first dinner way back when) and in honor of my move, owners Josh (chef) & Jen (who handles the wine) gave me a great send off by putting Island Creeks on the menu. Josh admitted he doesn't use them often (don't find too many oysters in Northwest Italy) but he managed to totally elevate a gnocchi dish with fresh oysters, cauliflower, and caviar. It was all layered in a butter and chive sauce which I literally licked off the plate. Fantastic job, Josh.
Tonight, I'm headed to Rialto for a New England Shellfish Dinner. Rowan Jacobsen is speaking and signing books so I'm hoping he can help me with the whole oyster prose dilemma. Stay tuned. Oh, and if you haven't read it yet, check out Jody Adams' blog.