Iron Sommelier #15!

The Iron Sommelier is a nationally recognized dinner series that Avenues Bistro hosts at our Brookside location. This monthly showdown between the finest local wine directors and sommeliers features a five course fever of flavor. The five courses are pre-determined and cooked by Avenues Bistro’s chefs. Two local sommeliers go head to head, pairing a wine that they think will complement flavors best with each course. These choices are a mystery to the guests, and two opposing wines are featured each round of food. After each course, guests vote on the wine that they think mingled best with the meal.

Check out the Facebook photo album of April’s Dinner.

At the end of the evening, the wines are revealed and the Iron Sommelier  is crowned. This dinner series gives guests a chance to sample fares from Avenues Bistro’s renowned chefs, while gaining some education in the art of wine pairing. These dinners fall on Monday night, which means double points for Club Bistro members! Become a Club Bistro member.

The Iron Sommelier has reached a pleasant frenzy of interest: the May and June 2011 were sold out and July is reaching its max capacity. Below is the menu for this month’s upcoming  Jim Coley vs. Tim O’Neal July 18 Iron Sommelier:

Round 1 Cherry Tomato Meatball: cored out cherry tomato stuffed with asiago cheese, wrapped in italian house-made sausage, deep fried and then covered with a vodka tomato cream sauce. Served over a bed of arugala

Cherry Tomato MeatballRound 1

Round 2: Egg Carpaccio served with thick hollandaise sauce beneath shrimp cooked scampi-style with a basil butter and white wine sauce, with flash fried potato and basil garnish

Round 3: Dr. Pepper braised short ribs with chili kick, served over queso fresco corn polenta and topped with tabasco onions

Round 3

Round 4: Pacific Seabass: with asian marinade and soy garlic glaze, served with white bean puree

Round 4

Finale: Apple Pecan Tamale: with almond cake masa, brown sugar, whipped cream and mint garnish

Is your mouth watering yet? If you don’t get in for July, make sure you reserve your seats for August!

Tim Coley won the first time the two opponents met for the Iron Sommelier match. The second time was a tie, but Tim O’Neal won by popular vote. Now, on July 18, Tim Coley and Tim O’Neal will battle  the third time for the title of Iron Sommelier. The chefs spoke at the July 12 pre-tasting about the upcoming Iron Sommelier

The July 12 Pre-Tasting

Sommelier Number One: Jim Coley

Jim Coley, wine director at Gomer’s midtown believes, “Every dish has a nail that sticks out a bit and wine is the hammer.”

Coley plans to hit the nail on the head at the upcoming July 18 Iron Sommelier Dinner, when he will go head to head against Tim O’Neil on O’Neil’s home turf: Avenues Bistro Brookside.
Coley attended the July 12 pre-tasting open minded: “I have my theories, but it’s always good to try in person and see if a component surprises you.”

Coley looks forward to Monday’s dinner as an opportunity to receive feedback and get people’s reactions from his pairings. He says that you learn most

from observing how people experience the wine and food. With this dinner being a blind tasting, he is sure to get honest feedback.

The Egg Carpaccio dish will probably be the most challenging for Coley, because he describes eggs as his, “food kryptonite.” Coley, during the pre-tasting, recalled a story from childhood summer camp: a counselor told Coley that he would not leave the table until he finished his breakfast, which unfortunately, included eggs. “It was a battle of the will,” said Coley, “and I won.”

However, Coley has faith his retail experience from Gomer’s will give him a competitive advantage: “Because I’m in retail, I have a broader base of wines to draw from.”

The July 18 dinner will tell the true winner, but Coley says, “I’m going to let the pairings speak for themselves.”

Sommelier Number Two: Tim O’Neal

According to Tim O’Neil, he was restricted to Pinot Noir the last time he had a Iron Sommelier showdown with Coley, however, he says, “It’s open season. Now, let it loose.”

O’Neil claims that he has been working out a lot, and training for uncorking the five course frenzy that is Iron Sommelier.

The chefs survey the pre-tasting

The Iron Sommelier Dinners excite O’Neil because he says, “there is nothing quite like seeing the chaos that is Iron Som

melier.”O’Neil feels that he, “is on a bit of a roll,” since winning the last dinner by popular vote and hopes to keep this trend continuing.

This sommelier approaches his pairings by ruling out what doesn’t work and then finding what makes sense.

O’Neil says he believes he will win because, “Coley is a little flustered these days with the Gomer’s rebuilding. He might not have the focus necessary to win.”

Regardless, O’Neil is excited by the thrill of the dinner, “Nothing is off limits since the wine is blind.”


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