Tiedemann Wines and Fat Cam’s at Garver Lake teamed up for a wine dinner on Feb. 27.
It was Cameron Horne’s first at the restaurant, but Elizabeth Carris and Carl Tiedemann of Tiedemann Wines helped orchestrate a nice event. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the restaurant and liked what I tasted.
Fat Cam’s is a bar/supper club that opened at 25020 May St., Edwardsburg, in August. It was busy immediately. And it’s been making comfort with a Creole flair.
But the menu for the Winter Wine & Dine featured seared scallops, seared duck breast and chocolate raspberry truffles. I didn’t know that before I got there, but it was a lovely five-course meal.
The wines paired with the food were pretty good, with one in particular being remarkable.
Course by course, here’s the run-down:
Seared scallop on a crispy wild mushroom risotto cake drizzled with arugula pesto, paired with 2011 Glenwood Cellars Sauvignon Blanc: This was one of the best courses of the evening. The scallop was nearly perfect. The risotto and pesto were good. The portion was large. The only white wine of the evening paired well.
Roasted red pepper bisque topped with crispy pancetta, paired with 2010 Twenty Rows “The Grappler” Zinfandel: The soup had a little spice and the crispy pork was a nice touch. The wine, which our wine tour tasted at Twenty Rows in Napa, is a straightforward, no-nonsense red that isn’t very subtle but is still pretty good.
Seared duck breast on a bed of sautéed spinach topped with sirah-infused blackberry sauce, paired with 2009 Three Clicks Petite Sirah: My duck was a bit overcooked, but it’s difficult to cook about 25 plates of duck to medium-rare at the same time. The wine-infused blackberry sauce was good with the Maple Leaf Farms duck. But the big story of the course was the wine. The Three Clicks Petite Sirah, which Tiedemann sells but doesn’t have made, was terrific. Frank Piaskowy, a local wine expert who was at the winner, said it’s “a great sipper” and agreed that it was terrific. Carl Tiedemann said the wine is made in small amounts and he gets about 10 percent of what’s made. This year, that’s only 15 cases, which doesn’t give him a lot to sell.
Cabernet-braised short ribs and cannelloni bean ragout over parmesan grits, paired with 2010 Glenwood Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon: The short ribs were tender, but the flavor of the beans overpowered them and the grits. The cab isn’t too big or bold and is decent and gets 85 points from “Wine Enthusiast” magazine.
Chocolate raspberry truffles, paired with 2009 Tiedemann Signature Series Red Wine: The wine gets 95 points from “Wine Enthusiast” and it’s a nice wine, but the truffles were amazing. They were tender and rich, not hard like some chocolate truffles.
I wasn’t expecting five solid courses in the first wine dinner at Fat Cam’s. The food and the pairings were solid.
The value for $65 was good, though I have to admit that I kept thinking about the $45 wine dinners at Antonio’s that are comparable in terms of flavor, portions and distinction of the wines.
But the wine dinner made me sit up and want to eat more of Horne’s food. And the conversations with Tiedemann and Piaskowy about the wines were informative and enjoyable as we tasted. I think Tiedemann Wines can be a tad bit overpriced, but I’m glad how Carl and Elizabeth are working with local restaurants and country clubs. Carl is also blogging on wine.
I’m looking forward to my next visit to Fat Cam’s. And I hear talk of a patio that may emerge there by summer.
Michele Scherpenberg, Kate Horne and Elizabeth Carris smile for a photo after the dinner.