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A sweet time at Commisso’s and pre-release tasting at Niagara’s Hinterbrook

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By Mike Lowe

A sweet time was had by all in attendance at Commisso’s Fresh Foods Thursday night as we gathered for a special Valentine’s Day dinner.

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Valentine Dinner Menu

Yep, you heard it right … dinner at a grocery store. But not just any grocery store. Commisso’s has gained a reputation as a place to find great cuts of meat and fish, organic produce, fresh store-made foods and other special ingredients that are hard to come by.

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Rocky Commisso and Tara Colaneri

So, why not step outside the proverbial box and celebrate Valentine’s Day in a different, more laid back way. Commisso’s partnered with Colaneri Estate Winery and Steamwhistle Brewing to create a top-notch dinner that would rival many restaurant experiences. Executive Chef Eric Andersen directed the staff in the store’s state-of-the-art kitchen as they staged a remarkably well executed dinner.

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Chef Eric Andersen and Michael Commisso

Diners selected one of two menu options for the soup and salad courses, one of four entrees, and one of two dessert choices. Mr. Mike’s Bistro was cordoned off for the evening to create an intimate, casual atmosphere.

Each dish presented mirrored Commisso’s theme of fresh and flavorful enhanced by simple, beautiful plating.

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Minestone soup

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Romaine hearts with roasted garlic and Grana Padano dressing

Service throughout the meal was outstanding, contributing to what was a memorable dinner for the 40 or so diners in attendance.

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A great match. Beef tenderloin and Colaneri “Corposo” Cabernet

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Lobster ravioli

Keep an eye on Commisso’s flyers or web site for other special events and book early to avoid dissappointment.

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Hinterbrook Winery had a great turnout for their pre-release tasting event on Saturday. Michael Nazareth, owner of Angelus Consulting, organized the event.

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Phil and Andrew Nickel (photo by Michael Nazareth)

Those in attendance were treated to tank samples of their 2012 Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Franc Blanc, and Cabernet Franc rose. Phil and Andrew Nickel explained the harvest statistics and winemaking process of the new wines.

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Production facility at Hinterbrook

All the wines are well-crafted, aromatic examples of what the 2012 vintage has to offer. Precise acidity, bright fruit, and great balance is evident in all the wines tasted. My favorites, though, had to be the Riesling and Pinot Gris. Pre-release taste and buy events are a great way to be sure you don’t miss out on some nice wines, not to mention the attractive pre-release pricing.

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Phil Nickel presents the 2010 Merlot Reserve

As an added treat, Phil Nickel offered tastings of the yet to be released 2010 Merlot Reserve. Paired with a selection of chocolates from Chocolate FX, the classic match-up captured everyone’s attention.

 

 

 

 

 

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