I would wait in any line, any day, any time, for more of those ribs, with a little more pickled watermelon to cleanse my palate. Yes, last Saturday was the second installation of what is definitely my favorite of the LUSH dinner series. Quintessentially American, with loads of family-style food and lots of big, bold, juicy Zin to pair with it. Despite a few brief spurts of rainstorms, the night was perfectly comfortable; not too hot, not chilly. We even got to see a rainbow in between showers, and then, after that, a DOUBLE rainbow! LUSH even included free fireworks from the lakefront as part of our dinner package. Highlights of the evening included Ms. Jane toasting the top of the mac and cheese with a blowtorch, and, of course, Mitch sabering a bottle of Champagne for the LUSh staff after we finished all the cooking.
The menu lineup, prepared by Chef Mitch and his hardworking sous chef [ahem, me] was as follows:
–Heirloom tomato salad layered with sweet Vidalia onions and olive oil
–Pickled watermelon and feta salad over local arugula
–Cucumber salad with sherry vinaigrette
–Homemade macaroni and cheese, with cornbread and truffle oil topping
–Fresh grilled sweet corn
–The star of the show, BABY BACK RIBS
–Strawberries topped with sour cream and brown sugar for dessert
The wines were a who’s who of producers and regions, featuring pinks from Carhartt Vineyards of Santa Ynez, and the lovely Carignane-based rose by Carol Shelton. The Zinfandel assortment included wines from Lodi (Benson Ferry ‘9 x 9’ Old Vine Zinfandel), North Coast (Zoom Zin), Paso Robles (Brochelle Vineyards and Tobin James ‘Fat Boy’), Sonoma (Rockpile), and Mendocino (Elyse Vineyards Zin).
I already ate my leftover ribs. Sigh. I guess it’s another twelve months til the next one, huh? Mitch, what do you think of a reprise in November?