It was a walk down memory lane for Christian Bauer, the Executive Chef and Director of Troika Sky Dining as he crafted a special night for a handful of guests over at Brasserie Fritz. There, at the latest venture by the same folks behind Troika Sky Dining, Bauer stepped into the kitchen to create a feast consisting of his most memorable dishes throughout the entirety of his career. As if that wasn’t enough of a treat, all six courses was also paired with beautiful champagnes, wines and even a port, specially selected by the group’s new sommelier Alison Christ.
Christ is certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers and represents one of only three female sommeliers in the country. And after the scrumptious pairing menu we had, we can attest to her provenance in understanding how to sometimes complement, sometimes contrast the flavours of the dish, but all the while elevating the diner’s experience to another level.
We started off with a fresh oyster velouté with poached oysters and confit bulb fennel (created by Bauer in August 2003) paired with a nonvintage Champagne Collard-Picard Cuvée Prestige from Epernay, France. The hints of pear and sweet stone fruit from the champagne along with the pleasant bite from the bubbles was a welcomed contrast to the silky smooth texture of the oysters and complemented the oysters’ taste of the sea.
Another fantastic standout was a pan-seared foie gras wrapped in lettuce leaves and served with grapefruit reduction and sherry pickles (created in June 2004). This was served with a good helping of a 2015 Felton Road ‘Bannockburn’ Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand. The lettuce leaves wrapping the perfectly seared piece of foie gras was a great visual and textural highlight. The creaminess and fatiness of the foie gras needed the acidity from the grapefruit reduction and sherry pickles; and this acid was helped along greatly by the Pinot Noir that was rich with the notes of dark fruits and spices.
Although this was a unique menu crafted by Bauer with Christ doing the wine pairing, we were told that Brasserie Fritz and Mr. Chews have both offered and will continue to offer pairing menus from time to time. But if you’re not willing to wait, seeing as how Christ is also the wine manager for Troika Fine Dining, Fritz and Mr Chews, just ask for a wine recommendation from the Sommelier. We guarantee you will not be disappointed.