It’s been over five years and we still have an embarrassingly long list of restaurants that we need to try. One of the restaurants near the top of the list is Dick and Jenny’s, probably the only restaurant on Grand Island that’s worth the toll. I knew the restaurant served cajun food but that was it. I had no idea that Dick and Jenny actually had lived in New Orleans and opened their WNY restaurant after Hurricane Katrina.
A week or so ago, Jenny invited Alli and myself to attend their monthly wine dinner and we couldn’t turn down the offer. After Chef Bryan Mecozzi wrote about his meal in his recent buffalo Foodie article, we were very interested in checking out this popular monthly dinner series. I walked into the cozy restaurant on a Tuesday night and grabbed a Gingeroo cocktail, a which tasted like a boozy glass of spicy ginger ale.
While grabbing a drink I met Ryan Seward (Polaner Selections), the man who was responsible for choosing the wine for our meal that night. We had a really fun conversation and it made me realize that I really need to start learning about and drinking more wine. Alli and I were a little anxious at first, the majority of the dinner attendees were regulars and almost everyone seemed to know everyone else. However, that anxiety quickly disappeared after several of the diners introduced themselves and we were caught in lovely conversations all night.
Every wine dinner has a theme and this month’s was old school versus new school. Each course was paired with two wines that had similar styles but one was from the ‘new world’ (mostly California) and the other from the ‘old world’ (mostly France). The idea was to try each style and try to notice the differences and see which ones we liked better. I’m still a wine rookie but I really enjoyed the back to back tastings, figuring out what I liked and what paired best and listening to Ryan talk about the differences in each wine.
The food was worth the trip as well (duh). The menu featured several ingredients that were acquired at local farmers markets and each course included two homemade dishes served family style. The quantity of food was well planned and after we finished the meal we felt full but could still breathe. Highlights included a sweet gazpacho with avocado and grape and pickled shrimp, seared sea scallops with a vegetable strussel, a perfectly cooked hanger steak with an avocado salsa verde and a delicious peach and blueberry kuchen.
We left the meal in great spirits (and not just because of the wine). It was a really relaxing and enjoyable dinner with delicious food. It is safe to say that a “proper” visit to Dick and Jenny’s is now in our not-so-distant future and we will of course write a more in-depth review of their regular menu (they also have a full gluten free menu). If you love wine, good food and good conversation, I HIGHLY suggest you check out their future dinners. On September 16th they will be exploring the wines of California, and on November 12th they will be checking out wines from Germany and Austria.