We already knew about the hospitality of General Manager Jim Rhodes and the culinary excellence of Executive Chef Michael Noyes but this night proved very special indeed.
Hush Restaurant opened a year ago in Ventura and quickly established a reputation for excellence either for cocktails or dinner in a pleasing contemporary ambiance. This evening it was all about the Hush dinner for the Ventura Chapter of Wine Investigation for Novices and Oenphiles, or WINO for short.
Wine is not meant to be drunk alone. It requires a gathering of people for stimulating conversation (the beverage helps here) and an appreciation for the vintages being served.
Our table offered all of the above as we were seated with host vintners Amber Nichols, owner-winemaker of Vin d'Elle and Carmine Rubino of D'Anbino Vineyards and Cellars, both of Paso Robles. Then there was Ventura vintners George Gilpatrick and Faye Hawes of Rancho Ventavo Cellars and retired wine retailers Glenn and Sue Ann Sanders. And the one responsible for putting together the fabulous WINO dinners each month, often with an attendance of over 150, Jeanne Bartlett.
As we worked our way through pancetta wrapped scallops with a 2006 Vin d'Elle Sauvignon Blanc we learned that, Amber Nichols after establishing herself in medical research for some years is following in the footsteps of her father as winemaker at Vin e'Elle. Next to arrive from Chef Michael was a Confit of duck with pan seared froi gras. Here we enjoyed a 2003 D'Anbino Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a 2004 Vine d'Elle Cabernet Sauvignon. It seems that Carmine and JoAnn Rubino have a musical family and the wine label features the entire band made up of family members.
So the evening continued with a wild mushroom ragout with black truffle oil and then the pecan encrusted venison loin. And the vintages too including a 2003 D'Anbino Syrah and a 2005 Vin D'Elle Syrah. By the end of the evening the one hundred plus in attendance all agreed that yes, Amber Nichols and Carmine Rubino knew how to make good wine and that Hush Restaurant serves an opulent cuisine under Chef Michael Noyes. Hush Restaurant is located in downtown Ventura at 185 Santa Clara Ave. Call 805 648-1462. hushlounge.com.
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