Saturday, July 16, 2011

Osteria Pronto & Chateau Ste Michelle Winery

   Let me start by saying we were really excited to have been invited to attend this event at the JW Marriot's restaurant Osteria Pronto and I haven't been more excited to write a review.  White Winemaker, Wendy Stuckey of Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington state was visiting Indianapolis promoting her wines.  Together with world renowned Chef Rino Baglio (seriously, check out his bio!!), Osteria Pronto held an amazing wine and food event to showcase her wines complemented beautifully by the chef's food pairings.

The Place

   The JW Marriot is a new, modern and very cool hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  Inside there are a few options for entertainment that you should partake in whether you are staying at this swanky joint or not.  The sports bar, High Velocity, and outdoor restaurant bar, Tavern on the Plaza, and last but not least, the contemporary Italian restaurant headed by Chef Baglio, Osteria Pronto.  This place is getting it done, right?  A great place to go for a nice night out on the town in Indy.
  Osteria Pronto is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This was our first visit to the restaurant and we were led through the restaurant with it's sea of tables and it's upscale, but causal feel into a back room where we were greeted and ushered in to begin drinking and eating.

The Food & Beverage there was a LOT of food and even MORE wine during this particular even, so I'm going to try to separate it out into courses so it's clear.


   As I mentioned, we were ushered into a room with cocktail tables and served a glass of 2010 Horse Heaven Sauvignon Blanc accompanied by Escargot (yes, snails), served on a baguette with pesto and mushrooms.  The wine was super tasty and a great start.  You can't go wrong with walking into a room and immediately having a nice adult beverage in hand, can you?!?  It was very fruity and acidic and complemented the salty escargot well.  I don't know about you, but escargot is not one of those foods I eat very often.  In fact, I think I have only had it one other time maybe 10 years ago.  But, when in Rome...I did it.  All in the name of food blogging, just for you!!!  It was actually really quite good with the wine.  Very nice flavors, the escargot was not as chewy as I remembered.  After about 10-15 minutes of hanging and enjoying our wine, we were seated in another room complete with tables set with place cards.

   Course 2

   The tables were very pretty, clean and crisp white linens and lots of glasses waiting to be filled with wine.  A little bread basket was the centerpiece.

   The kind of sad thing is, this was simply a centerpiece.  It did not get touched!!  For me, not touching the bread means something else awesome must of been happening.  Oh, you was!!  On to the food we actually ate!

Our first meal course came pretty quickly after an introduction and a welcome from the winemaker.  We were served our second wine, the Chateau Ste Michelle Cold Creek Chardonnay (2008).  With this wine, the chef decided to serve a Wild King Salmon on top of a zucchini fritter, lemon yogurt and arugula pesto and garnished with a bit of arugula.  I seriously can't say enough good things about this entire pairing.  The wine had a very oaky aftertaste and the salmon was just cooked perfectly.  It was seared which made it quite crisp on the outside and left it cool and fresh on the inside.  The flavor of this was excellent and the wine only added to it's deliciousness.  Not to mention the zucchini fritter, which was absolutely amazing.  I was going about my business enjoying the salmon when I got a bite of the fritter and was really surprised at how good it was.  Hubs and I both loved this course and were ready for the next one!  I love being stoked about food while you are eating it, where you have to hold in all of your comments to not sound so annoying to those around "yummm...mmmmm...this is so good.  oh my you love it?  yummm..mmmm. "  Yeah, that's annoying, I I tried to refrain.

   Course 3

   This course began with the Eroica Reisling (2009).  Exactly what I love about a wine pairing, if it were up to me, I'd have Pinot Noir with everything and call it a day.  But, it's really awesome to have someone THINK about the wine you are drinking and try to pair that with something that brings out the flavors of the wine and the food all at the same time.  It helps me broaden my wine horizons and step outside of my box.

I was really excited about this course as well because I love scallops.  But, Hubs was a little more hesitant.  He's not an eater of the bi-valve.  I was proud of him though, he tried and it and ate a good portion of it too.  How could you not??  Look at it!  It tasted as good as it looks there too.  Pictured here is a seared sea scallop over a fava bean puree, leak and smokey bacon bread pudding and a white wine creme.  I don't even know what to say about that.  So creative, and unlike anything I have had before.  The scallop was less cooked than I have had them, but, truthfully I think that's everything I have been missing in a good scallop.  It was awesome and dipping it in the creamy goodness underneath it was heaven polished off with bacon and the reisling just blew it up in your mouth.  The sweetness of the wine brought all of these flavors in this dish to the forefront.  Perfecto!

   Course 4

   Yep, seriously, there's ANOTHER course...and that's not even it.  Beginning this course were TWO wines!  These were not skimp bottles of wine either, friends.  This course brought some reds into the mix, Col Solare (2006) and Ethos Cabernet (2006).

The cool part about this pairing was that the filet mignon was prepared two ways, one for each of the wines.  On the left, we had a filet with horseradish gremolada to be enjoyed with the Col Solare.  The right side was also a filet, but with roasted peppers and a cabernet jus for the Ethos.  The weird thing was this was probably the most well done filet I have ever had.  I was really surprised for two reasons.  I thought chefs hated cooking well done filet because it ruins it, but despite it being well done, it was actually still really tender and juicy.  So, I would have liked it medium, but wasn't disappointed in the final outcome.  Hubs and I later decided it probably came out cooked less, but sitting on the plate for a few minutes while the wines got situated and introduced, it must have cooked through.  Anyway...the Ethos Cabernet was my favorite wine of the evening.  Just goes to prove that I am a red lover, I guess.  By this time, I do have to admit that I was feeling a little wined.  It was A LOT!!  But, we were enjoying ourselves and the company at our tables.  Some very nice folks and one of the guests at the table had helped organize the event a bit and was very skilled at fielding all of our questions about the food, the wine, the pairings, etc.

   Course 5 - The dessert

   Strangely enough, this was the same dessert we had at Recess a few weeks ago, and I have never had it prior to that!  We were served yet another wine (best dinner event ever!!!), the Domaine Ste Michelle, Luxe (2004).  This wine was a sparkling white wine and is apparently very difficult to make.  Going back and forth from the wine to our dessert was stellar.  One bite, one drink...mmmmmm.

This was a Lemon Anglaise Panna Cotta with strawberry coulis and fresh berries.  Now, the one other time I had this at Recess it was delicious.  The chef came out and talked about this and wanted to explain to us why this was different from any other panna cotta we've had.  I didn't have a lot to compare to, but I was willing to take the challenge!  The difference was pretty apparent.  Normally a panna cotta is made with a gelatin base, but this one was creamy and a very different texture than my previous experience.  It was pretty dang amazing.  I can't think of a better way to end this meal than with this perfectly prepared dessert and a hearing how proud the chef was of his interpretation of it.  He was right on, though, I was impressed.

The wrap

   Sometimes I wonder why I even do a wrap up?!  I think it's pretty obvious that I am overly stoked about this place...probably annoyingly so, I know :)  I apologize, but I think the wrap might be necessary to discuss Osteria Pronto in general.  I think that our experience here might be a little bit different from an experience at the restaurant ordering from the regular menu.  Now, I haven't heard anything but good things about the restaurant AND Chef Baglio is still the head chef.  I am very, very excited about going back and recommending for you to go and give me some feedback about your experience here.  ALSO, this was their second wine dinner, so if it seems like something you might be interested in trying out, check out their specials (on the website).  They are actually hosting a Sun King Brewers Dinner on August 2nd for around $50.00 per person.  From what I've seen, they do it right, and it would definitely be an event worth trying!
  Thank you to Adrienne Bailey for inviting us to this event!  We had so much fun.

Chateau Ste Michelle Winemaker, Wendy Stuckey and myself

The wine setup at the event

Osteria Pronto on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm glad to actually see a review of the food from this place. Its received horrible reviews on Urban Spoon, but they were all about the service. Of course if you're dropping a dime on some serious eats, the service should be in line with the kitchen... But it sure sounds like you guys had an awesome time. :)


  2. Yeah, we actually had great service too. Everyone was on point. No complaints...I am still thinking about our meal here. It was deeeeeeelish!

  3. erin this meal looked amazing! and to have wines pared with each course, what a perfect dinner! glad you loved it! i like the presentation of the salmon dish, i might borrow that ;)) xo

  4. Looks like an awesome place to go to
    erin..sounds like fun. great pics of the food and dessert. yummy yum yum!!


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