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2010 Trader Vic's

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Trader Vic’s at Dinah’s Garden Hotel, Palo Alto was the perfect venue for Hillsborough’s summer event on July 17, 2010. Members and guests, many in Hawaiian dress, gathered for an outdoor reception on the terrace where Trader Vic’s specialty Mai Tai’s were served, along with 2006 Montevino Pinot Grigio and Gloria Ferrer Brut, Sonoma County. Delicious exotic hors d’oeuvres such as Malayan chicken skewers, ahi poke on taro chips, crispy prawns, crab rangoon and vegetarian spring rolls were passed.

Trader Vic’s opened its 22nd location at Dinah’s Garden Hotel in November, 2001. The original Trader Vic’s began in 1934 as a small bar restaurant in Oakland, CA by Victor Jules Bergeron called “Hinky Dinks”. In 1937 it was renamed Trader Vic’s because Victor would trade food and drink for anything.

Bailli Harry Dokouzian greeted everyone and introduced Bailli Prov. Hon. A. James Scholz and new member Professionnel du Vin Meagan Simmons. In between courses, Megan Simmons spoke about CADE Winery and Plumpjack wine.

Executive Chef Cesar Guadarrama created an exotic, cultural menu for the evening. Each table setting had a baby orchid in the center of the napkin which added to the atmosphere.

Dinner began with vichyssoise – a chilled soup made of pureed leeks, potatoes, cream and chicken stock. Complimenting this was 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, Handley Cellars, Dry Creek Valley. The Handley wine was from the Handley family winery, of which Julie Handley, the owner of the hotel/restaurant, is a member.

The salad course consisted of Bibb lettuce with Point Reyes bleu cheese, roasted walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. A 2007 Pinot Noir, Merry Edwards Russian River was well paired and enjoyed.

Entrée was a delicious tender rib eye steak cooked in a Chinese wood-fired oven, accompanied with herb roasted fingerling potatoes and long asparagus. The wine was 2004 Penfolds Bin 389 Shiraz.

An interesting after dinner drink, consisting of Malibu Coconut Rum, Chambord, Triple Sec and Lime Juice in a Trader Vic’s shot glass, was served with a Polynesian snowball dessert topped with coconut and chocolate sauce. Trays of petit fours ended the evening.

Executive Chef Cesar and his wait staff were thanked, as well as hotel owner Julie Handley, for a wonderful evening.