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2013 Holiday the the Ritz in Half Moon Bay

Hillsborough chose the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay for their holiday event on December 1, 2013.  Welcoming one to the hotel were three giant wreaths at the entrance.  We followed twinkling lights down the hallway to the Reception area.  Everything was very festive!

Butler passed hors d'oeuvres of lobster, mango and arugula and served on a fork were passed as Mumm Napa, Brut, Napa Valley was poured.  Also poured was Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County 2012.  Other delights were mushroom truffle parmesan served on a crostini and smoked salmon caviar wanna cotta served on a spoon.

Some members chose to venture out onto the patio were an inviting fire was burning in the fire pit.

Executive Chef Xavier Salomon and his staff were very creative in their presentations.  First course was a "seasonal' roasted Half Moon Bay Pumpkin soup complete with nutmeg whipped cream and ginger bread croutons on the side. Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Country 2012 was paired with this course.

Next was another creative course - pheasant, celery root and truffle "parfait" along with apple cider puree and an unusual warm brioche!  One need to see this to appreciate the presentation.  E. Guigal, Cetes du Phone Blanc 2009 was an excellent choice with this course.

Butter poached halibut on a bed of hazelnut ravioli garnished with scattered Brussels spout leaves was the third course paired with MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir 2011.

The main course was whole roasted beef tenderloin with a short rib beignet.  So tender the beef - it melted in one's mouth.  This was paired with Heitz Cellar, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009.

Dessert was a Manjari dark chocolate and peppermind semi-freddo "bar".  The creativity of Pastry Chef Christian Brassfield was evident.  For a dessert "wine" Alvear, Pedro Ximenez, Montilla Moriles 2008 was poured.  Petite fours were passed.

A three-piece band played throughout the evening.  After dinner, the dancing began.  Napa Bailli Gene Daly and Walt Renner, new Gastronomique National were in attendance.

This was certainly a great way to begin the Holiday Season.