As mentioned in my earlier post, we were invited to attend the private Amex Platinum Cardmember Dinner at Hawksworth Restaurant, joining roughly 60 Amex Platinum Cardmembers at the York Room.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of champagne. Chef David Hawksworth made an appearance and walked us through the menu that was designed to celebrate the kickoff of the fall season. Each course was paired with wines provided by WineOnline.ca. Let me tempt you with some delicious photos!
Our dinner started with a Roasted Acorn Squash and Pear Salad. It’s finished with chèvre (goat cheese) and a walnut vinaigrette. What a perfect combination to represent the fall. Wine Pairing: Nicolas Maillart Rose Champagne.
Then our server brought over this plate of seared scallop with crispy cauliflower and capers. It was difficult to stop ourselves from digging into the perfectly seared scallop, but we had to wait till they poured the silky Cauliflower Veloute into the dish. The surprise was in the lemon supremes (the naked flesh of the lemon — no rind, pith, or seeds), as well as the fried capers; they helped cut through the richness in the creamy veloute. Wine Pairing: Vinos Sanz’s Sanz Rueda Clasico.
Next, the Duck Conft Raviolo was definitely encore-worthy!
The pasta was thin, jam-packed with duck meat. Combined with the beurre blanc, this was rich, bold, somewhat rustic, and just pure satisfying. I wish there was more than one! Wine Pairing: Erik Banti Carato Toscana IGT.
We got two options for our main. Luckily, with Mr. at the table we were able to try both dishes. I enjoyed the pairing of the rich chanterelle mushroom with the light, natural flavour of the Haida Gwaii Halibut. Wine Pairing: Marie-Pierre Manciat Les Morizottes
However, my favourite was the Conft Lamb Neck. The lamb was melt-in-your-mouth tender, rich, and I liked the texture contrast with the gruyere crumb. It was served with wild rice; I think mash or root vegetable puree would be great alternatives. Wine Pairing: Pasquale Pelissero Langhe Nebbiolo Pasqualin DOC
Lastly, wrapping up the dinner was Dark Chocolate Crémeux. There was so much effort into introducing different textures in this dish. My favourite was no doubt the sweet potato ice cream and maple syrup caramel; such an interesting take on some ordinary, everyday ingredients. Wine Pairing: Senhoro do Convento Vintage Port
Overall, I thought the dinner had delivered on all expectations that I had. There was a lot of textural contrast on each plate, with flavours that reminded you of fall. It was also in this intimate setting, allowing you to mingle with friends, or meet some new friends, over a long, elegant dining table. This dinner cost $150 per couple, including the wine pairing, and a bottle of wine each to take home. We thought this was a very reasonable price for such wonderful, private dining experience.
Of course, this unique dining experience was just one of the benefits as being an Amex Platinum Cardmember. The foodie Cardmembers can call up the Platinum Concierge for restaurant suggestions, ideas for a memorable night out, or even amazing places to visit while travelling. As part of the Taste from Platinum Dining Program, the Concierge also reviews menus and wine lists, offers advice on house specialties, helps you make a reservation, and even makes special arrangements such as having flowers wait at your table. Hey, if Mr. were a Cardmember, things would probably go even smoother for the surprise proposal!
Blue Water Café, Chambar, CinCin, Coast Restaurant, Hawksworth, Italian Kitchen, Market by Jean-Georges and West are just some of the participating restaurants in Vancouver. There are a total of 65 Canadian restaurants in the Taste from Platinum Dining Program, plus hundreds around the world. To learn more about the the Amex Platinum Card and its perks and benefits, visit the Amex website.
This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.