I was very pleased to receive an invitation from JC de Terry towards the end of December, inviting a few close friends to a Despedida to 2013 dinner. Although the never-ending round of year-end parties continued even after Christmas Day, this was certainly one invitation I could not say no to as JC always come up with very creative and imaginative dishes and spares no expense in using the finest ingredients available to him.
We arrived on time and were greeted by JC’s wife Mari who was chatting with Alex at our table which was set apart from the rest of the restaurant by a foldable screen. The table was decorated with a stunning flower arrangement from Mabolo Flowers which is run by Mari’s brother.
A perusal of the menu showed that, not only was the food going to be first rate, but some very special bottles were also to be opened to bid goodbye to 2013.
To get everyone settled down, we started with a rather light, lemony and bracing Champagne Mailly Grand Cru L’Intemporelle 2007.
This was followed by a rounder, richer and more elegant Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Les Échansons 2004.
This was paired with the Hamachi a la Tres Salsas – one based on olive oil, another like a tartar with black olives and the last one cream based. The preference of most was the sauce with the olives. The champagne was a good match for this dish.
I was pleased to see that the next dish featured the La Catedral asparagus which I remembered from a previous dinner at Terry’s, stuffed with uni which I love.
This went with a Rolly Gassmann Riesling Reserve Millesime 2009 from Alsace. There’s quite a bit of residual sugar in this wine but it finishes bright and fresh, with some mint notes. This wine was also a great match for the Consommé Mimosa which followed.
The dish of Lamb Sweetbreads on Baked Portobello with Riesling Robert Sauce was perhaps the dish I was most looking forward to as I like sweetbreads but don’t find them served at a lot of restaurants.
Good as this was, the following course of Pan-Seared Foie Gras on Caramelized Piquillo Pepper on French Toast was pretty much the favorite of the group. JC prepared the sauce for this just before serving it and as a last minute inspiration added some port that he saw beside the stove in his kitchen.
Both the foie gras and sweetbreads were brilliantly paired with one of the best sherries I’ve had the pleasure to taste. This was the Valdespino Oloroso Solera de su Majestad VORS. The solera for this particular sherry was started in the 19th century and the VORS designation guarantees the age of this wine to be at least 30 years old although it is probably far older than that. A very rich, warm wine with the flavor of walnuts and a faint sweetness. Huge concentration of flavor and a finish that won’t quit.
Finally, we came to the main course of Wild Duck Salmis Risotto based on an old recipe from the Bas Armagnac. This was very flavorful and although I was already quite full, I finished my portion without too much trouble.
Paired with the Risotto was a magnum of Bodegas Olarra Cerro Añon 1978 from Rioja. JC took extra care in extracting the cork, laying the bottle in a cradle to avoid disturbing the sediment. Although quite old, it was still meaty and quite full-bodied. The flavor was very dry with a distinct tea leaf scent.
This also went with the Trio of Spanish Cheeses. All goat cheese.
The last wine was another special bottle gifted to JC by some friends. This was a Barsac Doisy-Daëne 1975 which also required special handling. The wine had a bronze cast to it and was quite complex with flavors of bitter marmalade, honey, caramel and toffee.
For dessert, we were served a Traditional Andalusian Christmas Cake bathed in Sauternes Custard (Chateau d’Arche) topped with a Pestiño de Cádiz, which is dough deep fried in olive oil and glazed with honey or sugar. Pestiños are a popular Christmas treat. As with all desserts at Terry’s, this one was excellent.
Although we finished another great meal by JC, we lingered over the dregs in the bottles until we were the last patrons left in the restaurant. Thank you JC and Mari for a great way to send off 2013!
Terry’s is located at Unit 2 Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Tel 8441816