Each Thursday evening until the end of August, Piero’s Corner in Herndon (Franklin Farm shopping center), is offering a very reasonable priced wine dinner, available without reservations. This wine dinner is perfect for a “date night” or a quick evening out where you want to sample some fantastic wines and not be overwhelmed with the amount of food or the final bill.
This weekly wine dinner is a expertly-crafted four course dinner featuring the latest in fresh fare (from local suppliers), and incorporates local fresh figs, peaches, fresh arugula, onions, tomatoes and even meats from a local meat supplier. According to their expert sommelier, Warfaa, this dinner is either something “designed around something very fresh that day, or, they use the featured wine as the driving force to design the food.” When they get excited about a new wine, Chef Gian Piero Mazzi designs a course to go with it.
The meal begins with a table-side introduction by your server, and program/menu (with detailed descriptions) for what is going to be served. Our wines for the dinner are from the Piedmont region of Italy, and we hear a lot about how Barolo wines are produced, and why they can be so expensive.
A small pre-appetizer of juicy cantaloupe wrapped in a micro-thin shaving of buttery prosciutto, with grilled fresh figs on the side arrives with our first wine. Grilled fresh figs? These were just amazing, as the natural sweetness if enhanced on the grill. It is paired with a very soft-as-a-feather Di Leonardo Chardonnay. Our taste buds are sent into orbit it is so delicious.
Each course is served with a 3-oz. “taste” of wine. Over the four courses, that computes to 12 oz. of wine, or two normal glasses (6 oz. per glass). The cost of this fabulous dinner is only $25 per person, or $45 per couple. Now, read this analysis carefully. With the wines going for $8.50 per glass when ordered separately, the total cost for the wine for the dinner is approximately $17 for the wine, per person, so it is only $8 for the food (all four courses) for a single, or, $34 for wine for two, and $11 for food (for two). This is why this is such a “deal” if you want to experience a great wine dinner without stressing the budget. Keep in mind that this “designed” dinner is served in smaller portions.
Piero’s “normal” entrees are known to be very generous, so if you are very hungry, you will not be “stuffed” at the end of this dinner, as the portions are reduced in size, but expansive in taste. This wine dinner is more of an “experience” than an Olympics in gluttony. My husband estimated that the calories were around 900 to 1,000 for the entire dinner, as he chose the entrée with more vegetables, less carbs, and skipped the bread.
Our appetizer was a single scallop wrapped in bacon atop a small nest of fresh arugula, draped in spectacular bacon vinaigrette, with mango salsa on top. Yes, it is a single scallop, but you are gearing for tastes and flavors, and this was paired with a velvety pinot noir. (I wanted to order a quart of the vinaigrette to take home.)
Our entrees were roasted Italian sausages, with penne pasta, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms, bathed in a rich Barolo wine sauce, and a lemon chicken entrée with seasonal grilled vegetables and a lemon white wine sauce. The Barolo entrée was paired with Monferrato Rosso “Baby Barolo” red wine, which was my favorite wine of the evening. I purchased a bottle retail for $20 to take home (regular menu price was $32). Because the wines are “featured” that evening, they offer them at a steep discount if you want to purchase a bottle to take home, or add to the meal.
The final “dessert” course was a delightful mango gelato, and spooned over the top of the frozen goodness was a sparkling Moscato D’Asti. I chose to save some of the wine just to drink, but, when it was drizzled over the gelato, it greatly enhanced the flavors. It was frozen bliss to end the perfect meal.
Even better, our final check for our dinner was under $50, including all the wines we tasted. I can’t wait to come back here next Thursday!