Global Wines and Organic Dines at TWO’s Wine Education Dinner Series
It’s no secret that we love to discover hidden gem restaurants with unique cuisine and dynamic decor. Needless to say, I was thrilled to happen upon Noble Square’s TWO. A New American eatery with vintage rustic decor & communal tables. They source locally, buy sustainably and change menu and ingredients often.
I heard about its recently launched ‘Wine Education’ Dinner series and had to pop in to check it out. The Wine Education dinner features 3 courses paired with 3 wines for $50, so as a lover of wine, this was a no brainer date night.
You know I can’t go to a restaurant without getting an inside scoop, so I had a quick chat with Executive Chef Kevin Cuddihee.
What’s the overall inspiration for the menu?
A seasonally inspired Midwestern farm to table restaurant we take what’s available seasonally and create our menu around that. The wine education dinner is a smaller microcosm of that.
We start with produce that is in season, build the dishes around that and pair the wine accordingly.
Are there any ingredients coming that you excited about?
Early spring we get ramps, green garlic, and wild onions. baby squash, sugar snap peas. We get pretty excited every couple weeks when reports come. It keeps everyone’s interest as well. Cooking asparagus every week can get a little boring. Summer-wise? Sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, and all of the summer melons are exciting too!
Summer-wise? Sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, and all of the summer melons are exciting too!
When did your love of cooking develop?
It started when I was a small kid. I didn’t to do the dishes and If I helped my mom cook then I didn’t have to do the dishes. It’s been a life long journey you could say. I love making people happy through food.
What kind of experience can a first timer expect?
Our space is designed to be very comfortable and inviting. Our service is very casual yet attentive. Our main goal is flavor focused first.
If you are a newbie to wine or if you are already sip savvy, TWO delivers a flavorful evening of sophistication.
The Wine Education dinner is an inviting experience where you are encouraged to ask questions. In the beginning, the instructor took us through tasting exercises to heighten our senses to look out for different aspects in not only the wine but the food.
One of the benefits of being able to take a wine, smell it and put words to what you are working through is that you will be more comfortable describing what you like, allowing a much easier time when you are ordering in a restaurant or purchasing wine at a store.
We learned about the quality of the wine, oxygenating wine, preservation, and consistency of wine, the effect of the climate on the fruits and why you swirl the glass for its legs.
The golden rule when pairing wine with food is “what grows together goes together.”
The 1st course featured a beautiful salad with Roasted Heirloom Carrots, saffron ricotta, pecan gremolata and peas shoots. The salad was paired with Domaine Haut De Maurier Viognier.
This Viognier is a grape variety with strong aromas of peaches, apricots, and violets. It has a golden color with rich, well balanced, fruit flavors in the mouth. I loved its long finish.
The 2nd course was a flavorful olive oil poached California Halibut with baby squash, sugar snap peas, and porcini mushrooms. Honestly, this was the best halibut I’ve ever had. It was perfectly cooked, tender and paired to perfection with the Zullo Giovanni ‘Cenuta Viglione’ Fiano.
Fiano grape is a native of Apulia and is a grape variety with a golden yellow color. On the nose, it expresses notes of white pulp fruit, herbs, and yellow flowers. Only 800 cases of this wine are made.
The 3rd course was a pan-seared Duck Breast, blackberry gastrique, and duck fat potatoes. The duck breast was paired with a Babic (Bah-Bich) from Ivvica Pilizota Winery out of Croatia.
Like other Croatian reds, Babic thrives in poor stony soils on the southern slopes facing the Adriatic Sea.
If you are looking for middle of the week dinner plans, the Wine Education Dinner Series at TWO was a fantastic experience. This series is held every Wednesday. You’ll love the rural Midwestern inspirations infused with an urban culinary kick.
Come out and get thoroughly educated on global wines, dine on organic ingredients, and enjoy life with a group of positive people. Grab reservations today!
1132 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL.