French Garden BBQ, Sat 27th June 2009
I am sure you all know what al fresco means, which is Italian literally for 'in the fresh' or 'in the open air'.
So for this June's dinner, we are going to do al fresco, but in style, or to be more precise, in French style. I have never been to a proper French BBQ but this place promises to be different and rather sumptous. And the price includes all the food and wine you can eat and drink as well. So I guess one or two of us might wake up the next morning with slightly blurred vision or perhaps a gentle headache.
We have been here at this garden before and had a great session, and this time, it is actually better value for money as all the wine is now also included with the food for a fixed price of just under 50 Euro (but not water or coffees). The dinner starts with a complimentary French champagne and then we wander through several stands to pick up all the salads and grilled meat and fish you can eat, helping yourselves to free wines along the way. There is even an oyster bar and if that is not enough, we will end with a complimentary calvados, just to make sure you sleep that little bit better afterwards.
The location is the garden at The Westin Grand, Friedrichstrasse 158-164, Berlin 10117, so transport is not an issue. For more details, have a look at this: http://www.theberlingrandhotel.com/pdf/The_Westin_Grand_Berlin_BBQ.pdf and although there are not many details there, I have been assured that we will have a French theme that evening with the following types of grills: Bretonischer Hummer, Maispoularde gefüllt mit Thymian, Mergez, Porchetta Clafoutis, beef, lamb, pork, etc. And don't forget the oysters. There will also be a large starter and salad buffet and some examples are Salade Nicoise, Salade d`Aubergines, Salade de leutilles vertes du Puy (Salat von grünen Linsen), etc.
Wines are as follows and you can drink as much as you like (though I personally don't know any of these wines):
Weisswein: La Ville Ferme, Cotes de Luberon blanc, Cotes du Rhone Pinot Blanc AC, Leon Beyer, Elsass
Rotwein: Perrin Rouge Cotes de Ventoux AC, Perrin & Fils Estibals Minervois AC, L`Ostal Cazes
Rosé: Rosé de Toureles, Pichon Longueville Baron, Pauillac
As this is an outdoor event, we also have to have a Plan B, in case of rain. And we do, except that we hope that we don't have to use it. More on this Plan B later, if you wish to ask.
So, if you are interested in coming along to a cool al fresco French-style BBQ, then please note the date and time now. The June dinner is planned for 18:00 (6 pm) on Saturday, 27th June 2009. Note that we start this dinner at 6 pm, not our usual 8 pm as there is a free pre-dinner drink (and also the BBQ ends at 22:00), so we can just meet up there any time after 6pm and hope that the members who came earlier have left you some food! :o)
At the moment, it is unclear how many places would be available at the Grand Westin, so we have booked around a dozen places for our initial table, just to hold some seats for the moment. If you wish to join us, please do send me an email asap to let me know before June 15 so that we can extend the booking. Confirmations will be sent out by June 18 latest. Oh, and if you are planning to come, please, please, please make sure you don't eat or drink anything before the dinner. We need everyone to uphold the reputation of the Dinner Club! :o)
See you soon!
How it went on the night...
The afternoon started with the St Christopher's Day parade and the weather held up well. Although the sun was not beating down, it was dry all evening and it was not hot and sticky either. The BBQ was simply excellent, lots of good food (see pics below), with a wide selection of sauces, heaps of desserts and even a pineapple/vodka cocktail which we managed to polish off (or at least, they stopped making it after a while). The wines were pretty good, actually, and we had a lot of it as well as they kept leaving us bottles on the table to polish off. Which reminds me that someone once told me that you should stop drinking once your lips feel numb. I wish I had remembered in time. Oh well. Anyway, just in case our livers thought the night was over after the BBQ, we found our way to Billy Wilders and somehow I managed to get home. I had no headaches the next morning, even after mixing whites, reds, vodkas and long island iced teas so at least the quality of the alcohol all night was pretty good!