By BARRY GOODRICH
Relax and enjoy this holiday season in an atmosphere that soothes the soul.
Cru Uncorked provides such a setting, with a fine dining experience featuring French New American cuisine set in a country chateau. The Moreland Hills establishment is known for its contemporary and classic dishes prepared from scratch and a wine list of more than 350 selections from around the world.
Cru Uncorked is also the perfect location for private holiday events, offering a destination experience with a convenient location. A private banquet room is available for corporate events, celebrations and special occasions with event-specific menus and expert wine pairings.
“Everything here is meant to be comfortable…it’s all about that communion and the moments we have together, which is the central core of the holidays,” said Cru Uncorked president Chris Oppewall.
Earlier this year, Cru Uncorked won the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. The award signifies Cru Uncorked’s wine collection “displays excellent breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and/or significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation.”
Beginning this month, for every $100 in gift certificates purchased, visitors will receive a $20 reward from Cru Uncorked. The restaurant will also feature the option of buying six packed wines from the cellar, featuring the year’s tastings and some special surprises. Members of Cru Uncorked’s email list will receive information on the wines and how to order in time for the holidays (to sign up for the list, visit the website at www.cruuncorked.com).
On Dec. 5, wine lovers can enjoy a Quintessa Wine Dinner with winemaker Rebekah Wineburg returning to Cru Uncorked with several vintages of this acclaimed wine. Five courses will be served for $225 per person, which includes valet, tax and a 20 percent gratuity for servers.
Another upcoming event is Cru Uncorked’s annual salute to truffles with the best truffles from Alba, including freshly shaved truffles tableside. A multi-course dinner with wines paired per course and an option to add white truffle to each dish will be offered.
For more information or to make reservations, visit Cru Uncorked at www.cruuncorked.com or call 440.903.1171.
Chris Oppewall’s Holiday
“For Thanksgiving, the usual components of dinner lean toward white wine. Reisling always comes to mind when thinking of Thanksgiving feasts and other great wines that bring their own body and lush elements to the table include Gewurtztraminer and Moscato. It’s also a great time to finish off that rosé you’ve been saving.
“For Christmas, a great option for brunch, a cocktail party or as a start to dinner is bubbles. Champagne is always a welcome beverage and a sparkling bar with a selection of fresh juices and berries can make a colorful collection of cocktails. For holiday dinners, ham can be paired with Pinot Noir and with tenderloin, reds such as Merlot, Cabernet and blends can be ideal.
“New Year’s Eve is always champagne-dominated but also a time to drink that bottle you’ve been eyeing all year. Pull a cork you’ve been saving – there’s no better way to welcome in a new year than toasting with a highlight.”
John Stropki/Cru Uncorked
Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake
1 c graham crackers crumbs
¼ c finely chopped pecans
4T melted butter
2 T sugar
Grease a 9” spring form with butter and wrap the outside of the pan with foil, 3” up its side to waterproof
Press in the crumbs on the bottom and 2” up the sides
Bake at 350F for 10 minutes
Cool on a rack
1# cream cheese at room temp.
1 c sugar
¼ c brown sugar
¾ c sour cream
2 T cornstarch
1 T bourbon
1 t cinnamon
½ t allspice
1/8 t nutmeg
¼ t salt
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
4 eggs room temp.
Combine cream cheese, sugars, cornstarch, spices, salt, bourbon in a mixer and mix till smooth with no lumps
Add puree and sour cream
Add eggs one by one
Add to prepared pan and place in a water bath coming up 1” the sides. Bake on the middle rack in a preheated 350f oven about 1 hour or till the center of the cake barley jiggles
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes
1 1/3 c sour cream
2 T sugar
1 T maple syrup
1 t bourbon
Combine all and pour over the cheesecake and bake for 5 minutes at 350f
Chill for at least 6 hours