Last Sunday night, we went over to our friends Anne and Dudley’s for dinner. The main event was paella, and I had run into Anne and Dudley at Santa Monica Seafood as they were loading up on mussels, crab legs, scallops, and spot prawns for the affair so we knew it would be nothing short of spectacular! Since I didn’t break out the camera until later, imagine sitting in a garden eating heirloom tomato and buffala crostini and bacon-wrapped figs while looking at Anne’s formal rose garden (which she restored to the original 1928 landscaping plan) and sipping Spanish rosé and Albariño—bottles of which are chilling in a silver ice bucket nearby.
I actually hadn’t planned on whipping out the camera at all because it’s, well, rude at someone else’s dinner party. But when their cook, Lety, was adding the seafood, baby purple artichokes, and green beans to a giant paella pot atop a Weber kettle grill, well, I lost all my manners and…click…
You cannot imagine how delicious the paella was! We sat down at tables in the garden to enjoy as the sun was setting and the fire was roaring in the outdoor fireplace. Just magical. Dudley brought out this CRAZY bottle of 1998 R Lopez de Heredia rosé from the Rioja. I’ve never had anything like it, so fresh for being over a decade old and just gorgeous. Coppery in color with sort of apricot, cherry and nutty flavors—and super complex for a rosé. I hesitate to share this, but there are a few bottles left at The Wine House.
For dessert, Dudley had made a balsamic sauce to go over fresh peaches and basil, while Anne had whipped up the largest, most seductive bowl of mascarpone and cream (with a splash of cognac) you’ve ever dreamed of. This bowl of mascarpone cream wouldn’t have made it through the night if it had been left in my custody. Here is what, if you’re lucky, the afterlife looks like with a spoon:
Gracias, Anne y Dudley!