Have you ever dined out at a restaurant and the server asked you if you would like a glass of wine to go with your dinner, and you freeze? Like, “Well, I want to look fancy as f*&# and like I know my wine and food, but I don’t. What do I do? What do I order?” And then you end up ordering a martini? I am not going to judge as I know a lot of people like you. I used to be like you too! There is a solution! You need to treat yourself to a Patrono Wine Education Dinner!
Let me explain in simple terms how this works:
- You stalk their Instagram page.
- When they post about their next dinner, you make a reservation.
- You show up hungry and thirsty.
So easy. The best thing is that you don’t have to know anything about wine or wine pairing. Patrono’s chef and the local wine distributor do all the work for you. You literally just show up, eat and drink what is given to you, and pay at the end.
Let me tell you about my latest experience:
T’was the night of September 28th 2022. The hour was 6 pm. The sun was beginning to set in the western sky. The trees and buildings of downtown OKC were painting blue shadows on the warm pavement and sidewalks. I parallel parked my car in front of the restaurant, like a rock star, and made my way inside Patrono. I was not a Patrono virgin. Oh no, this was not my first time. Every time I enter this dining facility, I am immediately put at ease. All the stress of the day melts away and suddenly I am nestled at my table gazing at the cocktail menu. Patrono is a smaller, intimate restaurant with perfectly dimmed lighting, friendly staff, and hypnotic aromas. The design makes it the perfect place to have romantic dinner, catch up with friends, or celebrate prior to attending a performance at the Civic Center.
When you make a reservation at for the wine education dinner, they will keep all guests in the same area. Our party was seated at the end of a long table, semiprivate but cozy. My girlfriends arrived in time to savor some pre-dinner cocktails. Some people like to start off with a martini, I however started off with a shot of tequila. Note to self, don’t do that again.
Wine glasses were placed in front of us, promptly followed by our starting course. This night, the vineyard highlighted was Beni Di Batasiolo. We started with the Gavi, a crisp white wine. It was perfectly paired with the Spinach Ridicchio Salad. This salad was simple with complex flavors. The wine brought out the deliciously haunting tastes of the red onion and butternut squash. Each bite and sip were an adventure, teetering between buttery and crisp. As we waited on our next pairing, I noticed that some of my companions were not drinking their wine. I assisted them, because I don’t tolerate wine abuse. This was probably the moment that I should have tapped the brakes.
After lots of chatting and storytelling, the main course was delivered, and a fresh glass of wine was positioned in my hand. Our main course was a beautiful meaty Chicken Cacciatore with kalamata olive and crispy potatoes paired with the red Barbera D’Alba. Slowly, I dissected and devoured this delicious piece of dark meat. Carefully, I combined a tender chunk of chicken thigh, crispy potato, and olive on my fork, topping it with the mushroom and peppers with my knife and shoveled it into my mouth. All the flavors and textures were delicate and rich. A sip of the ruby red wine deepened the soft spice of the sauce and tamed the bite of the olive. This is the wine I want to drink with all of my pasta. This is not a wine I would waste on someone who did not appreciate the complexity of the flavors.
By the time our last course came out, I felt like I had arrived in life. Is there anything better than good food, good company, and great drinks? Don’t answer that…Dessert was a naughty Chocolate Zucchini Cake paired with the Barolo DOCG wine. Let me tell you this: If you are eating rich chocolate dessert, you must pair it with a delicious dry red. The richness of the chocolate cake was subdued to the delicate bite of the wine. It was like velvet heaven in my mouth.
As you can guess, by the end of the dinner, I was feeling no pain. Feeling friendly and confident, I struck up a conversation with the neighboring guests, who happened to be from the small town where I grew up! Suddenly, my boyfriend appeared and sat down at our table. I was pretty relieved as I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive home. People, let me tell you a secret: good wine, I mean really good wine, will sneak up on you faster than a thief in the night. This was not Barefoot wine. This wine lingered with me all night and the next day. It could have been the tequila too.
For anyone who is new to pairing wines with food, this is a great way to dip your toes into the never-ending adventure. Patrono’s three-course wine education dinner is a phenomenal value for everything you taste and experience. Grab your friends, co-workers, or your partner and indulge in this monthly Wednesday night event. Memories created at this event will leave you intoxicated, and the cuisine and wine will leave you fulfilled, yet longing for more.
Have you been to a wine education dinner at Patrono? Have you been to any other wine pairing dinners around town? I want to hear all about your experience.
Until next time, keep life zesty!