Last March, my husband Robert and I attended a fun event raising money for the Denver Dumb Friends League, called Give PAWS. During the live auction, Robert bid on and won (well, actually drank a lot of wine, then started bidding and somehow won) a 5-course dinner with wine pairings for eight people, provided by Denver’s Gourmet Fine Catering. Last month, we finally cashed in our prize – and it was a truly memorable evening.

We invited 6 foodie friends to join us and enjoy our windfall. The evening started out with passed hors d’oeuvres (sorry, I forgot to take pictures of these – too busy eating all of these scrumptious items! – so you’ll have to use your imagination) paired with a yummy Mionetto Prosecco Brut:

Blackened Rare Ahi Tuna
on a crisp gaufrette with wasabi mayonnaise, soy syrup and pickled ginger

Tuscan Bruschetta
topped with wedged brie and spiced pear & apple chutney

Wild Mushroom and Boursin Corn Fritter
served with a sweet roasted corn and scallion crème friache dipping sauce

Braised Duck Confit on Zucchini Cake
served with sun-dried cherry chutney

It was impossible to pick a favorite – they were all perfectly prepared and oh sooo good!

Next we moved into the dining room . . .

 . . . to the first of our five courses – a wonderfully light and flavorful Gourmet Wedge Salad that was paired with a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2011:


Wedge of bibb lettuce with candied pecans, sliced green apples and grape tomatoes, drizzled with a fall pear vinaigrette and garnished with herbed goat cheese medallions and bread sticks


Second course was a fabulous Butternut Squash Ravioli, paired with a Fess Parker Chardonnay 2011:


Hand-made winter butternut squash ravioli served with a vanilla bean-vin blanc garnished with toasted pine nuts, shaved grana cheese and chiffonade of fresh sage


Third course was Spanish Sea Bass paired with Chime Pinot Noir North Coast 2009:


Paprika and chive oiled seared sea bass garnished with a fresh cilantro pesto and roasted corn relish and served with marbled purple and gold mashed potatoes

Over halfway now, and everything has been over-the-top fabulous . . .

Fourth course was Petite Filet paired with Francis Coppola Cabernet Sauvignon 2009:


Grilled beef tenderloin tournedos drizzle with a roasted shallot zinfandel demi glace and garnished with fingerling shoestring potatoes

And the finale – Chocolate Dipped Tiramisu paired with Robert Mondavi Masco D’oro 2007. Truly incredible – to die for – I dreamed about it, it was so fabulous!


Individual chocolate dipped tiramisu slice with creme anglaise, seasonal fresh beries and garnished with pulled sugar


Gourmet Fine Catering did an incredible job. Here is our wonderful chef for the evening, Bill:


Unfortunately the photo of our server, Sarah, didn’t come out – but she was great too! They did all of the work from beginning to end, including setting the table, providing all linens, dishware, glassware, cutlery, etc. – and, Robert’s favorite part, they cleaned it all up!

I would highly recommend Gourmet Fine Catering – we had no complaints, and all gave them a 10 out of 10!


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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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