When the Phoenician was working on their renovations they updated the vision for laidback dining. With delicious dishes, comfortable seats and an inviting atmosphere, Mowry & Cotton has reinvented what it means to enjoy fine dining at the resort. They recently began their “Meet at Mowry” dinner series and I was graciously invited to the Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Winery evening.
Paul Hobbs & Crossbarn Wines
I will be honest, I am no wine expert. In fact, before this dinner, I knew little about Paul Hobbs or Crossbarn wines. What I know now is that Paul Hobbs grew up on a farm in New York and has an excellent talent for recognizing the potential in the fruits he uses. Mr. Hobbs is a recognized wine consultant and also began Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991. I was thrilled for an opportunity to experience his wines. What started off as just one vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon has grown to include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blancs.
When we arrived we were ushered to the patio to enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, passed hors-d'oeuvres and watch the sun begin to set. It was relaxing and people were mostly confined to small groups. But this wasn’t going to last through dinner. We were shown to our tables and once everyone was seated we were introduced to each other. We sat at a table with not just representatives of the Phoenician but also the wine vendors, a gentleman there with his wife to celebrate his birthday, and more.
Meet at Mowry
All the dishes were served for the table and we enjoyed a family style meal. Each dish was paired with one of five Crossbarn wines. First up was a beautiful Game Board paired with a light Chardonnay. Chef Tandy Petersen, chef de cuisine of the Phoenician, created a menu that focuses on fresh game, locally sourced vegetables and other seasonal ingredients. The Game Board was bruleed foie, confit rabbit, quail egg country paté, funneled mustards, cherry compote, miso mustard, house-made pickles, and served with the perfect crispy flatbread. The confit rabbit stood out for me as flavorful and tender.
Next up was the Charred Vegetable Salad and Seafood Dip with a Pinot Noir. The Vegetable Salad was a balanced combination of artichoke, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, pickled chickpeas with herbs and a delightful smoked tomato vinaigrette. My husband especially enjoyed the seafood dip of uni, crab, charred pomelo, and Thai basil served with cracked wheat sourdough.
Our main course was paired with Cabernet Sauvignon. This included Smoked Lamb Shoulder with a spring vegetable kraut, pea yogurt, salsa matcha, and naan. We also had a Half Grill Pheasant—a Mowry & Cotton menu staple and favorite— along with grilled asparagus and roasted spring onions.
Dessert was unique, tasty and not too sweet. Blackberry Goat Cheese Sunburst Cake with a whipped white pepper brûlée was perfectly paired with a Cabernet Franc. The white pepper brûlée added a smokey spice to the tart and crispy sunburst cake.
Celebrating Food and New Friendships
The beautiful thing I found at the Meet at Mowry wasn't just the food. It wasn't just the wine. Both of which were superb. What really stood out was the community that developed. We spent the evening conversing, laughing and enjoying food with people we had just met. Sitting and sharing a meal with people is a wonderful way to spend an evening. It is such an intimate dinner and I enjoyed the conversation, the food, and the wine.
The Meet at Mowry dining series is something I would recommend for everyone. Each one of the celebrations is unique and revolves around getting to know locals, resort guests, chefs and industry VIPs alike.
Visit Mowry & Cotton for the next installments of the Meet at Mowry series. Upcoming Meet at Mowry celebrations range from communal wine parties to large, seasonal gatherings, with a BBQ, Bourbon & Beer Feast currently on the calendar for April and a Kentucky Derby Party planned for May. All events share a relaxed, social atmosphere, giving attendees a chance to sip and sample their way through the menu.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with meals and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.