Mark Estee Dinner at Whitehall Lane

You know by now that the Whitehall Lane gang is always up for a great party. Last month, we invited one of our beloved chef friends, Mark Estee of Campo in Reno, to host 10 guests in the winery for a dining experience to remember. Chef Mark held a contest that allowed five lucky diners a chance to bring a guest along for an all-expenses-paid trip to the winery in St. Helena.

He treated the guests to a stay at The El Bonito Hotel. The boutique hotel offers a quiet respite from the all-day tastings and dining around the valley, with quaint rooms and all of the amenities that visitors desire. Once checked in, the guests were treated to a tasting and private tour of our winery before retiring to the dining room.

Our private dining room overlooks the vineyards and has hosted many memorable dinners. The five-course menu created by Estee was paired with wines selected by Mr. and Mrs. Leonardini themselves, who joined in the night’s festivities.

A selection of Napa Valley Charcuterie and Cheeses were served to get their taste buds ready for the meal to follow, with 2011 Tre Leoni and 2012 Sauvignon Blanc filling the glasses. The first course of Sea Scallop with Veal Sweetbreads and Truffles set the stage for the rest of the meal with his twist on “surf and turf.” True to his Italian heritage, Mark had to serve handmade pasta! Lumache with Lobster and Uni had guests practically licking their plates. We popped the cork on a magnum of 2007 Carneros Chardonnay, which paired wonderfully with both of the seafood dishes.

For the main course, a duo of Kobe Beef with Yukon Potatoes and Crispy Brussel Sprouts melded the rare, seared steak and braised shoulder into a perfect union with a Magnum of 2009 Las Brisas Pinot. Amazingly, guests still had room to enjoy Fresh Donuts with Lemon Curd and Chocolate to finish off the meal, which was enhanced by yet another magnum, this time special bottles from the Leonardini Family cellar, 2005 Montallegro Cabernet. Truly a feast to remember!

Chef Mark Estee is known for his passion for serving sustainable, seasonal food in his restaurants. Everything from handmade pasta to world-class desserts start with the best ingredients inside Campo’s kitchen. The same philosophy follows through to chez louie and Burger Me! restaurants in Truckee and Reno. We are lucky to call Mr. Estee a friend and always delighted to have him visit the winery and entertain guests with his talent.

The guests for this dinner were chosen through a promotion open to Campo’s Gold Card members. Regular diners were entered to win the vacation, which means they enjoyed Mark’s creations all year before topping it off with this outstanding wine dinner.

Take a look through the pictures and let your mouth water! If you want in on the action, make sure you follow us and Campo online via the links below so you don’t miss out.

We hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s and President’s Day weekend!

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Categories: Food & Friends