For part of my birthday gift, the GF got us tickets to a cooking demonstration and wine tasting at PA School of Wine. It's a cute setup, with several two-tops up front and a larger community table taking up the main expanse of the room. Chalkboards took the place of the walls, replete with the names of wines as well as the ingredients and directions for the dishes that would be created on this night.
We had Chef Keith for our culinary class and he was busy prepping when we arrived 15 minutes early so we could grab a seat near the front. We appreciated the mirror above him, which allowed us to see his prep station.
Apologies in advance for the cell phone pics! We started off the meal with some background on the Wine School and the meal we were about to enjoy. Walnut crisps and a pour of white wine kicked things off while Chef got started on the first dish.
Our starter was a salad focused on carrots. While the carrots were beautiful and fresh, they were definitely too large and hard to cut with the salad knife we were provided. The vinaigrette was also a bit too acerbic, though I appreciated the use of walnut oil, which was a nice touch with the hazelnuts. I did enjoy the tips Chef offered. Salt, pepper, lemon - amazing what a few ingredients will do to amp up your boring salads at home!
Our next dish was a mushroom farro, which had a great essence from the stock and was paired with another white wine. The salty hits of shaved parm on top were much needed to offer up some salt and richness to each bite. Pro-tip here? If you're cooking hearty grains, don't use just water. You should always have a few boxes or cans of chicken/beef stock on hand!
Our final dish came in the form of nicely cooked filets with a Bordelaise red-wine sauce. Steaks were prepped in advance via sous vide, with a final sear with a blow torch! Roasted asparagus accompanied the steaks, along with a pour of red wine.
As we left, there were a tray of chocolates for us to enjoy as a final bite.
So if you're looking for a fun, culinary date night, I'd recommend checking out Wine School of Philadelphia. Tickets are typically around $75pp, so it's a discount if you're not ready to splurge on the level of an Audrey Claire Cook class.