Intriguing at Iris



The Carrollton area restaurant Iris is hosing a special wine dinner with Beringer Vineyards on Thursday with an eye-catching menu and a visit from the winemaker herself.

The chef and co-owner of Iris, Ian Schnoebelen, was named one of the 10 best new chefs in 2007 by Food+Wine Magazine. That's an honor he shares with his former boss, John Harris of Lilette, where he worked as sous chef for several years before opening Iris in the months after Hurricane Katrina.

Iris has been among my favorite New Orleans restaurants ever since it opened, and it's the kind of place where I have faith that the impressive list of high-end groceries going into this special menu (see below) will get its due. The chef takes an eclectic approach, borrowing elements from classic French, Italian and Asian cuisines, among others. What ties it all together is the friendly professionalism that pervades the restaurant, a place where the food is taken very seriously but not placed up on a pedestal. One recent example of Schnoebelen's approach was a memorable preparation of Alaskan halibut with green garlic and blood orange vinaigrette (pictured above).

Beringer winemaker Laurie Hook is coming to town for the dinner and will present different selections from her California winery paired with five courses of Schnoebelen's cooking. The evening starts with a reception at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $120, not including tax and tip. The menu and wine pairings are below:

Beringer Wine Dinner at Iris

Amuse Bouche

Scallop tartare with pickled ginger and blood orange vinaigrette

2006 Alluvium Blanc

First Course

Kurobuta bacon-wrapped rabbit confit salad with banyuls vinaigrette

2005 Sbragia Chardonnay

Second Course

Wild salmon and Gulf oysters with sunchokes, artichokes, wild mushrooms, and pinot noir butter

2006 Napa Valley Pinot Noir

Third Course

Leg of lamb with crispy eggplant, pickled lamb’s tongue and olives, and grilled ramps

2002 Bancroft Ranch Vineyard Merlot

Fourth Course

American Kobe beef hanger steak, yu-choy, foie gras, and veal reduction

2004 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Nectarine galette with caramel-walnut ice cream

2003 Nightingale

Call Iris at 862-5848 for reservations.

- Ian McNulty

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