After Nathan filled our glass with a starter wine, we stood in the wood-fired pizza line (which we believed had mini lobster rolls). The chefs made various types of pizza; the one we received was prosciutto, fig, arugula, Parmesan, ricotta and olive oil. Fresh out of the outdoor oven, it was delicious.
As we stood in line for the main course, Chef Cruz came around with wygu beef corndogs, mini lobster rolls and fried chicken wing-ettes. It was the first time I'd seen Chef Cruz in the person. Rachel the bartender told my husband that the wing-ettes are made by taking chicken wings, removing the smaller of the two bones, and scraping the skin and meat to one side. The protruding bone makes it very easy to hold onto for an appetizer.
The beef rib had a great flavor and texture.
Chef Cruz worked hard the whole event. Later, we found him scooping caramel corn for dessert. Chocolate crinkle and Mexican wedding cake cookies, fig tartlets with caramel sauce, and creamsicle ice cream (orange sorbet with vanilla ice cream) completed dessert.
As the night wore on, more than three bands played, including the members of the restaurant forming the group "Ad Rock." People danced, and Nick raffled off magnums of wine. My husband won a gift certificate for dinner for two at Bouchon (Thomas Keller's Parisian bistro down the street).
At 8:30 p.m. we took a break to walk down the street to wait for a new friend who has the French Laundry bat phone. She's an attorney who loves to eat at the French Laundry, so the restaurant knows her well. Luckily, she's able to obtain reservations almost any time she would like them (unlike the rest of us who have to hit redial two months to the day ahead). The three of us walked back to the benefit party. Chefs brought out large platters of cheese. Nathan gave my husband enough cheese for three.
We felt fortunate to take part in the festivities for Clinic Ole. I hope that the people who work so hard for our delicious wine continue to obtain the healthcare they need [through Clinic Ole].