Davio’s Wine Dinner Featuring Charles Krug Winery

Plus scroll down for information on Thanksgiving Day dining, Black Friday Happy Hour and a Gingerbread House Workshop.

With the holiday shopping season kicking off, there’s a good chance you’re going to be spending some time at the mall. Whether it’s Lenox Square or Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, the good news is that good food and drinks are close by at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse.

I recently had the opportunity to dine at Davio’s for a wine dinner featuring Charles Krug. It was hosted by Riana Mondavi, whose family name is synonymous with the Napa Valley. Riana’s great grandfather Cesare Mondavi settled in Napa in the early 1920s and purchased the Charles Krug Winery in 1943 for his sons Peter (Riana’s grandfather) and Robert to run. Today Riana and the extended Mondavi family (sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles) have a variety of wineries, brands and wine-related companies that extend beyond Napa.

Charles Krug is the Napa Valley’s oldest winery and was founded in 1861. Innovative and forward-thinking, Charles Krug was the first Napa winery to import French oak barrels for aging wines, in 1963. Sustainable farming practices were instituted in 2003. The winery focuses on Bordeaux varietals, with seven vineyards in well-known Napa AVAs, plus a vineyard in the Carneros AVA producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

In addition to getting an insider’s perspective of the winery and wines with Riana, we got to dine with a couple of Davio’s celebrities: Steve DiFillipo, owner and CEO of Davio’s restaurants, and Rodney Murillo, Davio’s culinary director.

After being greeted with a glass of the 2016 Charles Krug Chardonnay from Carneros, we had the lovely 2016 Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc from St. Helena. It was paired with Tuna Tartare, which was prepared on top of a bed of avocado with crispy shrimp and sweet chili aioli.

Next came Hand-rolled Potato Gnocchi, with organic mushrooms, basil and fragrant white truffle oil. It was paired with the 2013 Charles Krug Merlot from Napa Valley. It’s a Merlot for Cabernet drinkers, as well as those who still overlook the grape though it has been years since the movie Sideways hurt its image. Riana spoke proudly of the Charles Krug Merlot, noting it has been made in the same style since the beginning, and that it has converted many into Merlot fans.

For the main course we had Colorado Rack of Lamb, cooked a perfect medium rare with a Yukon potato fondant. It was served with winter vegetables and a savory sauce. The wine pairing was the 2013 Charles Krug Generations from the Napa Valley, a Bordeaux-style red blend.

For dessert we had a Flourless Chocolate Cake, served with a scoop of salted caramel gelato. It was paired with the 2013 Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. The “ultimate expression” of Charles Krug Cabernet, this wine is made from that year’s best grapes to capture a true sense of the vintage and terroir.

What I was reminded of with each delicious and generously sized course was how I have always had a good meal at Davio’s. I don’t think I’ve ever dined on the same thing twice, and every time the food and experience has been excellent. My only wish for the wine dinner was that I had paced myself better – I was too full by the end and could only take a few bites of dessert!

Davio’s is hosting several holiday-inspired events in the coming weeks. On Thanksgiving Day they’ll be offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. The menu includes Oven Roasted Free-Range Organic Turkey; Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes; Roasted Butternut Squash; Macaroni & Cheese; Pancetta Braised Collard Greens; Herb Bread Stuffing; Homemade Gravy; and Cranberry Apple Chutney. Adults are $59 and children are $23 (12 years and under), plus tax and gratuity. Dessert is $12 and is a choice of Apple Pie with Vanilla Bean Gelato; Flourless Chocolate Torte with Chocolate Chantilly and Raspberries; or Pumpkin Pie, Whipped Crème Fraiche.

The Thanksgiving menu will be served on Thursday, November 23rd from 11 am to 8 pm. The regular a la carte menu will also be available. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 404.844.4810.

On Black Friday take a break from shopping at Phipps Plaza with Happy Hour all day long. Snack on bar bites and sip the featured Kenwood chardonnay for $6 per glass and New Amsterdam vodka cocktails at $6.

Davio’s will be holding a Gingerbread House Workshop on December 3rd from 12 pm to 2 pm. The annual event is a fundraiser to benefit North Atlanta Toys for Tots. Executive Chef Matthew Rosekrans will lead the workshop, joined by Executive Pastry Chef Pablo Sanchez of Druid Hills Golf Club and Pastry Chef Lisbeth Rawl of The Cook’s Warehouse. The event is $45 per child (adults are free), which includes one gingerbread house to decorate, decorations and afternoon snacks. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 404.844.4810 or emailing ashley@davios.com.

For more information on Davio’s Atlanta and upcoming events visit www.davios.com/atl.

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is located at Phipps Plaza, 3500 Peachtree Road NE in Atlanta, Georgia 30319. 404.844.4810