Last week, we were invited to attend Horseshoe Casino's "Perfect Pairings" dinner on Thursday. Typically, we don't go to casinos because a) we don't have extra money for gambling and b) neither of us enjoy second-hand smoke, and all the casinos around here allow smoking. Still, the Lakeview Room, where the dinner was held, overlooks Lake Michigan and was non-smoking to boot. The plan was that we, along with other guests, would dine on a six-course menu paired perfectly with beverages all while learning about the cuisine from Horseshoe's own, Chef Mark Angeles. Okay, we were in.
If you've never been to the casino before, the room is not easy to find, as it is located in the Pavilion, and not in the main casino itself. If you walk through the casino, it requires several turns and a run through the smoky gauntlet, so do yourself a favor and swing around to the second parking garage, where the Pavilion is located. Upon entering the Lakeview Room, a wall of windows offers a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the Hammond Marina below. I would say the design creates a clubby atmosphere, with varying seating areas and a bar along one edge of the room. The six courses were scattered throughout the room, with drinks nearby on tables, usually with a knowledgeable helper there to pour. Wineries represented included Chateau Ste Michelle, Josh, Cellars, and Simi. Along with the wine, beer from Goose Island and Tequila from Casamigos (a company owned by George Clooney) were also available.
I was a bit dismayed that 3 of the 6 courses were seafood based, but the others were so good it ended up being less of a problem than I expected. Laima tasted the seafood options for us and they were all very good, in her opinion - best combinations for her were the Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon with the Surf 'n Turf and the Goose Island beer with warm oysters. For me the Casamigos Reposado Tequila was perfect with the quail, while the Chateau Set Michelle Sauvignon Blanc and lamb skewers also were tasty together. While the event did have suggested pairings, nothing stopped us from trying what we wanted. It was a lot of fun to grab the food, 2 or 3 glasses of wine or beer, and taste the results of the pairings.
This was an interesting evening, both to see what the chef made and which wines were suggested, along with getting to try myriad options to see whether we liked something better. If you are close enough to the casino for this to be an option, another "Perfect Pairings" dinner will be held on Thursday, July 17th, so get tickets now.
This dinner was provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.
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