Corneal Crusted Oysters

Dancing Bear Lodge Virginia Dare Wine Dinner (Francis Ford Coppola)

Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN

A view of the main lodge from the gazebo area at Dancing Bear.

We did a post about Dancing Bear shortly after it reopened last fall and just loved it so we were really excited when Nick invited us to come back for their first ever Wine Dinner featuring the wine of Francis Ford Coppola's Virginia Dare property. Upon arriving and being greeted by Nick we descended to the gazebo for cocktail hour featuring Herbed Lemonade with Tito's Vodka and various sparkling wine selections. Appalachian 'inspired' hor d'oeuvres were passed among the guests including Cornmeal Crusted Oysters with celery mignonette, Potato Cakes with BBQ Pork and bitter microgreens, and Squash Blossoms with Ricotta and Corn. 
Dancing Bear Lodge

Cocktail hour at the lodge gazebo

Titos Vodka Lemonade

Herbed Lemonade with Tito's Vodka

Cocktail Hour at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN Cocktail Hour at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN Cocktail Hour at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN Cocktail Hour at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN Cocktail Hour at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN Cocktail Hour at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN
Corneal Crusted Oysters

Cornmeal Crusted Oysters

BBQ Potato Cakes

Potato Cakes with BBQ

Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Cheese and Corn Stuffed Squash Blossoms

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The Tito's Lemonade Station with Louge.

The Tito's Lemonade Station with Bear Ice Luge.

DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (54 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (56 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (59 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (60 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (62 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (66 of 255) At 7pm we made our way to the scenic patio just outside the main lodge for the dinner. Angie of Francis F. Coppola wines was on hand to lead us through the dinner and the fascinating stories of both the Coppola Wines and Virginia Dare herself. Coppola, we learned, is a very hands-on owner and wants to be involved almost daily, in all aspects of production right through design of the label and market positioning. Winemaking is definitely not just a hobby for Coppola. 
The White Does from Virginia Dare

The White Doe from Virginia Dare

Beet and Strawberry Soup

Beet and Strawberry Soup

Bread and Fresh Strawberry Preserves

Bread and Fresh Strawberry Preserves

First Course: Beet Soup with Clabber Cream, Pistachios, Strawberry Cucumber Relish. Served with Virginia Dare White Doe, white blend. A perfect winter-to-spring transition dish. The earthy beet was reined in by fresh strawberries and The White Doe provided a great balance with it's light, bright flavor and just enough body from the Voigner to hold its own. Along with the course came the story of the White Doe of Native American myth and of the long process Coppola had to follow to acquire and restore the property. DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (81 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (70 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (72 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (75 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (78 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (91 of 255)
Virginia Dare Chardonnay

Virginia Dare Chardonnay

Dancing Bear Lodge

Grilled Artichoke & Heirloom Tomato Salad

DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (114 of 255) Second Course: Grilled Artichoke & Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata, Truffled Beech Mushrooms, Basil Dressing (a very mild pesto type dressing). Served with Virginia Dare Chardonnay, Russian River Valley CA
Salmon Fritter, Dancing Bear

Salmon Fritter

Virginia Dare Two Arrowheads White Blend Wine

Virginia Dare Two Arrowheads White Blend Wine

DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (123 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (129 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (112 of 255) Third Course: Salmon Fritter with Pickled Peas, Radishes, Corn, Smoked Ham Broth. Served with Two Arrowheads Whit Blend, Paso Robles, CA. For Mr KnoxFoodie, this was the favorite of the night! Absolutely perfectly cooked salmon in a blanket of crunchy batter sitting on top of a magical sweet corn relish and tangy 'gravy' made from ham stock.
Bacon Wrapped Bison Dancing Bear Lodge

Bacon Wrapped Bison

Virginia Dare Pinot Noir

Virginia Dare Pinot Noir

Bacon Wrapped Bison with Virginia Dare Pinot Noir DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (151 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (153 of 255) Fourth Corse: Bacon Wrapped Bison with Chard & Sweet Potato Gratin, Blueberry & Blue Cheese Marmalade. Served with Virginia Dare Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA. Chef Shelly wrapped a hefty bison steak in bacon and took us back a few months into winter with cool weather flavors of sweet potato and creamed chard. The Pinot Noir is now one of Mrs. Knoxfoodie's favorite wines! It is 100% pinot noir grape, light in color but not in body. It has been aged just long enough to add depth without losing the fruity notes of the grape.
Titos Vodka White Russian at Dancing Bear Lodge

Tito's Vodka Vanilla Infused White Russian

Dessert: Tito's Vanilla Infused White Russian with Shaved Espresso Ice Chips, Cinnamon Cream, Crunchy Benne Seed Cookie. Perhaps the only slight miss of the evening. The drink erred on the heavy-handed pour of Tito's and seemed a little out of place in such an elegant presentation of wines. Nonetheless, it was tasty. 
Chef Shelly Cooper, Dancing Bear Lodge Townsend TN

Chef Shelly Cooper of Dancing Bear Lodge

DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (194 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (203 of 255) DancingBearVirginaDare Dinner (212 of 255) After dinner, guests were invited to the fire pit for s'mores and conversation. The Mrs took another glass of Two Arrowheads White and I selected a Knox Whiskey Work Gin Cocktail with Blueberry Shrub followed by a stiff pour of Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch. 
Fire pit and s'mores at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN

Fire pit and s'mores at Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN

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