Earlier this week, May Madness reported that tickets to the Andretti Wine Dinner at Mo’s A Place for Steaks (47 S. Pennsylvania St., 624-0720) were going for $125 a pop. But evidently price was no object for the more than 150 diners who turned out last night to meet Mario Andretti and sit down to a four-course meal paired with wine from the racing legend’s own winery and vineyard in Napa Valley, California.
Andretti pulled up in an understated black Infiniti SUV at around 8 o’clock—“He’s very humble,” Mo’s GM Troy Gregory had assured us, “so he won’t be driving anything flashy”—and soon after arriving spoke to the seated crowd, first about wine but then, inevitably, about the Indianapolis 500, “because that’s really what you want to hear isn’t it?” he joked.
Andretti told IM that his passion for wine grew out of a love for the “beautiful things in life” and that, to him, drinking it means “great conversations and great meals.” And he promised dinner guests who purchased a case of his stuff an autographed bottle, as well as entry into a raffle to win a trip for two to his winery.
On the menu …
First course: Coriander and pink peppercorn–crusted tuna with ginger-honey gastrique and chili oil. Pairing: Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
Second course: Organic herb and baby greens salad with apple, pear, spiced walnuts, Point Reyes blue cheese, and champagne vinaigrette. Pairing: Napa Valley Chardonnay.
Third course: Seared New Zealand king salmon with roasted baby beets, parsnips, turnips, and pinot noir jus. Pairing: Carneros Pinot Noir.
Fourth course: Coffee and spice–crusted beef tenderloin with crimini mashed potato, asparagus, and cabernet-shallot demi-glace. Pairing: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Photos by Katie Dawson