Dame Mary Aregoni brought the Vietnamese celebration of Tet – or the Lunar New Year – to life with a lively dinner at Bang Chop on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Mary and her mother, known to all as Mama Suu, orchestrated a multi-course feast from the menu of Mary’s restaurant, Saigon Sisters. Each course was paired with two wines selected by the “Dame Somms:” Veronica Hastings, Gina Voci, Kim Hack and Liz Barrett. They intentionally chose non-French wines — which are so often paired with Vietnamese food — which led to some delicious discoveries of wines from Spain, Italy and Austria.
As guests arrived, they were greeted with a “Tet Tropicale,” a delectable concoction of Portell Cava (a lovely Spanish sparkling wine) and Mango-Basil Syrup by Dame Melissa Yen, founder of Jo Snow Syrups. Guests were then treated to such Vietnamese delights as Goi Bap Chuoi Ga (chicken salad with banana blossoms, papaya and herbs), Nem Cua (Imperial crab rolls in fried rice-paper), Wagyu beef Pho dumpling soup, Thit Heo Kho (pork braised in coconut water with caramelized egg, pickled vegetables and rice and much more.
The “Dame Somms” team presented the wines as each course was served, sharing background on each and ideas about how the food complemented each wine and vice versa. Huge thanks to Mary, Mama Suu and the entire team at Saigon Sisters and Bang Chop for such a festive and delicious evening!