Day of Dave: Part 2 — Bacon, Flames and Sabers

As explained in the previous post, Sara plotted and schemed with an enormous cast of characters to plan a series of over-the-top birthday surprises for Dave’s Milestone Birthday on September 27, 2018. After a very busy morning of breakfast, a helicopter tour of downtown Portland, and picking up a pair of houseguests for the weekend, we all returned home for some downtime.

The capstone event of the day was a surprise dinner party for 22 at Subterra Restaurant, one of our favorite places in Newberg. Dave was, indeed, surprised when the private dining room doors were thrown open.

Dave was pretty surprised to see a room full of friends and family for dinner.
Guests Hannah and Brian with Dave.
Guests Becky and Dave.
Guests Cassandra, Stacey, Boyd and Ron.
Guests Stephanie and her Mom, Jim and Mike.
Guests Julie, Katie and Christie with Sara and Naomi.
Guests (and Sara’s parents) Alan and Ann with Kristin.
Guests Scott and Jennie who won the “we traveled the farthest to be here” game, having arrived from Cincinnati earlier in the day (see the Part 1 post).

Hosting the event at Subterra was a no-brainer; in fact Sara booked it a year before the actual event. And she asked Martin and Janet Bleck, the restaurant’s owners, to create a 4-course meal in honor of Dave’s birthday.

The kicker, however, was asking them to put BACON in every course—even dessert. She also bought wines from some of our favorite friends and producers to pair with each course. As you can see from the menu and the food pictures, the Subterra team absolutely outdid themselves.

The Day of Dave Surprise Birthday Dinner Menu.
First Course: Bacon Wrapped Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates with Honey, paired with a ’16 Naveran Cava Brut Rosado sourced from our friends Hannah and Brian at Weekday Wine Club.
First Course: Tarte Flambe (Flatbread with Creme Fraiche, Bacon and Onion), again paired with a ’16 Naveran Cava Brut Rosado from Hannah and Brian’s Weekday Wine Club.
First Course: Bacon Chips with Fresh Guacamole and Caviar, also paired with the ’16 Naveran Cava Brut Rosado.
Second Course: Smoked Crispy Skin Salmon with Seared Pork Belly, Roasted Carrot and Parsnip, Dressed Baby Frisee and Cider Mustard Whip, paired with the debut of our neighbors’ Jim and Stephanie’s first pinot release: 2016 Oliver Springs Estate Pinot Noir. (We were so excited to be the first to have this wine and to share it at this event!)
Third Course: Bacon Wrapped Beef Medallions with Loaded Bacon and and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus with Bacon and Shallot, and a Bacon Mushroom Red Wine Reduction, paired with our wine from our friends and mentors, Boyd and Cassandra of Natalie’s Estate: 2015 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
Fourth Course: Dessert! Chocolate Stout Cheesecake with Candied Bacon and Berry Coulis.
A close-up slice of that amazing birthday dessert.

Of course, dessert arrived with a musical accompaniment. And a three-foot tall flame.

Jaime lights it up.
Dave and the flaming birthday “candle.”
When the candle lasts longer than the singing…
A sweet moment where Dave thanks everyone who helped make this milestone birthday so memorable.

After all that merriment, there was one final surprise of the night for Dave. Our friend Hannah coached him on how to saber a bottle of bubbles—which he had never done before.

Hannah’s rules for Sabering: Don’t spill the wine. Don’t cut yourself.
Sara found the cork in the vineyard the next day, exactly where Hannah said it would be… about 40 feet from the point of launch.

Happy Birthday Dave. It was a blast planning and celebrating your latest trip around the sun. Thank you for letting everyone toast you, and for being a good sport.

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