Often-told tales surround pearls, the Queen of Gems, once known as the most expensive jewelry in the world. There is a story about Cleopatra, often titled Cleopatra and the Pearl or The Banquet of Cleopatra. According to legend, in order to show her power and means, she told her lover, the Roman leader Marc Antony, that she could consume the wealth of an entire nation in just one meal. Roman philosopher and naturalist Pliny the Elder recorded this event in Natural History, writing: Cleopatra ordered the second course to be served. In accordance with previous instructions, the servants placed in front of her only a single vessel containing vinegar. She took one earring off, and dropped the pearl in vinegar, and when it was wasted away, swallowed it.
The reception begins the evening with guests enjoying hors d’oeuvres including Murder Point Oyster & Salmon Roe, Oysters Rockefeller, Rabbit Confit & Red Onion Marmalade, and Tomato Galette with Basil Pesto all paired with a Black Pearl Cocktail. The first course will be Cream of Oyster Bisque paired with Hope Estate Chardonnay. Next, attendees will enjoy Oyster Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon paired with Gassier Sables d’Azur Rose. Seared Scallop & Black Truffle Risotto with Oyster Cream paired with Dom Arnoux Bourgogne will follow. The fourth course will be Braised Short Rib with Oysters and Colcannon Potato paired with H. Mynors Zinfandel. Dessert of Chocolate Oyster Pillow with Chocolate Ganache Cream, Assorted Berries and Creme Anglaise, paired with Ferreira Ruby Port will top off the evening.
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