Last night we were graciously hosted by dear friends in Juneau and treated to a recipe direct from The Double Musky Inn cookbook. The restaurant is billed as “Alaska’s Mountain Cajun Cuisine” and Girdwood is the pre-eminent ski resort town in the state. Alyeska Ski Resort is likely one of the only places in the world where one can see the ocean after exiting the chair and turning to face the fall line. The Double Musky is a family owned and operated restaurant that was founded by Bob and Deanna Persons that is now being run by their son Justin as his parents, “look over his shoulder.” Justin has had culinary and wine training and the wine menu provides a varied selection that does not leave one wanting. For a first time visitor to Girdwood, The Double Musky Inn is one of those must-go places. If you don’t already own a copy of the cookbook, it is easily available online as it continues to be printed.
We arrived at our hosts’ home after I had taken a long stride on Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall Lake Campground. I was ready to be filled with sustenance and Simon’s cooking, as always, did not disappoint. If you already own the cookbook, the recipe he used as his base is the Halibut Creole, but instead of halibut, to my delight, Simon used Black Cod fillet. Another liberty that he took was to add some tiny meatballs that were made out of his homemade sausage. The creole sauce was light, almost fluffy, and married the two proteins wonderfully with basmati rice on the bottom and parsley on the top elevating all of the flavors with freshness.
Simon chose a Brut Rosé to accompany the dish which I think further enhanced the light and fresh aspect to a tomato-based dish that one wouldn’t expect to be light. The wine was Italian made with Wildbacher grapes whose origins are out of Austria. Martino Zanetti’s Tenuta Col Sandango Brut Rosé 2004 is a bone-dry and crisp wine with notes of berry and rose petal. The color was lovely and the bubbles lively; a very enjoyable pairing with a memorable entrée.
For dessert we had crème brûlée that Jill prepared in sensible sized ramekins. The custard was paired with Courvoisier Rosé Cognac Liqueur, a red wine and cognac combination that was new to me. The wine brings the alcohol level down considerably and makes it easier to taste the subtleties in the cognac and the palate is not exhausted by high alcohol, making it easier to fully taste the dessert.
Living in Juneau makes it hard to make it to the Musky because we are removed from the road system that connects to Girdwood, but having all of the snow that this season has brought and a cook of Simon’s caliber as a friend is just as good. No, better.