For his final event as their leader, Bailli Alex Litras gave members of the Cape Canaveral Space Coast Bailliage a farewell party to remember in June. Drawing on his ancestry, Bailli Litras transformed his award-winning restaurants, Café Margaux and Ulysses’ Prime Steakhouse, into a Greek island for one spectacular night. The courtyard was decorated with Greek statues, and an authentic bouzouki band entertained us as costumed servers circulated with appetizers off mussels saganaki, naked spanakopita, and ouzo-scented scallops wrapped in grape leaves, accompanied by Antonopoulos Mantinia Moschofilero 2006.
Bailli Délégué National Honoraire Joe Caruso inducted four new members into our chapter and presented Bailli Litras and Maitre Rotisseur Pam Litras with Silver Stars of Excellence for their dedication and outstanding work during the last three years. They have done a superb job of expanding both our bailliage and our Chaine experiences.
After the induction ceremony, we adjourned to Café Margaux for a dinner featuring gourmet Greek food and wines. Once again, Maitre Rotisseur Litras treated attendees- Sixty-eight in all- to personalized menus with a sketch of each of them. The first course of chickpea bisque with aggouria and dill yogurt was followed by chicory salad with roasted eggplant and Greek basil vinaigrette. Both courses were complemented by Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko 2005 from the Aegean Islands.
Baby octopus and lobster with feta cheese, roasted tomatoes, and oregano over grilled garlic psomi was matched with Hatzimichalis Estate Chardonnay 2006 from central Greece. The next two offerings were swordfish, exohiko, and lump crab tower over orzo risotto and prime tenderloin souvlaki served with sesame rice timbale with olive and caper tapenade. Mercouri Estate cava red 2000 from Peloponnese married them well with both the swordfish and the tenderloin. In true Chaine tradition, the entrée was spit-roasted, garlic-studded lamb with zucchini cakes and fingerling potatoes psites, perfectly paired with Rapsani Epilegmenos Reserve 1999, also from the central region of Greece.
For dessert, we savored a yogurt cake called yaourtopita, with lemon, almond, and poppy seeds. In addition, Helen Litras- Bailli Litras’s mother- baked each of us personal pastries of kourabiethes, koulourakia, and melomakaroma. Theses treats were enhanced by 1999 Samos nectar from Crete. Our “Big Fat Greek Chaine Party” continued as we danced the night away to Greek music under the stars.