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Everything posted by dinwiddie

  1. dinwiddie

    Wine Tag: G

    2001 Gravner Ribolla Gialla Venezia-Giulia Anfora Amber colored, a huge wine for a white, more powerful than some of the reds I've had. Pineapple, appricots, with a touch of honey and spice. This wine changed character as it opened. One of the more unusual white's I've ever had.
  2. Was the Bosquet des Papes the regular bottling or the Grenache Cuvee?
  3. Although I haven't been there in quite some time, I am surprised to read this about Palena's wine list as I was under the impression that it has been a perenniel favorite of Robert Parker and his associates. It was in fact, reading about it in The Wine Advocate that first put it on my radar.Then again, maybe they bring their own too. ← I don't know if they bring their own wine (I sure would like to have access to Rober Parker's cellar) but anyone would be delighted by the food at Palena. It isn't that they serve bad wine, but the list is unfortunately short and not at all inspiring. I can think of many places with much better wine lists that can't touch Palena for a place to eat a meal.
  4. Err, presumably the sommelier has selected the house wine so why wouldn't he be prepared to serve it? ← I wasn't saying that he shouldn't be prepared to serve the house wine, since to be honest, he is an excellent sommelier and they have a great wine program. What I was saying was that there was not enough about the good winelists of the best restaurants. Citronelle has a superb winelist, and a great sommelier in Mark Slater, and I would think that that has something to do with it being ranked number 1. But you wouldn't know about the lists of most of the restaurants ranked since there is no mention of them. It was only the exceptional that got any mention at all and then only in passing. For example the sommeliers at Taberna del Alabadero (David Bueno) and Kinkead's (Michael Flynn) are excellent and have created well thought out lists that are a good match with the food as well as being extensive. However, the list at Palena, which has some of the best food I've ever had, is quite weak. Does that mean I won't eat at Palena, of course not, but I always bring my own wine.
  5. Actually, all that is needed for "good sushi" is excellent and fresh fish. After that it is all presentation.
  6. I'm glad to see that Don is going to do a best of wine list article, but I still believe that it needs to be part of the consideration of "the best" restaurant consideration. I am tired of going to restaurants that have fantastic food and a lackluster or even downright awful wine list. Thank goodness corkage is permitted in DC but unfortunately not in VA or most of MD. And I agree that Mark is a major part of why I like Citronelle so much, even if he has personally assisted me only a couple of times, his influence on their cellar and wine service is under appreciated.
  7. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it is useful traveler's advice. When traveling I find that trying the local "speciality" is often good advice, whether it be the food or the wine. However, I am not welded to doing so all the time. It still makes sense to eat and drink what you like and think go well together.
  8. I was not suprised to see Citronelle keep the top spot, it deserves it. However, I have a small quibble. Since I consider wine to be an essential part of a meal when dining, I thought that there should have been some larger mention of great wine lists or wine service (beyond mentioning that the sommelier at Maestro was happy to serve you the house wine, or that Charlie Palmer's mark up was high) To that end, I thought that places like Dino should have been on the list because the food is good and the wine list makes it a destination restaurant for wine geeks. There should have been more mention of the great list of well priced Burgandies at Corduroy, etc. But I guess you can't have everything.
  9. 1998 was a fantastic year for Châteauneuf du Pape and they are drinking very well right now. I'd be interested in hearing which one you had.
  10. Actually, I know that I can always get my wife to agree to having a Bordeaux if I suggest something from St.-Emilion. And there are some very good CA Merlots that don't cost an arm and a leg, the '01 Chateau St. Jean and the '02 Whitehall Lane come to mind. If you are willing to pay more, Pride always makes a great one.
  11. On the spur of the moment the wife and I went to Dino last night for dinner. We decided to graze so we started with the Salumi Artigianali. We had Bresaola, Choriso, Speck(Smoked Prosciutto), Finocchiona, and Petit Jesu (Garlic salame). All were wonderful. We followed with a cheese plate of Guffanti Robiola ai Tre Latti, Guffanti Robiola al Cavalo, and Guffanti Ubriaco al Prosecco. Next were the Tris di Bruschette (caramelized balsamico cippolini & eborinati, goat cheese & oven roasted tomato, and roasted mushroom, pesto and goat chese) All were huge and easily shared. We followed those with the Antipasto di Verdure, grilled vegs and artichokes. Absolutely wonderful. Last was an order of Orechietti ai Funghi (“ear” pasta from Gragnano in Campania wild mushroom ragu with a touch of cream). Absolutely to die for. My wife's favorite. Accompanying the meal was a bottle of sparkling water (wife's choice) and a bottle of Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino 2000 (my choice, $75). For dessert we shared the house made vanilla gelatto with balsamic. Espresso ended the meal. Unfortunately Dean had just returned from Italy hours before and was not at the restaurant, so we could not jaw about opera and Italian wine (much to my wife's relief as she hates when I go into full wine geek mode) but it was a fantastic evening none the less. Service was great and the evening perfect.
  12. dinwiddie

    This could be Huge...

    Just what I need, retailers in NY making it even harder for the rest of us to get highly allocated wines because there won't be room on the mailing list. Actually, this is a great thing for NYers, but you might find that it is a two edged sword. Lots of botique wines are made in caselots of less than 100 cases. Even some of the more established "hard to get" wines are only made in quantities of less than 300 cases. And they are highly allocated with waiting lists. If I'm on an allocation list and these folks start competing, the prices will go up and it will be harder for me to get more of the wine. I think it will be a good thing for small wineries just starting out, but please, please, please, don't mess up my Kosta-Brown allocation.
  13. I think Tom, rightfully so, leaves the discussion about wines to Ben Giliberti.
  14. Can anyone recommend someplace near Tabor Center? Looking for good food and a good wine list.
  15. Unfortunately the churrascaria nearest me has a mediocre wine list. Under the adage of always drink the wine from the region of the food you are eating, Malbec would be my choice. If there is one on the list I highly recommend the Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Mendoza or the Bodega Norton Malbec Mendoza Reserve. Both are excellent. Otherwise, I'd go for a good Cabernet Sauvignon. If you want the local flavor, go for a good one from Chile (maybe the Concha y Toro Puente Alto Marqués de Casa Concha) but Malbec would still be my first choice.
  16. We had a great time, the weather was great, and since this was the first vacation I had taken with the wife sans kid, it was a lot of fun. But I thought I'd report back on the dining. Our big dinner to celebrate our anniversary was Sunday night at 22 Bowens Wine Bar and Restaurant. They have a WS rated wine list, heavy in the Chards and Cabs, not so great for Pinot Noir. They are a classic steak house, read sides are extra unless you order one of their signature dishes, but the service was excellent and the food great for the steak, not so great for the rest. I had the Grilled Filet Mignon over Roasted Shallot Mashed Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Demi-Glace and Whipped Maytag Blue Cheese. The filet was an 8 oz., I declined upping it to 12 and I'm glad I did as I was full by the time I finished the potatoes and mushrooms along with the steak. Perfectly cooked (med-rare) and very tender and flavorful. My wife had the Sesame Crusted Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Crisp Snow Peas, Jasmine Rice, Sweet Soy Sauce, Fried Rice Noodles, Pickled Ginger and Wasabi. Since she doesn't particularly want her fish to be rare, she asked for it medium. However, it came way overcooked. I would have sent it back, but she just ate it the way it was. She did like the accompanyments. For dessert I ordered the bread pudding (one of my all time favorites) with chocolate sauce. It was only fair, dry and not that flavorful. We ordered a bottle of the 2001 Charles Melton "Nine Popes", Grenache/Shiraz, Barossa. It was quite good, but then I like GSMs. Lots of red berrys, a little menthol, and very easy to drink. On Columbus Day, we ate Italian (hey how can you not) at a place called Puerini's. In a word, excellent. The wine list, while not huge, was very good, and well priced. I ordered a 2004 Banfi Rosso that went very well with the Pasta Bolegnaisse (I didn't spell that right but you know what I mean) and the Pasta sur la mer my wife had. Service was excellent and friendly and it was well priced considering it is in Newport. The desserts were huge and I loved strawberry ice cream. Great coffee too. Tuesday was something of a disappointment. We ate at a French place on Bowens wharf called La Bistro. The wine list was heavy in Chards and Cabs, but had nothing that was exciting or interesting in any category. What it did have going for it was that it was relatively cheap (lots of wines in the mid $20s to 40s) but considering that there were three white zins, and BV Coastal on the list, what do you expect. However, I would call it a "resort list" that caters to folks who don't normally order wine but will when on vacation. I had the signature boullebaise that was heavy on mussels, but weak in the flavor department (thin and bland). My wife's chicken was so uninspired that I can't even recall what it was. The bread pudding Creole (I did say bread pudding was my favorite) was really good however, and the Bourbon sauce was really strong. Service was friendly, but slow, but to be fair, it was a Tuesday night, they only had two servers as they did not expect much business (season is over) and they were having to turn folks away because they couldn't handle the huge number of walk-ins that showed up. If I lived there I might give them another chance, but I don't and if I go back, I will try other places first. Lunches were a different matter. All were good. Annies the first day, where the clam and crab chowder was to die for. The lobster roll was perfect, not too much mayo, and lots of flavor. Nothing was cheap, but we were in Newport. The next day we drove down to Watch Hill where we ordered Clam Chowder and lobster rolls from a small place called the Bay Street Deli to eat while sitting on the seawall watching the boats in the harbor. The chowder was great, lots of clams in it, and lots of flavor. Again, a great lobster roll. Finally, we ate at Poor Richards on Thames St. I had chowder again and a very good club sandwich, and my wife the corn and crab chowder (turns out they are the same owners and menu as Annie's) and fried clams. It was the first time I ever say her not be able to finish her fried clams. What a pile, and they were soooo good. All in all, not bad, we had a great time, weather was great, and the B and B (Newport Blues on Pelham St.) we stayed in was very nice and it was fun.
  17. Overall, I like the dining guide. You can't put everyone in and I think Tom did a pretty good job of deciding some categories to use to give an overall view of the dining scene in DC and the surrounding area. You can quibble over the categories, but hey it is his guide. I would have liked to see an Ethiopian restaurant in the ethnic section, seeing how it is such a major part of the ethnic dining scene in DC. As to MP instead of Marcel's, I think MP is a better representation of "regular" Belgian fare while Marcel's is much more a "fine dining" restaurant. I love them both, but for different reasons. I'm not a big fan of A&J but that is more a matter of personal taste than anything else. If I had to choose, I'd have picked Joe's Noodle House over A&J. I'd have liked to see Urban BBQ listed somewhere, (ethnic maybe) but there are just too many restaurants for them all to make it.
  18. Actually, it was a very pretty place and a nice drive to get there from Newport. The wines on the other hand, but for $3 you get to taste 6 wines. I found their Pinot Noir to be thin and lacking in all ways, and their Cab Franc was OK but not worth buying. The whites on the other hand were better. I actually liked the Vidal and the Reserve Chard was pretty good. The dessert wines were much too sweet for my taste however. I don't regret going, like I said it was a very pretty place and you can even walk along among the vines.
  19. dinwiddie

    Wine Tag: C

    2002 Radio-Coteau Von Weidlich Zinfandel - Elegant and complex for a big Zin. Lots of spice, cherrys, pepper, and briar. Wonderful wine.
  20. Actually I had already planned to visit some of the wineries on this trip. I'm not expecting much but hoping to be suprised.
  21. Bump again. My wife and I will be celebrating our anniversary by going to Newport October 8-11. I'd appreciate any current info on great places to eat. We will probably breakfast at our B&B, but lunch and dinner are on our own. What I'd like is one great, price is no object, great wine list, great food place, with atmosphere a definite plus. Otherwise, good places to have a good meal for a foodie/wine geek and his wife. We will have a car and be exploring so anywhere in RI except Providence (just too much there for recommendations here) are appreciated. Especially if it is something unique or really cool. Thanks
  22. Not wine, but when I was working as a waiter many, many years ago a guy came in with his girlfriend and with a very bad attempt to sound like James Bond (the Sean Connery Bond) ordered "Scotch and wiskey" And he wondered why I carded him.
  23. So now I know. The reason my wife likes Pinot Noir is so I will look good to her. Good thing there is a lot of it in the cellar.
  24. dinwiddie

    Wine Tag: B

    So far this month the wines with B's have been: 2003 Thirty Bench Wines Cabernet Franc Benchmark - 2002 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Brosseau Vineyard 1999 Louis Bernard Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1995 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot
  25. dinwiddie


    Are the Kosher? (not all Israeli wines are.)
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