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Charlie Trotter Topic


awbrig
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No can do, Awbrig, got a rehearsal that night. Sorry...

On the same topic differently: did you see the tiny TIME Magazine blurb that says Trotter's at The Hospital will be opening in March of next year instead of November of this year? Not unexpected at all, the way contractors in general work and the way they probably work in Britain in particular -- but I'd love to pin down (a) the date and (b) the reason. Have you heard any buzz?

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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awbrig and others -- I'd appreciate comments on CT's wine list, for, say, a group of six people at the kitchen table. Bottles with a relatively low percentage mark-up would be particular interest.

http://www.charlietrotters.com/cuisine/win...st.asp?typeID=1

(wine list)

The following is a possible set of choices, with alternatives listed in declining order of preference. If the choices placed between asterisks were adopted, the wine cost would be a very reasonable $150 per person. Members' comments would be appreciated.

--Champagne: **Mumm de Cramant Brut NV $75** or Henriot "Blanc de Blancs" Brut NV $74

--White #1: Chassagne-Montrachet Domaine Ramonet 1981 $300 or Meursault-Charmes Domaine des Comtes Lafon 1998 $215 or **Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Vergers" Fontaine-Gagnard 1997 $117** or Pouilly-Fume "Pur Sang" Dagueneau 1999 $88

-- White #2: **Pessac-Leognan Chateau Haut Brion 1992 $300** or Pessac-Leognan Chateau Carbonnieux 1999 $75

-- **Gevrey-Chambertin "Lavaux St. Jacques" Mortet 1997 (Magnum) $270 **

-- Dessert Wine: Chateau d'Yquem Premier Grand Cru 1988 (Half Bottle) $365 or ** Veuve Clicquot "Vintage Reserve" Brut Champagne 1995 $115**

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Cabrales...Based on the Kitchen Table menu available at the Trotter's website, and on a fast review of their wine list, my thoughts are these at the moment:

Champagne: Call me a crank, but I'd take that lovely '95 Veuve Clicquot Brut out of the dessert category (where admittedly it'd do lovely service) and drink it here, up front. Nothing against the Mumm and Henriot selections at all, but I believe the Veuve would work better for the purpose.

White No. 1: Again, based on the early course selections I saw on the Kitchen Table menu, I like the way the 1997 Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Vergers" would work. My impression of the 1999 Pouilly-Fume is that it might be a tad bit young for the food, but then I could be severely wrong about that by the time your party sits down, depending upon how CT tweaks the menu.

White No. 2: That '92 Chateau Haut Brion looks awfully good!

Dessert: Chateau d'Yquem Premier Grand Cru 1988? Lordy, I think I'd drink a little glass of this FOR dessert and let everybody else eat the sweets...

If you permit, for exploration's sake, I might dare to mention that Trotter's has some real intriguing stuff among its foreign reds that won't break the bank. I had a big Spanish red when I was there last (on their list as Rioja "Aurus" Finca Allende 1996, at $175) that went wonderfully with the venison-over-grits it partnered (that might sound spooky, but BOY did it work!). Your call, of course.

You will of course (please? please?) post a course-by-course, wine-by-wine review for us after the occasion?

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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... a group of six people at the kitchen table.... The following is a possible set of choices...

--Champagne: **Mumm de Cramant Brut NV $75** or Henriot "Blanc de Blancs" Brut NV $74

--White #1: Chassagne-Montrachet Domaine Ramonet 1981 $300 or Meursault-Charmes Domaine des Comtes Lafon 1998 $215 or **Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Vergers" Fontaine-Gagnard 1997 $117** or Pouilly-Fume "Pur Sang" Dagueneau 1999 $88

-- White #2: **Pessac-Leognan Chateau Haut Brion 1992 $300** or Pessac-Leognan Chateau Carbonnieux 1999 $75

-- **Gevrey-Chambertin "Lavaux St. Jacques" Mortet 1997 (Magnum) $270 **

-- Dessert Wine: Chateau d'Yquem Premier Grand Cru 1988 (Half Bottle) $365 or ** Veuve Clicquot "Vintage Reserve" Brut Champagne 1995 $115**

Lady T -- Thanks for your input. I agree that the Haut Brion Blanc is tempting. :laugh: Having received an update that four of six diners might be drinking, I include two indicative sets of choices below. Members' input would be appreciated.

A. More reasonably priced-- Less than $150/person (before taxes and tipping associated with wine price)

(1) Mumm de Cramant Brut NV $75: I agree with Lady T that V-C 1995 would be better; however, Mumm de Cramant is different from "regular" Mumm and is a Blanc de Blanc (my favorite broad category of champagne). $75 also represents a reasonable price, as the bottle is priced at over $45 at Garnet, NY.

(2) Meursault-Charmes Domaine des Comtes Lafon 1998 $215: I wonder if this is a good time to drink this bottle. However, I have liked many older vintages of this wine. Members' input would be appreciated.

(3) Gevrey-Chambertin "Clos St. Jacques" Jadot 1995 $175: I am uncertain about this maker as a provider of G-C, and would choose Mortet in G-C if price were not a consideration. However, this bottle could be a good compromise.

(4) Inniskillin "Oak Aged" Vidal, Niagara Peninsula 1998 (Half Bottle) $125: The pricing reflects a considerable mark-up, as recent Inniskillins sell for around $50-60 for a full bottle retail in NY and for less than US$30 a bottle in certain Canadian regions.

B. For double the price-plus, at less than $350/person:

Salon "Le Mesnil" Blanc de Blancs Brut 1988 $310

Pessac-Leognan Chateau Haut Brion 1992 (Blanc) $300 :blink:

Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 1988 $375 (yes, I like Haut Brion and applicable secondary lines)

Chateau d'Yquem Premier Grand Cru 1988 (Half Bottle) $365 (This or a similar d'Yquem could be had less expensively by purchasing retail and BYO, even with the $80 corkage)

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For Champagne, I noticed they have the Egly Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Vielle Vignes NV on the list for $75. That's a very nice Pinot-Noir based champagne by a small grower. It's priced at about twice retail, but it's not something you will often run across. They also have Jacques Selosse Blanc de Blanc NV for $115. The Selosse is a very winey champagne, and a terrific match with food, with laser-like intensity and zippy acidity. The Selosse retails for about $50 in the U.S., but it is even harder to find then the Egly.

On the Whites, I don't know much about 81 as a vintage in White Burgundy, but if anyone is a safe bet in Chassagne Montrachet, it would be Ramonet. I have't tasted the Lafon mentioned above, but based on the bad experiences I have generally had with 1998 White Burgundy, I would avoid it. The 96 Lafon Meursault Clos de La Barre (at $175) would probably be a better bet, based on the vintage, even though Charmes is a superior site.

As for the Reds, Jadot's Clos St. Jaques is dependably a good wine, at least in good vintages. Note that this wine is made from vines owned by Jadot as opposed to most of Jadot's other wines, which are made from purchased grapes. Also, Clos St. Jacques is generally considered a better vineyard than Lavaux St. Jacques. The 1995 may be closed up, however. You might consider the 1999.

There were some other interesting Burgundies I noticed on the list:

99 Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin "Clos St. Jacques" ($135)---retails for about $80. Young, to be sure, but has class and bright beautiful fruit.

99 Dujac Clos de la Roche ($250) or Clos St. Denis ($240)----these are two of my favorite wines in Burgundy, although due to the price I have only had them a few times. They retail for about $150 in the U.S.

For Dessert, d'Yquem is an unimpeachable choice, but two other things caught my eye:

97 Huet Cuvee Constance ($315). This wine, a sweet Chenin Blanc from the Loire valley, retails for about $150. Haven't tried this cuvee, but it is by all accounts a fantastic wine. Should go great with cheese and any apple or pear based desserts.

2000 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein ($200). Retails for about $100. Donnhoff is always great, and on the couple of occasions I have tried his Eisweins they have been off the charts.

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You guys know a lot about wines but this is what we do when we eat there...

I put myself in the hands of Melinda Chang or any of the sommeliers they have there. Ask them to pair wines for the specific courses...you can even do half glasses if you prefer...You get fantastic wines that pair fantastically with the amzing cuisine...and you might save a little bit of money...

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You guys know a lot about wines but this is what we do when we eat there...

I put myself in the hands of Melinda Chang or any of the sommeliers they have there.  Ask them to pair wines for the specific courses...you can even do half glasses if you prefer...You get fantastic wines that pair fantastically with the amzing cuisine...and you might save a little bit of money...

You will not be able to put yourself in Belinda's capable hands. She is away on leave. As you said, there are others who are quite capable.

Belinda wrote the wine notes for Trotter's Meat & Game volume.

Awbrig - Did you seel Belinda on Chicago Tonight? She and Alpina Singh, of Everest had the entire half-hour with Phil Ponce a little over one month ago. They discussed the biz and how they got started. The last five minutes was devoted to wine recommendations.

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I missed that show, too bad.

oops I typed Melinda instead of Belinda...thanks for catching that...Im aware she is on personal leave...I just wanted to mention her in case somone goes there and she is back...thx for pointing that out though...I hope she comes back soon! Here's a picture of Belinda w my Mother...

fd41ef93.jpg

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Awbrig - the pics are now coming through loud and clear. BTW, you are posting these photos with permission, right? We wouldn't want Belinda, Chef Trotter or your mother to get angry and sue, whould we? :unsure:

At the very least, you could be banned from Trotter's for life! :laugh:

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Apologies, Cabrales, I should've paid much more attention to the bottom line as I thought about those selections! Hard to do when I look at a list like that one though...and 'reasonable' is not, unfortunately, a word I usually use in the same breath (pause to inhale) as 'Trotter.' I do wish his markups weren't quite so exorbitant.

I concur happily with the points made by MartyL above, particularly regarding the Jadot Clos St. Jacques: a more recent bottle will surely be a happier choice for your table. His suggestion of the 2000 Donnhoff Eiswein at $200 as a possible alternative to the d'Yquem is real intriguing, and if the Kitchen Table desserts look like they'll pair well with it, I'd endorse that choice. Did you also see the 1993 Tokaji Aszu "Birsalmas - 5 Puttonyos" at $98 for 500 mL (MORE than plenty if just four are drinking)? Interesting, no?

Your 'B' list is lovely. No further comments on that one: I favor Haut Brion and its relatives too! :biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Try this recipe from Trotters first book...Nancy Sillverton's Panna Cotta with Dried Fruit & Coulis...pg190

I made it tonight only using strawberries for the dried fruit and it was phenomonal...

Let us never forget the "interchangability of foodstuffs!" :biggrin:

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interesting CT comments from Chowhound...lol

Also, there is tons, and tons and tons, bordering on fetishitic, talk of Trotter on another Internet food board [moderators, remember, it's nowhere close to being as good as chowhound.]

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The October 2002 edition of Food Arts mentions, as an aside to another topic and following an indication that 1/3 of Trotter's customers order vegetarian menus, "three or four people a night request his all-raw menu of 'living food', none of which has been heated above 118 [degress] F." Trotter's interest in "raw" food, which was among the highlighted topics at the Aspen event this year, was discussed in some edition of Art Culinaire this year.

Have members sampled Trotter's "living food" dishes? :wink:

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Aurora?  Awbrig?  Hopleaf?  Have you folks been to Trio yet?  Any light to shed?

Haven't been to Trio, but I did have a friend from culinary school that did his internship there. He learned a lot.

I much prefer the off-the-beaten path, budget-conscious restaurant. So, Trio is beyond my means, as is Trotters. The only exposure I've had to Charlie Trotter is through his PBS show The Kitchen Sessions. From this I took him to be a bit pompous and really messy in the kitchen. I saw him trim chicken and on the same cutting board without washing it cut ingredients for a fresh salad. The other thing that irks me about Trotter is his penchant for finding 'exotic' ingredients to which he even acknowledges the difficulty of finding. Cooking good food is hard enough for most people that if you toss in the culinary acrobatics of finding exotic ingredients, they'll likely throw the towel in before slicing an onion or cracking an egg.

His cookbooks are really pretty cool though.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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We went to CT in early September and have to report that while the food was phenomenal, the bloom was off the rose literally and figuratively.

His 'nibs could do well to re-read certain sections of his hagiography. The attention to the details one expects in a restaurant of that caliber were lacking. To wit:

-The gold leaf was rather obviously flaked off the monogram plates

-One of the roses on our table was browned and tattered. (We kept turning toward each other when the other person wasn't looking.)

-The sommelier incorrectly informed us as to the components of a propietary blend

-I corrected our server as to the identity of the cheeses on our plate

-The menu was almost identical to my sister-in-law's the week before

Are these fatal flaws that would make us never want to go to CT's again? Absolutely not. Does this show the hand on the rudder is less firm? Yes. And CT sets himself up for this type of criticism with all the braggadocio present in this Excellence books. More seriously, these type of things can be the first sign (after the pride) before the fall.

A.

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We went to CT in early September and have to report that while the food was phenomenal, the bloom was off the rose literally and figuratively.

His 'nibs could do well to re-read certain sections of his hagiography. The attention to the details one expects in a restaurant of that caliber were lacking. To wit:

-The gold leaf was rather obviously flaked off the monogram plates

-One of the roses on our table was browned and tattered. (We kept turning toward each other when the other person wasn't looking.)

-The sommelier incorrectly informed us as to the components of a propietary blend

-I corrected our server as to the identity of the cheeses on our plate

-The menu was almost identical to my sister-in-law's the week before

Are these fatal flaws that would make us never want to go to CT's again? Absolutely not. Does this show the hand on the rudder is less firm? Yes. And CT sets himself up for this type of criticism with all the braggadocio present in this Excellence books. More seriously, these type of things can be the first sign (after the pride) before the fall.

A.

Baphie - I'm sorry to hear that your experience was a little less than you expected.

I'm curious. Surveys are given to each guest at the end of their meal. Did you get one, and if so, did you complete it? Close attention is paid to those surveys, and guests that receive a less than positive experience will definately get a response.

The things that you are discussing are definately things that they would like to know about. :biggrin:

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