Archive for the Wine Category

The Delachaise

Posted in Bars, Beer, Eat, Entrees, Imbibe, Restaurants, Reviews, Wine with tags , on 15 December, 2009 by la fille

Ok, so I have a new job that is AWESOME. There are many things that make it awesome, one of which is the fact that it’s located in a different neighborhood from the one in which I live. My old job was three blocks from my abode. This was damnably convenient, of course, but it also meant my world was very small. Get up, walk to work, get off, walk to the grocery, walk to the wine store, walk to a restaurant, walk home…you get the drift. On a REALLY exciting day I might get on my bike and ride to a restaurant.

Working Uptown means that I get regular exposure to a bunch of places I used to hear about but never went because they were more than 100 yards from my house.

I’ve been to the Delachaise a couple of times since becoming a part-time Uptowner, and I must say, it’s pretty rad. Good cocktail selection, good wine list, and probably some of the best frites I’ve ever had.

Y’all. THOSE POTATOES ARE FRIED IN GOOSE FAT. AND THEY’RE SERVED WITH PEANUT SAUCE.

Sweet Jesus, I may have to take a second to recompose myself.

All right. Now, I’m a humongous fan of peanut sauce, and am usually of the opinion that anything served with it is purely a vessel to get said sauce into my mouth and should take a supporting role in the process. These fries, however, make me question that philosophy– they are plenty awesome on their own. They also come with a malt vinegar minez, just like they do it in Britain. I often wonder why more Americans don’t eat mayo with their fries, since we usually opt for the most fattening option available.

I also had my first frog legs. “Wickedly spicy”, according to the menu, and glazed in remoulade, I’m now a fan of those little cuisses de grenouille. Although I must wonder what they do with the rest of the frog. My coworker Skooksie just suggested maybe they make fwog gras (get it, GET IT?) out of ’em. Or maybe there are a bunch of French high school students dissecting legless frogs in biologie class.

They’ve got very well-chosen wine and beer lists, and offer a huge variety of stuff by the glass. The night in question I stuck with an ’07 Olivares Monastrell. The tap choices are terrific too, with a representative selection of styles like Chimay, Anchor Porter, Spaten Lager, and even a lambic.

I like the atmosphere a lot and, as my dining partner noted, the fact that the building’s long and skinny means that it doesn’t take many customers to make the place feel full. They do allow smoking, also.

Flojindamesa over at Eat Drink Nola relates an amusing Delachaise experience here.

The Delachaise

3442 St. Charles Ave.

504.895.0858

thedelachaise.com

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Mini-giving

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Imbibe, Wine, Words with tags , on 27 November, 2009 by la fille

I’m currently back in beautiful Tennessee, enjoying the holiday weekend with mon père, Cap’n Will. The air is crisp, the sky is clear, and the accents are twangy.

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but when it comes to food, the pomme didn’t fall far from the tree. Cap’n Will has been in the restaurant business his whole life, and owned a fine dining establishment for the majority of my childhood. Needless to say, when we found out it was just going to be the two of us for Thanksgiving (Mamàn is currently in another state spending time with my new niece and nephew), our thoughts immediately went to what fun things we could do with the meal while downsizing at the same time.

I flew in late on Wednesday, so I really didn’t a whole lot foodwise, but Pops put together the most marvelous Thanksgiving meal for two that I could have imagined. We forwent a turkey and stuffed a couple of Cornish game hens with an apple-dried plum (apparently we’ve stopped calling them prunes) cornbread stuffing, baked some teensy sweet potatoes, put together a green bean casserole, and made fresh cranberry sauce.

I’ve always found the side dishes to be the most exciting aspect of Thanksgiving dinner, and I will admit a particular and unabashed love for green bean casserole. I know it’s a pretty rudimentary dish, but you’ve gotta admit it’s pretty much the ultimate in comfort food, and for me–since I only have it once a year–the creamy concoction is so rooted in time and place that it makes me feel safe and loved no matter the circumstances.

So yeah, green bean casserole.

The other stuff was good too, I guess.

The hens turned out beautifully– golden and crispy on the outside, moist and tender within, and most importantly, no living on turkey sammiches for the next three days! It was the PERFECT amount of food for the two of us.

While cooking, we drank a 2005 Eos Paso Robles, which I enjoyed immensely, and with the meal had Fat Bastard’s Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, which was good with food, but sweeter than both of us had anticipated, especially for a brut. It’s from the Loire Valley, not Champagne, though, and most likely chenin blanc instead of chardonnay, which might explain the sweetness.

Anyway, after indulging in the requisite food-and-wine coma (and having some coffee), we packed up our dessert and went a-visiting. I tell you what, friends are glad to see you when you bring mango cobbler and homemade vanilla bean ice cream. To hell with pumpkin pie, I say!


South American Wine Tasting

Posted in Imbibe, Tastings, Wine with tags , , , , on 28 May, 2009 by la fille

A couple of weeks ago, Brother O’Mara and I went to a South American tasting at Martin Wine hosted by the knowledgeable and gracious Andrew Dike. He took a trip to Chile and Argentina last year and not only led us through the wines of the region, but showed us some beautiful photos and made us all jealous that we didn’t go along.

Here’s the rundown, with notes:

2008 Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc (Chile, $9.99)

Creamy nose with strong tropical/melon/pineapple aromas. Bright, acidic, and green on the tongue; sweetening a lot upon warming up; creamy finish.

2006 Cono Sur Vision Chardonnay (Chile, $13.99)

cono_chard_vision

Nutty and floral nose, brisk and minerally; apple; full but with low oak for a Chardonnay.

2007 Cono Sur Vision Pinot Noir (Chile, $13.99)

pinot-noir

Toasty, hot nose, with a hint of metallic aroma. Tastes of jammy red fruit with a long finish; slightly hot. Not very well-balanced.

2007 Cono Sur Ocio Pinot Noir (Chile, $50.00)

ocio-02-b

Dusty, brambly nose with definite dark fruits; very complex compared with the Vision, soft and creamy, full with currants and black cherry. Intense fruit, mild tannins and some oak on the finish. Huge, ripe mouthfeel.

2007 La Posta Malbec Paulucci Vineyard (Argentina, $15.99)

96699l

Civet and red cherry on the nose, also perfumey and oddly floral; taste of red fruit, particularly strawberry, young-tasting, floppy, and fatty with no bones–no complexity or structure to back up the initial taste.

2007 Dona Paula Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina, $13.99)

dona_paula_cab

Big and dirty, thick, meaty nose; bitter chocolate entrance, savory taste with a huge mouthfeel and an oaky, hot, tannic finish.

2007 BenMarco Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina, $18.99)

97439l

Creamy nose with hints of graphite and red fruit; round and rich purple fruits (cassis and plum) on tongue; tannic, bitter oak on finish

2007 Tikal Amorio Malbec (Argentina, $18.99)

amorio_tikal_malbec_2006(this is the 2006 label, not 2007)

Floral and red fruit aromas, subtle but full; well-balanced with good tannins.

Overall, neither of us found anything we HAD to have, although if we had, we could have done so since most everything we tasted was moderately priced. As an aside, we LOVE the Dona Paula Shiraz-Malbec — it’s become a daily drinker in our house — so it was nice to try the cabernet as well.

Foodwise, they served La Yerbera, a goat’s milk cheese covered in almonds from Spain and Campo Montalban, a Spanish mixed-milk cheese.

The Best Thing

Posted in Cheese, Eat, Imbibe, Photos, Wine on 18 April, 2009 by la fille

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Sitting at the table in the light of the setting sun, eating cheese and drinking wine, discussing the events of the day.

St. Andre triple creme

Cambozola blue

Honey

Marcona almonds

Pear

Venta Mazzaron tempranillo

(photo by lafille)

Elk Cove Wine Tasting

Posted in Imbibe, Tastings, Wine with tags , , , on 28 March, 2009 by la fille

Adam Godlee Campbell, the head winemaker for Elk Cove Vineyards in Oregon, was kind enough to host a tasting at Martin Wine Cellar while he was in town a couple of weeks ago. He gave a great talk, answered some questions, and led us through some delicious wines his vineyard makes.

On the list for the evening (notes are a combination of mine and Brother O’Mara’s):

elkcovegris

2007 Pinot Gris (retail $16.99): Rich yet acidic with a surprisingly thick mouthfeel. Notes of peach, melon, and pineapple, with a luscious, sweet finish.

riesling_06_estate

2006 Riesling Estate Willamette Valley (retail $16.99): Rich and fruity nose, with a hint of that petrol/lighter fluid aroma you get with Rieslings sometimes. Big, with a good balance between fruit (pear and apple) and acidity, with a long, superfruity finish.

elkcovewillamette

2007 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (retail $24.99): Very earthy for a Pinot, with notes of chocolate, smoke, and dark fruits. Plum and cherry, with a savory note as well. Good tannic finish.

noir_07_mtrichmond

2007 Pinot Noir Mount Richmond (retail $38.99): Dark, dusty nose. Jammy; dark and thick on the tongue, strong leather/smoke notes.

noir_06_windhill

2006 Pinot Noir Windhill (retail $39.99): My favorite of the evening. Fruitier than the Richmond and Willamette, sweet and toasty, with cherry and a little strawberry, as well as a dry woody/brambly note.

noir_06_roosevelt

2006 Pinot Noir Roosevelt (retail $63.00): Huge and rich, almost unbelievably so for a Pinot Noir. Chocolate and coffee, gigantic lingering finish.

elkcovepinot

2002 Pinot Noir Roosevelt (vineyard exclusive, no retail availability): Slightly cloudier than the ’06, nose of oil, leather, and dried fruit. Thinner mouthfeel but bursting with flavor. Mouthwatering and incredibly full, with a tannic finish.

And for dessert:

bottle_riesling_ultima_wv

2006 Riesling Ultima 375 mL (retail $29.99): 60% Riesling, 32% Gewurtztraminer, 8% Muscat. Unctuous, thick, and rich. Delightfully fruity and sweet, but balanced by citrus and a crisp acidity.

Martin provided us with two cheeses to aid our palettes, as well: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, an American goat cheese, and Delice de Bourgogne, a French cow’s milk triple creme (which happens to be Brother O’Mara’s favorite cheese–score!).

Restaurant: Martinique Bistro

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Imbibe, Restaurants, Reviews, Sweets, Veggies, Wine with tags on 28 March, 2009 by la fille

Brother O’Mara sold his old bike the other day, and we both got new ones in the last week, so we decided to go have a nice dinner last night in celebration of two-wheeliness. Choosing rather randomly from our list of to-eat places, we ended up at Martinique Bistro on Magazine street. An associate of Brother O’Mara’s has said that this is the closest thing to an authentic French bistro New Orleans has to offer, and after enjoying a relaxed, slow-paced weeknight dinner there, I’m tempted to agree.

We sat outside, despite the threat of rain, on a patio surrounded with plants, tiny sparkling lights, and flowing water. The service was just the way I like it–attentive and knowledgeable, but not pandering and hover-y. The menu was gorgeous, and the wine list had a tremendous selection of stuff by the glass, by the bottle, and by the half-bottle (much of it imported by Brother O’Mara’s company, holla).

Here’s a rundown of what we enjoyed (forgive the incomplete descriptions of what we ate–I didn’t make a point of remembering verbatim because I knew the menu was online. Turns out it was last autumn’s menu and was not quite the same):

Brother O’Mara

Wine: 1/2 bottle 2002 Muga Rioja Reserva

Appetizer: Handmade gnocchi with shallots, mushrooms, cured ham, and cream sauce

Entree: Pork loin with Steen’s cane syrup/apricot sauce, chive mashed potatoes, and haricots verts

Dessert: Profiteroles filled with Guinness ice cream, topped with Bailey’s and Jameson sauces

la fille

Wine: Glass of Sancerre

Appetizer: Pecan-crusted goat cheese served over field greens with raspberry dressing

Entree: Seared scallops served over spinach, goat cheese grits, and creamy corn

Dessert: Black forest cookie sandwiches filled with black pepper-cherry ice cream

Everything was supremely delicious, and since our server didn’t hurry us at all, we were able to enjoy each course with a little break in between. The highlight for me was the black pepper-cherry ice cream. The pepper really stood out, but blended so well with the creamy cherry flavor. Brother O’Mara says he enjoyed his entree best of all.

This is definitely on the list of places to go whenever we have guests. I’d be perfectly happy going simply for wine, appetizers, and dessert. Anytime.

Recipe: Green Salad with Filet, Pear, and Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Imbibe, Recipe, Wine with tags , , , on 26 February, 2009 by la fille

Whilst at work this morning I got a text message from Brother O’Mara saying how nice it felt to be back to normal and could we have salad for dinner tonight? I had been about to send him the exact same sentiment myself. For the past week-and-a-half or so, our evenings have proceeded as follows:

Home from work at 5:15. “Ok, well, if we eat this [frozen pizza, boxed mac and cheese, bowl of cereal, donut] it will give us just enough time to fill our flasks, buy some OJ, and make it uptown when the first parade rolls.”

After the decadence that pretty much defines the Carnival season, we found ourselves craving something fresh and healthy. Or at least not from a box. Our bellies screamed, “Salad!” and we answered their requests with a meal that turned out to be exponentially more delicious than we initially anticipated it to be.

Green Salad with Filet, Pear, and Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS


Salad

1 bag spring mix

1 pear, thinly sliced

1/4 purple onion, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 roma tomato, sliced

8 oz. filet mignon


Dressing

3 tbsp. Cambozola* bleu cheese, softened

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

RECIPE

1. Season the filet with salt and pepper to taste and cook over medium-high heat just long enough to sear the outside, but leave the inside nice and rare. Remove from heat and let sit until the rest of the salad is ready.

2. While the steak is cooking, make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Easy peasy.

3. Toast the almonds, either in the toaster or over medium heat until they’re nice and popcorn-smelly.

4. Slice the filet, assemble the salad, and pour the dressing on top. It couldn’t be simpler, nor could it be more delicious.

Truly, the combination of pear, almond, steak, and Cambozola tastes almost more decadent than Mardi Gras, but I strongly feel it will sustain you much better.

Also, we ate this with the 2003 Finca Luzon Castillo de Luzon Crianza, which is quickly becoming one of our house wines. We’ve had it several times, and it’s a splendid wine for $12 a bottle.

*Cambozola is a cow’s milk cheese that is a combination of a French soft-ripened triple cream cheese and Gorgonzola. Yours truly has never been a fan of bleu cheeses, so Brother O’Mara is starting me off easy with something super-mild that is also mixed with something that is not bleu. I heartily approve.