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April 17-22, 2008
|Tuesday, April 22, 2008
These varietals that may not roll off the tongue in the same way they roll out of the barrel, but fortunately for us, people were patient with our mispronunciations as we discussed their grapes, land and production methods.
Courtney Cochran conducted a seminar and tasting:
... to give us an overview of what we would find in the ballroom of swirling glasses.
There were many producers who used non-indigenous grapes as a departure from traditional formulations, but there were also those who stick with ancient texts to guide their winemaking.
Our friend Amy pointed us towards the 2004 Cortes De Cima Trincadeira:
We loved this spicy glass comprised of 100% of this Portuguese varietal.
This second annual tasting of Portuguese wines was a fantastic way to check in with out-digenous liquids in a palatial setting.
|Monday, April 21, 2008
Many customers chose to wait for a table, which paved our way to immediate seating at the counter where we chugged coffee as they flipped flapjacks at our favorite Berkeley diner.
... with fruit and maple syrup alongside a plate of over easy eggs and chicken apple sausages:
... while I went with scrapple with poached eggs ($8.95):
... grilled Roma tomatoes cut through the rich, spicy slab of grilled meat product. All of our chow was Bette's standard, satisfying fare made deftly with good ingredients. The staff always makes us feel right at home even when they are being driven crazy by a wave of loony, demanding customers.
Bette's Oceanview Diner
In our Bunrab email, Steve brings us up to date on his visit to Thomas Keller's NY mecca of mastication:
re: per se, a five-course sunday brunch. champagne to cool my jets. deb conspired. we agreed that the waiter should supply a glass of wine with each plate. lots of amuse, lots of wonderful small plates. tripe caught my eye and satisfied. lobster poached in butter works if the portion is small. it sings if the wine pairing is superb. it was. and so on. per se is both a california conceit and a manhattan business venture. i say this with respect. the space in the time-warner building lives above a shopping mall. a very expensive shopping mall. one rides the escalator up and approaches the restaurant with curiosity. there's a formidable central door but it's only a sham. a glass panel off to one side slides open as you approach. once inside, you leave the mall and encounter a seating area. someone will come over, take your coat, ask your name and walk you to your table. quietly. once seated, maybe the most professional staff in manhattan takes over. you know the food. enough said. bunrabs, i'm beginning to understand your fondness for the french laundry. deb and i discussed all the excruciating details many times over after we trained home. we'll be back. regards, --steve
When we made our way to that crazy Per Se door, we knew that was where we were going to have to check our preconceptions.
|Sunday, April 20, 2008
... at Magnolia Pub. They satisfy all of the snacking criteria as handheld, bite sized, salty, crunchy, savory morsels. These lightly battered, greaseless, lowercase o-rings are as habit forming as the beer at this lovable Haight eatery and drinkery.
They have recently replumbed their super-powered water filtration system used for brewing their suds for hydration of their customers. Complimentary still and sparkling water is now also offered on tap.
We augmented our aqua with a glass of Tiburon Blonde, which is brewed in a lighter style than my favorite beer, the Prescription Pale:
This pint was as bitter as a disenfranchised voter and clung to my taste buds religiously.
The moules frites ($14.00):
... had a creamier broth than we expected and were turfed up with slices of house made andouille sausage. The shellfish were plump and cooked to a tender just-doneness in their fennel and garlic scented bath. I should have ordered the frites extra crispy, but this was not a spudtacular disappointment since we had already fulfilled our minimum daily requirement of deep fried foods with those alium apps.
We subbed out a salad for fries with our blue cheese burger ($13.00):
... which was seasoned better than the one we had on our last visit. The Prather Ranch patty was cooked to our specified medium rare and was solid and satisfying pub grub.
The new chef, Brandon Jew, has given us more of a reason to veer over to this pot-scented part of town to check out his gastero influences at this cozy brewery.
|Saturday, April 19, 2008
The bacon and egg dosa ($9.00) is the best version of a breakfast wrap around. The sour tang of the lacy crepe gives a South Indian influence to its all-American filling.
Asparagus ($10.50) was rolled up with lemon aioli and melted Gruyere in a seasonal and savory tube of tastiness.
The owner, Suzanne, takes great care to make sure that everyone is happy and well fed. She greets most visitors by name and we have never visited when she wasn't at the helm. This welcoming little café keeps us coming back.
|Friday, April 18, 2008
If Port is the only Portuguese grape delivery system on your radar, fortify your knowledge at ViniPortugal next Tuesday.
America's largest Portuguese wine tasting is a benefit for Project Open Hand. So if you want to celebrate Earth Day by focusing on its terriors (one of the finest things about this planet) come to the Palace Hotel to taste and discuss these wares of Portugal. There will be over 30 producers on hand with over 300 wines and a seminar at 6:00 p.m.
On Saturday, April 26th, you can attend culinary seminars including Sara Deseran interviewing Cecilia Chiang, Patricia Unterman and Chuck Williams and one featuring bloglebrities Marcia Gagliardi and Pim Techamuanvivit. Then cap it all off with dinner at Betelnut.
You can get your art, chow and culture trinified under one roof.
Taste of Asia
|Thursday, April 17, 2008
We would have stayed for one of their tasty pizzas:
... but I wanted to get our loot home so I could sort, wash and prep the goods. I like to do this immediately so that I know exactly what I have and it's all ready to grab and use, but this method offers the added benefit of allowing plans for each of the items to percolate.
Tonight's box was filled with agretti, garlic chives, leeks, delicious Erbette chard, pristine mesclun from High Ground Organics:
... rocket, celery, Chantenay Carrots, wonderful Meyer lemons:
... their signature Broccoli di Cicco:
... mustard greens and lambs quarters (the green, not the animal's room.)
The next Mystery Box pick up is on May 1st at Pizzetta 211 between 5-7 p.m. Email your order in advance, arrive with $25 cash and you'll have a fridge filled with food that inspires some good cooking (or makes you feel like a loser as the greens greet you with wilting glances whenever you retrieve a beer to deafen their slow agonizing death cries.)
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