Eat + Drink
At a nice dinner the other night, several friends and I decided to compare three top single-vineyard Côte Rôties from the vintage of 2001. If you don't know, Côte Rôtie is one of the top Syrah appellations in France's Rhone Valley. Actually, it’s one of the top Syrah appellations in France—okay, the world. All right, to my mind, it's the greatest place for Syrah in the world. Some might argue that Hermitage is better, but I'll take Côte Rôtie's lighter body, floral high notes and silky tannins any day.
I learned this trick from Larry Stone, master sommelier, GM of Napa's Rubicon Estate, and all-around wine know-it-all: take a decent-sized piece of Glad plastic wrap, wad it up and soak it in your wine glass for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Although we were both planning on getting the three-course option, the menu was so extensive with mouth-wateringly descriptive dishes that narrowing the choices down to three (including dessert) seemed entirely too taxing. So we took the easy way out and each splurged for the four course.
Beefsteak Pirates, Juicy Tomatoes and a Bittersweet Waitress
Greetings from Mexico...
I recently spent time in Zihuatanejo, a small fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific coast that has starred in two movies over the years: In When a Man Loves a Woman, it’s where Andy Garcia takes alcoholic wife Meg Ryan in an attempt to lengthen their denial, and in The Shawshank Redemption, it’s where innocent convict Tim Robbins escapes to start the rest of his life.
First of the season: apriums from
Blossom Bluff Orchards.
Sometimes it feels like things here in California happen overnight. One weekend, you’re enjoying the first tender spring greens, the first sweet strawberries, a handful of early season cherries. Then whammo! The ship comes in. Have you been to the farmers’ market lately? Now the cherries are mounded up into huge piles, vying for space among the apricots, first of the season white peaches and plums.
Added to the food memory bank, as of last week, are two dishes that I’ve had nothing quite like before and want to have a lot more of right now:
Here’s how it broke down: