I love Zuni Café and could happily eat there every day of my life—if someone wouldn’t mind subsidizing me.
With the golden light that reflects off the towering white walls and the white paper tablecloths, the ambiance inside is wonderful. Furthermore, the food is consistently very good. The worst I ever have is something that doesn’t make me say “wow,” or perhaps a slightly overcooked chicken. Usually, everything is delicious. While in the past there have been some service issues, in the last couple of years I’ve had nothing but exemplary, warm service.
Despite the fact that there’s no “r” in August, the oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company were sure tasting good. Some people like to drink Guinness with their oysters, others prefer Sauvignon Blanc, Champagne or even sake. For me there is one wine for oysters that stands above all others: Muscadet. And thank goodness Hog Island always keeps one on their menu. Fresh, bright, citrus and mineral—it’s the one wine that reliably matches oysters point for point.
Christie and I promised to say no to all invitations and devote a full day to unpacking our boxes and buying the requisite furniture to store things in our new closet-drawer-and-cabinet-deprived apartment. When most was said and done, all we had energy for was to order our pizza from Escape from New York (which we found surprisingly delicious), pop in a video of the Wire (season three of which we’ve been trying to complete for about six months now), and drink a bottle of wine (De Loach 2004 OFS Pinot Noir—very good).
We made another quick jaunt up to Sonoma last weekend for the grand opening of the Patz & Hall winery in Sonoma. Justifiably famous for their Pinots and Chardonnays, P&H worked steadily to become one of the premier brands for those varieties in California. There is excellence in the bottle, of course, but part of the charm, no doubt, is the traces of the personalities of owners Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz.
A friend came to town for a visit, so we broke out some Champagne on a Sunday night. It was also an occasion for my wife and me to get into our recurring argument—the Riedel O Champagne glass.
If you haven't yet heard, 2005 was a stellar year in Beaujolais, a great wine region that has largely been forgotten in the modern vinous rush. The reason this place has been overlooked might be because it makes a lighter style of wine from a grape that no one talks about. Anyway, in 2005 the wines are not light, but are perfect medium-bodied wine. They have some tannic grip and loads of dark plummy fruit. I like them slightly chilled.
Chile is moving beyond its reputation as both the world’s leading supplier of cheap wine and top imitator of Bordeaux. Thanks to its coastal location on the Pacific, Chile gets a lot of cool ocean influence, just like California. Intrepid vineyardists are pioneering out into these coastal locations to bring us a whole new style of wine for Chile and classic “cooler climate” grapes like Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer.