Sunday, August 30, 2015

Annual German Wine Dinner at Delius

Saturday, August 29, 2015

These dinners featuring German wines have been an event for a lot of years at Delius.  Allie the wine rep from Rudy Weist Imports was there again. Looking quite summery in her bright orange dress, Showed off her surfers body. Allie surfs almost everyday. Her cousin was with her tonight. He just moved to California from Chicago by way of Florida. Brandon said he thought he could get used to dinners like this really fast. He was a lot of fun. Also shared the table with Ray & Barbara so we had a very lively evening.

We started out the a glass of 2009 Raumland Cuvee Marie-Luise Brut Blanc de Noir. Mineraly, crisp, green apple, black cherry and a touch of nectarine. Good enough that I bought the 2 bottles that were left.

First course: Crab, Avocado and Golden Beet Napolean with frisee, grilled serrano vinaigrette and toasted almonds. Exceptionally good, just the right amount of bite to it and a beautiful looking dish.
Paired with a 2013 Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Riesling Kabinett. A very good pairing. The Riesling had a touch of petrol on the nose, good acidity and a bit on the dry side. I also had some of the Sket with this dish and it was a winner also.

Second course: Crispy Skin Loup de Mer, basil broth, fennel, baby heirloom tomatoes and lemon oil. Another winner. The broth was very good, full of flavor. The fennel was not strong. Fish was cooked perfectly. Paired with a 2013 Wagner-Stempel Pinot Blanc Dry, Siefersheim.  A decent pairing but the Rielsing and Sket we just had went better with this dish. It is nice to save some wine and hold it over to the next course to compare.

Third course: Caramelized Spaetzle, Duck Confit, grilled king oyster mushrooms, brown butter, garlic chips. To me this was by far the best dish of the evening. Loaded with flavors, rich, decadent. So glad the portion was not huge. This dish was exceptionally good. Wine was a 1994 Schloss Schonborn Riesling Auslese, Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg. The wine had a touch of petrol on the nose not quite as much as the other Riesling we had. But the color was beautiful, had good viscosity and mouth fell, well balanced and rich enough to stand up to the duck. A perfect pairing.

Fourth course: Grilled Hangar Steak, red wine reduction, farm risotto, roasted carrot puree, cipollini onions, fried carrot garnish. Normally by this time in the dinner I will take a bite or two and have them box up the rest to take home. But one bite led to another and so on. Before long the plate was clean. The carrot puree really set this dish apart and the risotto was perfect, Another excellent dish from the kitchen. A 2012 Schnaitmann Lemberger 2 Star was the wine selected for this dish. A good pairing. German red wines are usually on the lighter side and are made to go with food and this  one was perfect for the dish.

Dessert was a Black Forest Cheesecake. Light and a nice ending to a rich meal. The cake was served on a rectangular plate and Delius's logo (the 3 glasses) was stenciled onto the plate with powdered cocoa. I thought that this was a cool touch and hope they do this more often.

Another dinner at Delius that was exceptionally good. I even ate the damm frisee that was with the Napoleon. Granted it was small but it still was frisee.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dinner at Bistro Bleu

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Terry and I liked this restaurant so much we decided to come back. .         We were here a couple of weeks ago with Margie's dinner group. The menu had a lot of interesting items on it and several of them were high on my list to try.

I opted for the roasted beet salad to start with which was very good. Almost went for the Lobster Bisque but will try that next week when I come back with Marc.

Terry and I both had the Rabbit (Lapin) It had a mustard sauce that was so good. I had a front leg, back leg and part of the saddle. Took some home. Could have eaten the whole thing if it was not for the salad at the beginning. Served with mixed vegetables, again under cooked. I don't like soft but I do want my vegetables a bit more than raw. So many places seem to be on this kick of serving vegetables that seemed to have been only blanched.  The menu listed linguine as the starch. I had my dinner that way but Terry opted to substitute mashed potatoes with his. That is what I would do when I order the rabbit again.

The baguette was warm, freshly baked and light. Two baskets of the bread  were devoured.

Since there was just two of us there were only two wines.  Terry brought a 2005 Krupp Bros., Veraison, Stagecoach Vineyards and I brought a 2005 Chateau de Ferrand, St. Emilion, Grand Cru. Both wines were showing well. Both well balanced, good mouthfeel and loads of complexity.

A nice evening with good conversation. Amazing what you talk about when there is just two of you.

Rose Tasting At Delius

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This turned out to be a really nice tasting for summertime. Rose's are refreshing and light. When I do these commuter tastings I normally leave about 7:00 but tonight I was having such a good time with good conversation it was 9:30 before we left the restaurant.

6 wines were poured and a multitude of appetizers were passed around. 4 appetizers came out within 20 minutes then there was a big lull before they showed up again. Seemed the kitchen got really busy and they were having a hard time taking care of everything. When they started passing the goodies again most of the people had left. But the food did not go to waste. We really chowed down. Event was over at 8:00. Dave, the owner sat down with us and we finished off the leftover open bottles.

Two of the Rose's I have in my cellar. The 2014 Liquid Farms and the 2014 Tercero Mouvedre Rose. They will be gone by the end of the summer. Bought a case of the Tercero but it is really good.

Other Rose's poured tonight were 2014 Y.Rousseau Rose of Tannat, 2014 Domaine St. Antoine, 2014 Broc Bellars "Love"  and 2014 Ledge Vineyards "Los Topos". There was something for everyone in this combination.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Boat House in Long Beach

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My grandaughter's 23rd birthday so off to the Boathouse Restaurant at the marina in Long Beach.   Nice view but then you are paying for it.

Had a sushi roll for an appetizer which was good. My son ordered 6 oysters, I was not impressed  with the size or presentation. My son ordered the house salad and his lady friend ordered the organic salad and they looked just alike. There were clams and linguine ordered. Small portion, ok on taste. the Chilean Sea Bass was good but the vegetables on the plate were way undercooked. Seems to be the trend lately.

I had a half bottle of Schramsberg Champagne and there were two Pear Martini's ordered along with a "Roy Rogers" drink for the 6 year old rug rat that is 4'5" tall already. Everyone else had water.

So along with the drinks, there were 2 plates of Sea Bass, one linguine and  clams, 2 sushi rolls, an appetizer plate, 6 oysters, baked potato and mac and cheese for the kid.

$291. Not impressed to go back except for happy hour maybe.

Bistro St. Germain

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I missed Susan's birthday bash on Tuesday so we met at Bistro St. Germain in Seal Beach for happy hour.   Before 6:00 tapas are half price an discounts on beer and the chalkboard wine list. Lucky to arrive at the same time and we both got parking spots right in front. A good omen. Walked in and the place is packed. So Susan goes to  the bar and talks with Armand who miraculously finds us a table. Susan sells wine to the restaurant and that probably helped.

Ordered a variety, shrimp scampi, bruschetta. vegetable risotto, sauteed mushrooms. baked green mussels. All good. And we were stuffed. A real bargain.

I had a couple of glasses  of a Brut Rose and Susan opted for a beer. When you taste wine all day that is not what you want for dinner.  Place was busy all evening. Large, local crowd.

It is interesting walking down Main St., to see which bar/restaurants are busy and which ones are not. I sometimes wonder how some of these places stay in business.

Wine & Fire 2015 - On The Way Home

Monday, August 17, 2015

Had another breakfast at the hotel and loaded the car for the trip back. Can't get into Central Kitchen until 10:00 to pick up the cheese. at 10 o'clock we got into Cindy's car and it will not start. She has some king of keyless system and apparently did not turn everything off when we loaded up. But that was only 30 minutes ago. Asked her when she had a new battery installed and found out it was still the original battery. 45 minutes later triple A shows up. they run the diagnostic and sure enough her battery is on its way out. They do get us started and followed us to the gas station where we needed to fill up. We were concerned about the car not starting again. Filled up and the car turned over. Waved goodbye to the tow driver and headed to Central Kitchen. Left the car running when we went into the store, picked up the cheese and headed down the road.

Traffic on the way back in the LA area,. Got to Cindy's after 3:00. Long day. But a great time. Especially nice when someone else drives. I paid for the gas but it is so worth it to be a passenger.

Maybe I will do this again next year.

Wine & Fire 2015 - Last Day

Sunday, August 16, 2015

I was told at the Clos Pepe bash that they had some Zwimbto cheese at the Central Kitchen store. We stopped in before heading for dinner to pick it up. Unfortunately the cheese that was left from the Clos had not made it back to the store yet. This cheese was ordered special for Clos Pepe. We were told if we came back in the morning when the opened we could purchase any unopened cheese. If you are in the Lompoc area this place is a must to stop. Great deli, beautiful sandwiches and salads.

So down the street we went to Scratch Kitchen for dinner. New place in town and Lompoc sure needs some good eating establishments. They are starting to realize what they have in the Ghetto and the potential for wino's to stay in the area instead of Santa Ynez and Solvang. They did to work on it some more they are headed in the right direction.

Scratch Kitchen is on H street close to the main part of town. Simple, noisy but the food is good. They have a full bar , good wine list and if you bring in a local wine there is no corkage. I was so wined out by time dinner was upon us I ordered a beer. We ordered a couple of starters. Ahi with avocado and a beet salad. Both were excellent. I ordered the tuna filet, fresh that day, caught that morning. Sat on a piece of grilled watermelon and had a compote of cantaloupe and cucumber on top. Excellent flavors. Cindy had the grilled lamb chops and they were cooked perfectly. We were happy campers. service was good. The restaurant itself was noisy. They were busy but the acoustics are minimal.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would definitely go back.