Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another Diinner at Doung Son

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back to our favorite Chinese restaurant. 6 of us took part in tonight's feast Henry is back from China so he took care of all the ordering. We started off with those tiny dried fish that are sweet & salty at the same time and then shrimp chips.

It took awhile to get our lobster to the table. The restaurant was busy and next week is Chinese New Year. We even got firecrackers shot off outside for our entertainment

The lobster tonight was 5 pounds. The claws were massive. They parboil the lobster for a short time then chop it with a cleaver, shell and all then stir fry it in a wok with ginger and scallions. Then it is put into a bowl with soft noodles under it, the lid put on and they let it sit for awhile so the juices soak into the noodles. It is so good and succulent. This lobster dish is best ordered when we have 6 people in attendance. With 8 people you don't really get to feast on the lobster, you just get a couple of pieces.

Next up was beef with Chinese broccoli, always a good dish.

Spicy green beans with chicken was next. This was a new dish. The beans were very spicy but the white wines really paired well with it.

Then came a plate of snow peas with scallops. Thinly sliced scallops and the pea pods were extremely fresh.

Fried oysters were our last dish and as always they fresh, plump and juicy. These are the best fried oysters I have ever had.

As usual we had fruit, red bean tapioca and sweet buns for dessert.

The wines tonight were all top notch. NV E'toile sparking Rose, 2006 Stolpman L'Avion, 2005 Conundrum, 2006 AP Vin Turner Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2005 Stolpman Angeli, 2005 Cass Mouvedre and a 2001 Turley Presenti Zinfandel.

Yes these big red wines do pair well with this type of Chinese food. Bold flavors in both food and wine. As always some paired a little better than others. I did drink a lot of sparkling and white wine tonight as we were heavy on the seafood.

I'm already thinking about the next visit. My mouth waters thinking about the food. The food at Doung Son is always good but when Henry is with us we seem to get special treatment and the quality of the food goes up. Maybe its because Henry has been going here for years and is a freind of the owner.

New Italian Restaurant

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This new restaurant was recommended by friends who had dined there a few times already. It turned out to be a gem. Vino & Cucina in Long Beach.

4 of us met after work and I will say I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and the pricing. Everything is ala carte but the servings are well portioned. Nice wine list with wine by the glass or bottle and that seemed reasonable also.

One bottle of Chardonnay was bought at the restaurant. I brought a 2003 Stolpman La Croce and Steve brought a 2003 Barolo. Both were excellent.

They start you off with a basket of bread , olive oil & balsamic. We ordered a few appetizers. Brucshetta, shrimp in a lobster sauce and deep fried baby artichokes stuffed with marscapone cheese with a balsamic reduction. All were excellent.

The entrees ordered, were a pasta dish that I did not pay much attention to what is was but Mike liked it. Bradlee had the lasagna which had a white sauce instead of red. Steve had the Beef tenderloin with risotto and polenta and I had the beef stew over risotto. I had expected the stew to have a gravy but instead it was a fresh diced tomato sauce, very light and fortunately no acid.

We did not have desserts as the portions are more than adequate especially if you start off with appetizers. We were all stuffed.

I will be going back to the gem. I hope they stay small and the food stays as good as it is.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stuffed Lobster at Bluewater Grill

Tuesday, December 29, 2008

Time was running out to partake in the Bluewater Grill's stuffed lobster special so we decided now or never. I met John & Remy at MAWL wines and the 3 of us headed down the freeway to Tustin.

Remy & I ordered the stuffed lobster and John had the swordfish which he said was excellent.

The shrimp stuffed lobster was good. I really liked the texture and flavor and the lobster was a good size, BUT, the portions of the lobster that were not mixed in with the stuffing, like the end of the tail and the claws were another thing. I felt they were dry. Probably in the par-cooking of the lobster and then the baking with the stuffing they were overcooked by a few minutes. And with lobster you cannot overcook or you loose all that succulent flavor. I wish they would have put a side of drawn butter on the plate. That would have helped a lot with the loose meat.

I've been eating lobster since I was small and my father was a commercial fisherman. I would get up in the morning to get ready for school and I knew my Dad was home because the bathtub would be filled with live lobsters. I knew what we having for dinner. A great break from all that albacore we ate constantly.

So the dinner was good, the side of veggies and sauteed spinach was a nice touch but just a little too dry on the lobster meat.

I took a bottle of 2006 Stolpman's L'Avion, A blend of Marsanne, Roussane and a touch of Vigonier. It was excellent with the fish and lobster.

Looking forward to the next Oyster tasting in February.,