Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pasta & No Corkage

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spaghettini's in Seal Beach is running a  special on Sunday night.     Half off their pasta dishes, no corkage or 50% of their wine list up to $100.

Eight of us decided to try this. Turned out much better than expected and we will be going  back.

7 of us ordered the pasta dishes and one ordered halibut. No complaints were heard. I had the pasta shells with seafood and a chardonnay cream sauce. Loaded with seafood and 3 very large scallops.Excellent dish.  It went well with my 2008 Clos Pepe Chardonnay. I ate half and boxed it up for dinner on Monday night. I also had a side of spinach, artichoke heats and olives. GOOD.

I  ordered a cheese plate for dessert since I brought a Port. Plate was brought out and had a whole wheel of Brie cut in half with honey drizzled on it. Who wants to eat all of the same kind of cheese. Cheese plates are supposed to have variety. After discussions with the waiter on what a cheese plate should be I finally ended up with a plate with 3 cheeses, nuts, dried fruits and toast.  They serve Maytag blue cheese with their salads so  I cannot understand why it was not on the plate. The website indicated honeycomb. I got drizzled honey - not the same.. A restaurant of this caliber and the do not know how to make a cheese plate. The first plate out was ridiculous.

Wines were really good tonight. NV Pommery Brut,  NV Francois Chidaine Montlouis Sur Loire Brut, 2008 Clos Pepe Chardonnay, 2009 Palmini Arneis, 2009 Patricia Greene Aita Pinot Noir, 2005 Parris Sangiovese, 2006 Villa de Ceggialno Chianti Classico Reserva, 2006 Coro  Graniano, 2008 Huber Dornfelder Hafen (port), a white dessert wine that did not get on my list. I must have missed some wines because the count does not add to the people. I brought 3 wines. Paul & Margie brought at least 2, maybe 3. There was a Sauvignon Blanc on the table but I did not get the information on it.

This was a good dinner for the price. With no corkage it made it great. This is a definite go back to on Sunday night. A little noisy even in the back room where we were. Seated at a long table so it was hard to have conversation with other than the ones on both sides and across from you.  This might be a better place for 6 people not 8. We did have a good time and everyone was impressed with what we got for the money.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Can't Get Enough Chinese

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A quick, inpromtu dinner tonight at The Seafood Palace. Small table just 4 of us and it turned out great. Everyone brought really good wines

Maybe 30 days to the opening of the new Duong Son restaurant. Perhaps we will get another quick last minute dinner in at the Seafood Palace before then.

Wines brought tonight were, NV Francois Chidaine Montlouis Sur Loire Brut, 2004 Ca Crois Domaine Robert Demogente Pouilly Fuisse, 2006 Testarossa Garys Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2006 Roar Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir and a 2007 Frank Family Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. There were some back up wines but we did not need to open any of them.

Started out with Shrimp with Broccoli and cooked Oysters with Chives and Ginger. These dishes are a staple with us. Always fresh and good.

This was followed by a Tofu and Daikon Radish soup. Interesting comes to mind. The tofu is a harder consistency than the fried tofu we have. Probably so it does not break down in the broth. The radish did not have that much of a flavor. More texture. Would I order this myself ? No. I ate it but I  prefer the spicy/sour soup they make.

Then came out a fresh, whole, red fish, steamed. Flesh was excellent and sauce outstanding. Henry took the head and I took the tail. I would have this dish again. It is only good for small groups because of the size. More than 4 people and there would be several additional fish needed.

Next was beef with soft noodles and bok choy followed by Fungus with string pork. The pork dish was different. I think I like the spicy pork dish better or maybe it was the fact that I was really full by now and the dish add a disadvantage being last.

Dessert was honeydew melon. Always refreshing to have something very light after a heavy meal.

Could not have asked for better food.Wines were excellent and the company great. We closed the place.

Monday, September 5, 2011

German Wine Dinner at Delius

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Wine Country in Signal Hill and Rudi Wiest Imports co-hosted a German wine dinner this evening at Delius Restaurant. The dining room was booked with a waiting list of 18. hey even had 6 people in the Wine cellar room for the dinner.

Toby and I sat at the table with Randy from the Wine Country and Nancy from Rudi Wiest Imports. Even though they circulated the room talking with people when you sit at their table you get a lot more information.

We started out with a glass of 2009 Von Buhl Riesling Brut Sket, Pfalz. This was a nice dry wine with just a touch of sweetness. Pleasant enough for me to buy some.

First Course: Smoked Salmon with  Red Onion, Cucumber, Micro Herbs and Cream Cheese Foam - The salmon was smoked in house that morning. This was a really good dish and paired extremely well with a 2009 Ziiliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinnett, Saar. The cream cheese foam was thick and held its texture.  I feel it was my favorite of the night as far as pairing well. Also this was the only dish of the evening that had micro greens on it. Past dinners have had almost all the dishes enhanced the "micros" and it was starting to get old.

Second Course: Braised Pork Belly with Spicy Green Papaya, Cliantro, Mint and Yuzu Gelle. As for the meat itself I like the pork belly and on the appetizer menu in the dining area better. I feel it is much more tender. This pork was good but not quite the same. The "salsa" that it was served with was superb. The wine paring was a 2007 Von Hovel Oberemmler Hutte Riesling Spatlese, Saar. Again and excellent pairing.

Third Course: Duck Breast with Duck Confit-Swiss Chard Terrine, Beet Gelee and Crispy Fried Beets. I thought the Terrine was the showcase of this dish. The breast was good but the Terrine really stood on its own. Add the crispy beets added just the right touch. We were served a 2009 Becker Estate Pinot Noir. Again a good pairing. The German Pinots are not big so they tend to go very well with food.

Fourth Course: Roasted Lamb Loin with Sweet Potato Spaetzle, Braised Cabbage and Lamb Jus. Wine was a 2008 Salwey Red Wine Blend, "16 Degrees", Baden, a Pinot and St. Laurent Blend. I did not taste this dish at the dinner. If I wanted dessert I would have to forgo something. I had Fred pack the plate up before it even got to me. I ate it the next day and it was excellent. Especially the Sweet Potato Spaetzle. I did drink the wine without food. It was my least favorite of the night. I got a strange, odd taste in my mouth from it. Perhaps it would have been better with the food. But that is not what I did. So it would be hard for me the venture an opinion.

Dessert: Black Forest Cake, - dark chocolate cake with cherry gelee and caramelized white chocolate foam. Delius has a new pastry chef so it will interesting to see what comes out of the kitchen in the next few months.

I did purchase the sparkling and the 2 Rieslings. I felt they were the best wines of the evening.  Dinner again was excellent. A couple of minor things that personally for me weren't there. But I would do it again with no complaints. Rieslings are underrated wines in the United States. A lot of people consider them "sweet" but the run from very dry to very sweet with a lot of levels in between. Excellent food wines.