Sunday, June 10, 2012

Seafood Palace Again & Again

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Different day for us, usually Wednesday's but we chose today to accommodate Oliver. Nice thing is the restaurant is not busy or noisy. This place can really get to be extremely noisy on weekends and conversations are non existent.

We started off with Clams & Black Bean Sauce, followed by a complimentary dish of Vietnamese Sausage. Anything in black bean sauce is good.

A new dish arrived , one we have not tried before, Salt & Pepper Baby Octopus Tentacles, Really good.

Hot and Sour Soup came next and then Shrimp with Bok Choy & Fat Noodles. Always a favorite. I like anything with fat noodles. They really absorb the flavors of anything they are served with.

Beef with Chinese Broccoli and a fried Whole Fish rounded out the meal. Fresh oranges were dessert.

As usual food was good. Really liked the octopus.

Eight of us tonight. Some people have not joined us in awhile. And a new person to the restaurant. Eight is a good number for the Seafood Palace. But when we dine at the old "Duong Son" which is now the Golden Star I think the table limit will be 6. Smaller venue and 8 would be too crowded at the table. Should be having a dinner there real soon.

Wines tonight:

2005 Stolpman Angeli
2005 Stolpman L'Avion
2010 Tobin James Radiance Chardonnay
2007 LeCuvier Pinot Noir
2007 McKeon Phillips BPR Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir
2009 Broglia Gavi
2007 Pellegrini Milestone red blend
2009 Flora Springs Trilogy
2007 Tobin James Charisma dessert wine

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Remy Beer Tasting

Saturday, Jun 2, 2012

Went out today for a "Remy" release tasting at Taps in Brea. They brew their own beer and I have never heard of them before. My friend Remy found out about it so a few of us decided to try the place.

Remy turns out to be a Russian Imperial Stout. Excellent beer. Very smooth and no bitterness to it.

So for $15 you got appetizers, a taste of Remy and a bottle of Remy to take home. A regular bottle not a large size. At $10 a bottle the price is steep. Good beer but $10 I feel is a little high.

John ordered a grilled artichoke and a pizza. The artichoke was one of the best I have had. Will have to try and duplicate the flavor some time. John also had a beer called Posideon, an IPA which he raved about.

I will keep this place in mind when I am in the area. The food was good and also the service.

Chateau Ste Michelle Wine Dinner at the Hyatt

Friday, June 1, 2011

Headed down the road tonight for a wine dinner at the Hyatt Huntington Beach. At least this was close for me. Not a lot of driving.

We arrived about 6:10 and had the mandatory valet parking. 3 hours validation with dinner and then $19 flat fee after. They really ave a captive audience this way. Any wine dinner with a wine rep goes over 3 hours. Especially when they have a reception at 6:30 and seating for dinner at 7. Food doesn't get to you for a least 20 minutes. So now we are over an hour into the 3 hour validation. But the best part was since the restaurant didn't stamp the ticket when I turned it in they waived the parking fee. Hope everyone else in the group got that break. So $5 to the valet and I was happy.

So we arrived and the hostess started to take us outside for the reception. It was cold & windy. June is always this way at the beach, Don't know what the hotel was thinking.We ended up inside and they brought our bubbly and appetizers to us. That was a real nice gesture on their part.

About 7 o'clock we were ushered into the Californian Room for dinner. There were 11 of us and we had a huge square table with a lip on it. Some people had a hard time finding an area to get their legs under the table. Mine was about even with the ledge so I could not slide all the way in..Really a dumb table for dining.

Chateau Ste Michelle wines were featured tonight.

We started out with a Seared Scallop with a deconstructed Waldorf salad and curry oil. The scallop was excellent and the curry oil led a nice bite to it. The could have left the salad off. This was served with their 2005 Luxe Brut bubbly.

A Watercress & Zucchini Soup with lemon oil & pecorino was next . This really was good.. A 2010 Horse Heaven Sauvignon Blanc was paired with this dish. It was an OK pairing. I did not care for the wine at all.

Third course was a Frisse Salad with a poached cage free egg, asparagus, natural bacon (as apposed to  laboratory made ???) simple vinagrette and herb crouton. Wine was an 2009 Indian Wells Chardonnay. Too oaky for me and it also clashed with the vinaigrette.  Oaky wines need a fat to cut the oak.

Fourth course was a wild caught King salmon, shaved fennel salad, heirloom tomatoes and white anchovy pesto. The pesto was excellent to bad their was no more than a drop of it. Salmon was good but nothing special. Paired with a 2008 Ethos Chardonnay. Another wine I did not drink. It was heavy oaked . The salmon was a little fatty but not enough to cut this massive oaky wine.

Fifth course was a Spiced spring lamb loin with a puree of english peas, feta & mint. The rub on the lamb was very good. They could have left out the mint in the pea puree.  Paired with A 2009 Canoe Ridge Merlot and a 2008 Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. I did prefer the cab over the merlot.

Dessert was a Riesling poached baby pear with gorgonzola gealto, pine nut shortbread cookie. Served with a 2010 Harvest select rielsing. Pear had good flavor but was undercooked. Gelato was very good and the cookie was good. I did not like the wine.

Dave & Judy got all my wines that I did not like so they were happy. Glad I had 5 glasses of bubbly to make up for the wines I wasn't in to

Two people at our table do not eat seafood so the restaurant subsituted other dishes for them which was accommodating but they did not coordinate the serving well. We were well into finishing out dish before they got theirs. This is not good. Lack or something in the kitchen.

All told this was an OK dinner especially for the price. I did not expect the wines to be more than they were. But it sure makes you appreciate the quality of the food at Delius and their expertise in wine pairing. 

The Hyatt is planning on a few more wine dinners and I would go back and try them again. Their service was excellent. Much better than Arte Cafe where I have gone for a few wine dinners.

May's Gathering of the Flock

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Today's theme for the gathering of the wino's was Washington State wines. A few outstanding wines and a couple of real dogs. Some people always take the low road (meaning price) if it is a theme that they can get away with it. And they think they are really knowledgeable about wines also. To bad they can't raise the bar like the rest of us.

Paul & Margie served an abundance of ribs form the Naples Rib Factory along with fried chicken and cornbread. Good food. Small group. Lots of Fun.

Longoria Wine Dinner

Friday, May 25, 2012

Delius Restaurant in Signal Hill along with The Wine Country hosted a dinner tonight with the winemaker Rick Longoria. Seeing that I am a single diner I get to sit at the rep's table which always makes for great evening.

We started out with a glass of 2011 Longoria Pinot Grigio for an aperitif. Nice wine.

First Course: Mache salad, jicima, goat cheese feta, blood orange gelee with a citrus vinaigrette.  This they served with one of my favorite Longoria wines. 2011 Albarino. Good pairing.

Second Course. Pan seared salmon, roasted shitake mushrooms, swiss chard & wild mushroom broth. The broth was to die for. Paired with a 2010 Longoria "Lovely Rita" Pinot Noir.

Third Course: Pork tenderloin sous vide, spanish chorizo risotto. I will say the the risotto  was outstanding. Pork was good but the risotto took the medal on this dish. Wine as a 2008 Longoria Tempranillo. Another very good pairing.

Forth Course: Lamb osso bucco, herbed spaetzle, mini root vegetable confit. Had two bits of the spaestle and had them box it take home. By this time I am stuffed. I did have the food the next day and it was really good. Wine poured with this course was a 2005 Longoria Alisos Syrah. Really great wine

Dessert was Russian Cream 3 ways, (plain, coffee flavored and lemon flavored). I really liked the tartness of the lemon. That was a new way to have this dessert which is Delius' signature dessert, Similar to a Panna Cotta but different

This dinner was sold out before it was advertised. Great food, good wines and charming company. I only wish that Delius would do a few more wine dinners throughout the year.