Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Year & The Seafood Palace

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One of our favorites. 7 of us gathered around the lazy susan this evening. Terry was under the weather so he did not make it.

We started off with the Salt & Pepper Calamari and the fried Tofu for Margie. Calamari was excellent. I did not taste the Tofu but it is always good. Told Margie she could have my piece because there were some more seafood dishes coming up.

Next was the Spicy Sour Soup.  Always good and since it was really cold (at least to us in So Cal) it hit the spot.

Peking Duck appeared. Bob ended up taking the head home. It was cooked dry so he thought it would be interesting to have it hang around his house for awhile.

Next up was a really good dish. Scallops with the Chef's Sauce. Slightly sweet and caramelized. Made a great mouthful. Its really too bad Margie did not try this dish. She said she could smell the scallop. But it was sweet and exceptionally good.

Shrimp with Chinese Broccoli, Sauteed Pea Shoots with Garlic and Beef with Chives rounded out the meal. The Pea Shoots were exceptional tonight.

Our wines went all over the place tonight. I brought a 2005 AP Vin Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir and the 011 Castellani Vernaccia Di San Gimignano that I had bought Tuesday night at the dinner at Finbar's.

CJ brought a 2000 Battaglini Twin Pines Ranch, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir which was excellent.

2006 Huber, Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir, 2007 Lachini Cuvee Giselle, Chehlam Mtns., Pinot Noir,  Carmody McKinght, Art of The Vineyard, red blend, 2012 Artiste Skyline, blend and a NV Saint Chament, Blanc de Blanc Champagne made the balance of the wines.

The Champagne was excellent. Margie usually does a good job on  her bubblies.

Another good dinner with good friends and good wines. Doesn't get much better. Now if the weather would just warm up a little.

Finbars' & Italian Wine Dinner

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Susan,  the  rep for the Italian wine  importer kept after me to sign up for this wine dinner. It was inexpensive enough and a decent selection of wines. Finbars is an OK restaurant. Nothing outstanding but really nothing negative either. And is was fairly close to home.

Appetizer: Shrimp Pesto Castllemare - grilled shrimp with pesto, fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomato, roasted peppers, pine nuts and basil.  Everything was good except the tomatoes. Hot house, no color, no flavor. The wine served was a 2010 Castellani Vernaccia Di San Gimignano. I first came across this wine in Italy a few years back.

First Course: Tricolor Al Greco Tropical - baby field greens, papaya, golden raisins, candied walnuts, beets, red onion, feta cheese with a raspberry cider vinaigrette. It is a salad. Decent enough. Wine paired was the Vernaccia.

Second Course: Stuffed Shells Brookalena - pasta shells filled sausage, ricotta & parmagiana reggiano cheeses and fresh spinach. Filling was good. Some edges of the shells were hard from being exposed with no cheese or sauce on them. Wine was a 2010 Casal Moro Rosso Del Veneto.  My second least favorite wine of the evening. Went ok with the food but that was it. Just OK.

Main Course: I selected the Petite Filet Mignon with Madeira Mushroom Sauce, Scallion Red Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Fresh Green Beans & Carrots. The other choice was a Salmon dish.
Paired with a 2008 Barbera Fermo Torti.  I also got them to pour me the wine they paired with the Salmon. A 2009 Morellino Di Scansano Tomaiolo. I preferred the Barbera. Better wine.

Dessert was "Assorted Mini Pastries of Cannoli, Tiramisu & Eclairs". From the description I thought we were going to be served a plate with one of each. No - we had our choice of one. Very deceptive in their menu wording. The wine was the worst of the evening. A 2010 Casaleggio Sparkling. Horrible. Most people did not take more than a taste of it.

It was festival seating and I was lucky enough to get a good group ay my table. Dinner was OK. Wines were OK. But I did buy a couple of bottles of the Vernaccia and of the Barbera.

Himalayn to Start The Year Off

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Marc & Edie had not  been to the Himalayan in quite awhile. So off we went. This  place is really a favorite of mine. Good food, full of flavor and if I order mild I can handle it.

We started off with the Somosa's. Best around.  Garlic Chicken, Shrimp Masala, Chicken Vindaloo, Lamb Saag, Malai Kofta, Aloo Gobi and Garlic Naan. A nice assortment of dishes. Alto I was suprised that Terry did not oder the Lamb Chops.

Wines were quite the assortment. My favorites were the 2005 Chateau Mayne Guyon,  Cotes de Blaye, Grand Cru Bordeaux that CJ brought and my 2009 Archery Summit Pinot Noir. I also brought a NV Robert Moncuit Grand Cru Brut Champagne. This bubbly is turning out to be a real favorite of mine.

Rounding out the selection was 2005 IO Syrah, 2009 Torettis Inocencio Pinot Noir, 2010 Coppola Directors Claret and 2009 Anthill Abbell Harriz Pinot Noir.

Dinner in The Cellar at Delius

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dinner in  the wine cellar at Delius tonight with friends.  10 courses sounds like at lot and it is in spite of small servings. You are stuffed at the end of dinner.

Started off with a plate of Charcutere  cheese, salamis, crackers, bread etc.
Poached Shrimp
Salad of winter greens, pistachios, blueberrys and bleu cheese
Forest Mushroom soup
Terrine of Pheasant, cherry & onion confit
Seared duck breast with Shimeji mushrooms
Mango Sorbet
Pepper encrusted filet mignon
Fruit & cheese
Bittersweet chocolate tart with white chocolate mousseline

We ordered a bottle of Domaine A'Dair Chablis which was very good with the first two courses.
Next was a bottle of Taz Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir. This also was good. I do like the Fiddlestix Vineyards. They always produce good grapes. Finished with a Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon.

I was very partial to the soup and the Pheasant terrine. As usual I had to take the two main courses home. The older I get the faster I seem to "fill up" at dinner.

Delius was decorated for the holidays. Atmosphere was nice. Good company, good wines and good food. Made for a nice ending to the year.