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Had a decent meal last night at Jane (Houston St. - north side - and Thompson.) Very nice room. Entrees around $19, apps around $9. We had good fried clams (very good fry, maybe not enough clams,) O.K. crab cake, O.K. tomato and watermellon salad, and a great fennel and beet salad with some sort of sliced hard cheese. For entrees we had a good eggplant and truffle oil risotto, a nice sea bass with gnocchi, and two meat dishes that looked good (but I didn't taste.) Maybe that doesn't sound like a great review, but overall it felt very nice. Maybe it was the service which was excellent. That always helps. Nothing to absolutely die for, but no mistakes either.

On the wine side we drank a good 99 Lingenfelder Reiseling (Terry Theise selection) and the ever popular 98 "Les Terraces" Rioja ($43 - a little cheaper than I've seen it elsewhere.)

Good choice by itself, plus it's pretty handy if you can't get into Lupa (who can?) and don't want to walk very far for a decent alternative. It gets my vote.
- jim 7-18-2001 8:08 pm [link] [1 ref] [9 comments]

ate again last night at Locanda Vini & Alii--it rocked and was far superior to my fist visit--salad's, soup, app's and pasta's were all we ate--all but one were right on--room had some wine industry rockers and good mix of local's--jim is right the 1997 Pico Vini is very good in an old school way, but the wine star is the 2000 Petite Arvine IMnotsoHO.....
- Skinny 7-18-2001 3:20 pm [link] [add a comment]

Over ten years ago Eric Texier read about a lost viticulture area in the 1880’s book Les Grands Vins de France by Dr. Ramain. This once famous area is very similar to Hermitage, with its steep, south-facing slope, hillside vineyards. It is about 30 miles south of Hermitage, on the east side of the Rhone River, outside the town of Livron. The history of the appellation goes back to the last century, and in the early 1900’s, wines from Brézéme sold for as much as Hermitage. In the middle part of the century most of the vineyards were abandoned. There was less than one hectare planted in vines in 1961.

There are now 22 hectares in vines and Eric is the #1 bottler
of Brézéme, controlling more than a third of the current appellation. There is room for more vineyard plantings but this is a very complicated issue. From what I gathered on my magical visit is there are six owners but only four bottles it as Brézéme. Note: due to the microclimate
Brézéme is harvested end September to early October,
several weeks later than Hermitage.

First vintage was 1940 and he’s the Grandfather of Brézéme . His father made the wine before him and some of these 100 year old Syrah vines remain. All his vines are 60-100 years old. He is slowly turning over his vines of Syrah and Roussanne to Eric. In the 2000 vintage he is making only 55cs of red and less of white. This was the most moving visit we have ever made in all the years visiting cellars.

Pouchoulin age’s his Syrah for 30 months in barrel’s, which look like they are from the 40’s. We tasted: 2000 Blanc, 1999 and 2000 Rouge from barrel, plus the 1998 Rouge and 1999 Blanc in bottle. Also the 1989 Rouge that spend 2 months in new oak (the only time new oak was ever used) than 4 years in old wood. Bottled in 1994, this was the first time Pouchoulin tasted it since 1997.

Pouchoulin told us one interesting story. He read somewhere many years ago that the chemicals that you put in the vineyard will end up in the grape and the wine. So as he is his #1 customer, (he drinks half of his production himself) he went to organic farming as to not poison himself.

Jean-Marie Lombard
We did not visit this producer but did taste his 1995 Rouge (which showed flawed winemaking) the night before at Moulin de Lourmarin. Older vintages were said to be excellent here.
It’s the only reference to Brézéme we know of before Eric as they were at one time imported to the USA.

Chateau La Roliere
A grand family whom own a marvelous Chateau and the Clos La Roliere. In 1995 they left the Co-op to bottle themselves. The Clos is about six hectares of which Eric buys almost half. It’s located on the next ridge to the north of the main slope of Brézéme, slightly less steep, but still south facing. The vines are 25+ years old and Eric is assistant winemaker at this time. The wines are sold only at the Chateau.
We tasted: 2000 Rouge tank and barrel. 2000 Viognier, 1999 Roussanne/Marsanne blend, and 1999 Cuvee Speciale Rouge from bottle.

Eric Texier
We tasted with Eric five different barrels that will go into his 2000 Brézéme’s. He will bottle a V.V. this year for the first time from Pouchoulin’s steep terraced vineyards. He has also secured a few lots of other V.V. vineyards in such lesser-known appellations as Seguret (80 yrs old) and St Gervais (113 yrs old). We also tasted the 1998 Brézéme Blanc. Eric also found two other lost viticulture areas in the same old book.
One of which he is in the works of bringing to light,
but sorry we are sworn to secrecy:>)

- Skinny 7-12-2001 7:13 pm [link] [add a comment]

in 1985 i weighted 137 pounds--in 1987 152 pounds--by the mid 90's i was 172--over the past # of years i have gained 4 pounds on every trip to europe--today i weight 200 pounds.....

- Skinny 7-11-2001 11:42 am [link] [2 comments]

"Wine and War" Julian Barnes
for The New Yorker, The Critics July 16, 2001

- bill 7-10-2001 7:55 pm [link] [add a comment]

dont eat at Le Chaudron or at least beware

Mr. Jean-Louis Chave:

My name is Michael Wheeler and I have the most unfortunate story to tell you which involved one of your wines. This last Saturday night I was dining with three fellow wine importers at Le Chaudron in Tournon.

It was our first time at the Restaurant and we were anticipating a grand Rhone experience so we ordered your 1992 Hermitage Blanc as our first wine. Several minutes later, I see the owner go into the kitchen with an empty bottle of Chave Hermitage and a decanter. He comes out with the full decanter plus an open bottle with some liquid in it. There was no effort to show us the wine before he opened the bottle or to do so at our table. As he pours the wine into our glasses, I see a cork in his hand that is branded 1999. We taste the wine and it tastes like an inexpensive young white Rhone.

At this point I say to the owner: "This is not a Chave 1992." He tastes the wine and says yes, this is in fact how the 92 tastes. We ask to see the cork and he said he must have left it in the kitchen. He runs into the kitchen to look for it but returns and says he could not find the cork, that he must
have thrown in into the garbage!

While he is looking for the cork, two of us taste the liquid that still remains in the bottom of the bottle, and there is no doubt but that it is water. When the owner returns to our table without the cork, I demand he take the bottle away and open a new bottle in front of us, which he does.

This bottle is golden yellow in color and and grew into a glorious experience. The owner came over to the table later and said he must have accidentally switched the carafe with a Guigal Cotes du Rhone that was meant for another table. There were only three tables with customers at this time and we took a look at what was being drunk at the other tables and there was not a wine with the same golden yellow color as your 1992 Hermitage Blanc. We had caught the owner in a fraudulent lie, but stayed at the restaurant as it was late and we thought he would not dare try such stupidity again.

Later on, we ordered a 1988 Hermitage Rouge from your domaine, which on our insistence, the owner angrily brought to the table, and opened in front of us. It was a fantastic perfect bottle.

We then order a 1990 La Chapelle. "I am out.," he says. We then ask for a 95 or 98 Hermitage Cathelin and to our surprise he says: "I am out but I do have the 90 La Chapelle," which he had already told us he did not have in stock.

The owner was missing in the kitchen for a long time and then comes out with a wet bottle, opens it without showing us the cork, and walks away. The label is moist and there is glue left on the bottle where the original label must have been. Clearly, to us, this bottle had been relabelled. We tasted
the wine and it was old and oxidized. We then asked for the check but told him we refused to pay for the fraudulent La Chapelle or have him bring out another bottle of 1990 La Chapelle. Enough was enough!

The owner insisted we pay for the La Chapelle and it turned into a very big, unfortunate scene. Finally, he kicked us out of the restaurant, saying: "This isn't America" and refused our efforts to pay for the meal and all the wines, with the exception of the La Chapelle.

I am sure he will have a different story for you, but I don't think this was the first time he has done these tricks. Of the three importers at the table, two were Americans who speak French well and one was a native French women. So it is not possible that what happened was a 'misunderstanding.'

As the incident involved your wine I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Best Wishes on the 2001 Vintage.

Mike Wheeler
- Skinny 7-10-2001 4:08 pm [link] [1 ref] [6 comments]

i am going to recommand a restaurant that i have not tried yet
for 3 reasons

1) good friend said he had the best fried calimari in his life there

2) the menu looks great

3) they are doing well w/o any reviews and i cant find a word about them on the internet in english (one in german)

Palma 28 Cornelia 6912223
- Skinny 6-23-2001 5:08 pm [link] [4 comments]

DNA identification used to authenticate wine.
- jim 6-21-2001 4:39 pm [link] [add a comment]

Jimmy Buffs

- bill 6-20-2001 8:49 am [link] [add a comment]

Food and Wine magazine call's Beppe one of the Best New Restaurants--so i stopped in and tasted 5 dishes all good++ (again we did seafood only) with the app's better than the main course, the farro risotto which FW recommanded was a bit too salty but very fine(big enough to share)--want to go back for more app's--tuscan only wine list is a bit boring....45E22nd st.
- Skinny 6-13-2001 6:57 pm [link] [add a comment]

Our friend Ann Scott Cardwell finally got keys to the space I'm sure will be the best restuarant in Lynchburg Virginia.

bull branch
109 eleventh street
between main & commerce
lynchburg, virginia

Opening September 22.

So just in case you're down that way...
- jim 6-12-2001 8:33 pm [link] [1 ref] [1 comment]

I am glad to know people who have--or have tendencies towards--finer culinary habits than I do. It implies a possibility of improvement should I so desire. That I will not always seek the easiest, most cost effective route to hunger appeasement. But for now:

The redesigned Taco Bell at the corner of Broad and Tulane in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is across the street from the Courthouse/Parish prison is not a success, if success is measured by the number of customers drawn to it's interior, which was redesigned with high tables and stools throughout, an orientation clearly not preferred in the hood. The old design of perimeter booths, a short wall in the middle with tables on either side was better. The new design works out in the suburbs where I feel people are more titillated by new things but here in the inner city we want our booths back, and we don't feel at all advantaged by sitting in chairs the tallest of us can barely reach. I myself do the drive-through but have never been inside my newly redesigned neighborhood Taco Bell because there is rarely anyone else in there and, as a lone diner, I like a little company with my americanized mexican food, of which I recommend the steak soft tacos with lime sauce. And Pepsi is ok with that.
- jimlouis 6-11-2001 3:39 pm [link] [2 comments]

Cooking with Wylie.
- alex 6-11-2001 2:38 am [link] [add a comment]

best fried dumpling's??--Kum Gang San 49W32!!!
- Skinny 6-10-2001 9:48 pm [link] [add a comment]

- jim 6-09-2001 4:04 pm [link] [2 comments]

It's all in the glass.
- alex 6-06-2001 6:05 pm [link] [2 comments]

Fat Substitute Olestra Eyed as Hazardous-Waste Cleaner Potato Chip Sales Fall Short

The controversial fat substitute that consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble once hoped would change the way people eat might, instead, change the way industrial pollutants are cleaned up.

P&G has asked that a precursor of its olestra fat substitute be placed on the Environmental Protection Agency's list of industrial chemicals. The new chemical, made by rearranging fatty acids, might be used to soak up toxins at Superfund sites, heavily polluted areas designated by the EPA

- linda 5-31-2001 7:09 pm [link] [1 comment]

favorite food of lately (and of about 10 years ago)--some swiss cheese on a soft fresh roll (high variation) with mustard (spicy best) lots of mayo and iceberg lettuce--looking for the perfect one!!
- Skinny 5-31-2001 2:01 pm [link] [add a comment]

On May 26, 1976 — just 25 years ago — a group of unknown California wines went up against a battery of France's best at a blind tasting in Paris — and won the day.


The nine judges, all French experts, were outraged. Some even tried to change their decisions. They couldn't, but what did change was the future of the American wine business. There are 1,600 commercial wineries in the United States, a number that has tripled since the tasting.

American winemakers had long believed they could take on the French; it took a young English wine merchant based in Paris, Steven Spurrier, who arranged the event, to show them they were right.

The best red: a Stag's Leap Wine Cellars cabernet; the best white, a Chateau Montelena chardonnay. Both were Napa Valley wines.

To prove his enthusiasm had not been misplaced, Mr. Spurrier held the same tasting, with only the red wines, 10 years later. The Americans won again. FRANK J. PRIAL

- linda 5-28-2001 1:09 am [link] [add a comment]