Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
2009 Domaine de Trevallon
Love it when the Cutting Edge crew stops in for lunch and leaves behind their sample bottle. This is new to their portfolio. It's a bit of a "cult" wine with a story. In my experience wine sells better with a story.
The property has been in the family since the 50s and producing wine since the 70s. It was originally produced under the "Les Beaux de Provence" AOC but when the rules changed outlawing the 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, the owners dropped out and now it's just Vin de Pays. Some table wine for about $70! Limited quantities.
The other story is that the father was an artist (he passed in 2000), and was friends with that other artist Pablo something, and it is the father's artwork that is on the labels posthumously.
Like I said a good story can sell a wine but in this case the wine sells the wine. Elegant, complex, long finish, with classic Bordeaux notes of gunpowder. But with the Syrah it is very approachable. Also should age well.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
2011 Megaphone Ventoux
Old habits die hard. It's been awhile since I reviewed a wine, and this is more of a plug, but this one got my attention. Imported by Kermit Lynch with some sort of Vieux Telegraphe pedigree. You do the research. I'm too busy fixing dinner. Paired it with grilled sweet Italian sausage and pepper/onions with a touch of heat. Maybe more than a touch. Not a perfect pairing, but no complaints from the crew.
80/20 Grenache and Syrah. Bold, smooth, and complex. Like me.
Bon Appetit and Cheers!
Monday, October 01, 2012
FotoFocus - Paul Briol
As this was the first 'official' day of FotoFocus I ventured down to Union Terminal to the Cincinnati Museum Center. There have already been several previous openings but this is Day One according to the calendar. The Photographic Legacy O Paul Briol exhibit is in the basement below the Omnimax Theater. There are 50 or so images from the archives that include scenes from Cincinnati including buildings, people, and places. The photo of Hillforest caught my eye as it is a former family residence, but mostly it was the classic black and white compositions that are worth viewing. The exhibition is free but parking will cost $6. Next up the Starn's brothers in Mt. Adams on Wednesday.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Art Openings This Friday
Just read the news. Or not!.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
PAC Gallery - Through the Windshield: OTR
Friday, January 27, 5-9 pm
Opening Reception for
Through the Windshield: OTR
PAC GALLERY will have complimentary valet parking and
food and beverages will be provided by Django Western Taco
Jens Rosenkrantz Jr is an avid photographer with a passion for discovering beauty in unexpected places. Rosenkrantz was born in Boston and raised in Denver and Los Angeles. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, he relocated to Cincinnati, his grandmother's hometown.
"Uncluttered and unfettered from art classes and technical camera skills I look for the beauty of the everyday wherever I am whether it's Europe, San Francisco, Miami, Charleston, or Downtown Cincinnati," says Rosenkrantz, "There is beauty everywhere, even when taking a wrong turn on a rainy day and getting lost in OTR. "
Monday, January 16, 2012
Another New Beginning
My last post was in March in Paris last year, and since then much has changed. The second restaurant is in the works and I now am sharing a studio at the Pendleton Art Center with Kay Hurley. At least one person likes my work.
I have an opening, my first, January 27th at PAC Gallery in East Walnut Hills with a new series and a departure from my old work. "Through the Windshield: OTR" is about seeing beauty everywhere you go even when lost, and about always having a camera with you, even on a rainy day in December when the lighting is bad and you are driving to work.
So I will still post about travels and fine dining (or not so fine dining), but the focus is now on photos, and art, and beauty. Which I see every day. Right here in my backyard, and out the window, and inside my house. Especially inside my house.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Travel Tips to Paris
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Stay Tuned -- Film at 11
Friday, February 25, 2011
Mensa & Washington Post Word Invitational
From the Washington Post's Mensa Word Invitational where people are asked to change one letter of an existing word and provide a new definition.
"Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational New Words Contest"
"Here is the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition."
Here are the winners:
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido : All talk and no action.
14. Dope-ler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.
Livigno is a few clicks from St. Moritz on the Swiss/Italian border and before the tunnel was dug in 1964 was inaccessible in Winter. If you stand on top of the ski area you can see the mountains around St. Moritz, but it will take you an hour to drive there. Livigno is a duty free zone owing to its smugglers past and is quite lively year-round. There are three ski areas to select from and it is above the tree-line, groomed skiing. Dining options are numerous on the mountain from 3 star to BYOB, the lines manageable and the lift tickets reasonable.
Lunch was quiet in town as all able-bodied tourists were on the mountain , so we had the whole place to ourselves. Service was brisk and atttentive. The wine list was mostly local. And the pasta was great as was the sliced, cured meats from local sources. All in all, it was a wonderful meal. And I even managed to sneak one of their own wine labels home for dinner tonight to ease the unpacking and long train ride.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
So I hadn't planned on reviewing Le Baron Rouge today as I dashed out sprinting to the Metro an hour late. Desole! I knew I was going there to reload some house wine and buy food for dinner at the nearby market and check out the flea market before a meal at Le Square Trousseau, but for some reason hadn't planned on writing up Le Baron Rouge. I was still waking up.
They offer bulk wine at under 5 E's per liter for fresh, simple house wine which is a steal and perfect for parties. The returnable bottles with a deposit are poured from 225 liter barriques offering about 6 different blends. The Reds, Cotes du Rhone, Touraine and Merlot, are simple and quaffable but not memorable. The Touraine Blanc however is more than quaffable and is perfect with some chicken dishes, seafood and oysters. Did I say oysters?
There are many reports on the weekend oyster offerings at Le Baron Rouge were throngs of people from every corner of the world descend during the Winter months to wash down dozens of oysters with good, cheap white wine. The rumors are all true. If you are shy about pushing into a crowded mass to secure 'le pot' of Blanc and fight for some counter space while your team holds up their end of the bargain by bringing 18 small oysters with lemon and bread and butter, then please don't go. Please! Save room for me on my return.
The oysters bar is set up outside on the sidewalk where people mill around swilling wine, smoking cigarettes and pounding oysters by the dozen. I didn't get the details of where the oysters were from as it was my job to get the wine remember, but my guess is that they were #3s from Normandy, maybe Claires or Brittany, that were at most one day old. You could taste the brine of the sea as you threw them back. Someone suggested dripping some of the wine into the brine before slurping and that worked too. I always listen to good ideas that involve oysters and wine. We were told by the 'shucker' that they go through "a couple hundred dozen" each day on the weekend. A couple hundred dozen. She would know.
There are other food offerings like pate and bread and charcuterie and the wine list, besides the 6 or so in bulk, totals about 50 by the bottle or glass. During the week the place is dead quiet and locals stop in to re-load their house wines and chat with the owner. Today there were maybe 100 people packed into a room the size of you living room which explains the street scene. Yes, you should go and if you don't like crowds, stand outside and send a friend in for the goods. This will give you time to exchange emails and phone numbers with the other fanatics from England, Argentina, Spain, Oslo and Cuba. I will definitely be contacting Ernesto from Cuba, and maybe the chef from Oslo who is from Spain. They all agreed that Barcelona was calling......and then Cuba.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Yet, with the more than pleasant and chatty servers and the ability to pull a bottle off the shelf at retail and drain it on the spot, I would recommend a visit. It is rustic and charming and conveniently located in the 1st, near Spring and Le Fumoir. The plates were very good with a touch of flair (loved the idea of honey on the cheese plate!) and the simple bottle of Blanc set me back 15 E's for a total bill of under 50 E's for two.
Whereas Willi's offers actual fine dining in a casual setting with great wine selections,and L'Avant Comptoir has a short simple wine list but with mouth watering taste morsels, Le Garde-Robe is a plain vanilla wine cafe. If you are in the neighborhood it is worth a visit. And if you do go, ask the bartender/cook how his new movie is doing.
"How do you tell if you're a good actor?"
"You're only working weekends at the wine bar."
"So what do you do for a living?"
"I'm an actor."
"Really, what bar do you work at?"
Having walked past the windows the night before I was taken by Isse's clean decor and array of sake bottles, so we walked in and were ushered downstairs as the upstairs was full. And as I am no expert on Japanese cuisine or sakes we invited the server to throw down 4 to 5 courses paired with a variety of sakes which we all shared.
This has proven to unnerve some restaurants we have visited recently for some reason but I think it is a great way for a restaurant to showcase their best offerings. I know for a fact that at La Poste we would welcome the challenge, but as Isse had been only open (or, re-open) for a week I forgave their shyness and welcomed their grace.
Across the board the food offerings and sakes were enjoyed and there were some favorites. All in all it was a most enjoyable night and although I am no expert on sushi (and avoid all the half-off offerings in Cincinnati) I would say that the quality and freshness of the raw fish was the best I have had to date.
Isse is part of a four venue chain which includes a grocery store with sake tastings and a light lunch. It will be on my next stop to "Le Petit Tokyo de Paris" after crossing off a few more wine bars on the to-do list.