Monday, May 28, 2007

Sunday Night/Monday Morning

Sunday Night

jerk chicken
coconut/allspice/cinnamon rice
sauteed garlic shoots
red stripe

Monday Morning

goat cheese omelete
(eggs, purple haze goat cheese,
scallions, fresh garlic, s&p)
nutella toast

Friday, May 18, 2007

Best Wine of the Year (so far) - Parts 1 and 2

I haven't written one of these entries in a while. Not because I haven't had any good wines recently, but because I haven't had any amazing wines recently. To make it into one of these posts, a wine has to be mind blowing, earth shattering, revelatory. Lucky me, I've had 2 wines in the past 2 weeks that achieve this lofty standard. Here they are...

Weingut Seebrich
Niersteiner Oelberg Riesling Beerenauslese
Rheinhessen, Germany
2006 vintage

On May 7, 2007, my company held a really cool German wine tasting. We had 13 or so German producers in town, all pouring their newest releases for the buyers of the best wine shops and restaurants in town. In addition to this baker's dozen, our importer had two representatives pouring wines from another 7 or 8 wineries. Every table in the hall seemed better than the last, but one table and one wine in particular really stood out for me; Jochen Seebrich and his amazing '06 Beerenauslese (or BA for short). Not sure what BA is all about? Check this Wikipedia link.

My notes on this wine from the tasting are pretty limited. I've written 'searing acidity,' 'amazing,' and a big number 5 with a star next to it. I have a rough 1 to 5 scale when tasting wines. Very few wines merit a 5, which for me means things like 'buy a case,' 'absolutely unbelievable,' and 'worth the three times the price.' A 5 with a star next to it, well, you can imagine.

I've put in my order for a case. The wines should arrive in Portland in 2 months. There will be a scant 36 bottles for everyone else in the city. If you need some, give me a call.

Rubentis (Rose)
Getariako Txakolina, Spain
2006 vintage

We had a Spaniard in town for work all this week. On Wednesday, we met for happy hour at Patanegra. I went, we had had some good tapas and a nice Albarino. We talked about wine and the wine business. It was a good time.

We were to meet again on Thursday, this time at Andina. I've been to Andina a number of times, and enjoyed it, but I'd been to this party just the night before. I imagined more good small plates of food, more nice white wine, more talk about the biz. I decided to skip out.

Then the call came in. Txakolina rose was making an appearance at the table. I didn't know they even made such a thing. I had to go. I've tried whites from Txakolina and I've heard about their red wines, but never a rose. For more info on Txakolina, check out this Wikipeadia link.

As with the Txakolina whites I've had, this rose was a little spritzy, high in acid, with hints of fruit and plenty of minerality. One of the loveliest roses I've come across in some time.

It's not cheap, retailing for between $16 and $18, but it is definitely worth it. Alas, good luck finding any. Word is that the importer, De Maison Selections, imported a scant 50 cases into the states, and that 20 of them made it to Portland. I personally called or visited 6 of the finest wine shops in the city and only came up with 2 bottles. Most were long sold out, or never had the chance to buy.

If you see this, I highly recommend picking up a bottle or two. Chill it way down and drink it on a hot afternoon. You won't regret it.


Man, I like this place. Yeah, it's white. Yeah, it's very hip. Get over it.

Go in for some fine Belgian beer (they use correct glassware), cool and esoteric liqueurs, European estate made wines, and some killer food (I'm partial to the French fries that are fried in duck fat...). Also, cool ambient music from live DJs most nights of the week.

Upstairs from Andina in the Pearl.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where's My Fino Review!?!

Tommy over at Macerating Shallots clearly beat me to the punch. I've had a draft of a write-up kicking around for weeks if not months, it's just that every time I go there, I try something new and tasty, and have to rewrite the whole thing. Hell, just last night Stan served us his 'pancetta basket.' House made pancetta, wilted arugula, garlic tomatoes, and oven roasted grapes. Mmm.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Here's a little recap of some of the more interesting things I ate last week...

Sat 5/5/07 - Le Pigeon (plus pre-meal drinks at Rocket)
with BC
a-Leek carbonara, in which leeks took the place of pasta
b-English pea risotto
c-Apricot bacon cornbread dessert
d-Bottle of Gruner Veltliner

Mon 5/7/07 - East Side Dining Club (hosted at Le Pigeon)
with BC, Y, and N
a-Grilled skewers, one with chorizo and banana, one with pork belly and watermelon
b-Ceviche with ancho popcorn
c-Venison "Tamales"
d-Black bean chilaquiles with a poached duck egg *
e-Grilled quail with mango, chiles, and prosciutto blanco (aka lardo)
f-Mexican drinking chocolate and housemade choco-tacos...
g-A couple of Spanish wines

Tue 5/8/07 - Rocket
with SS, GA, DJ, EK, and BC
a-Pork "Pocket Rocket"
c-Ginger pea shoots
d-Braised beef ribs
e-Some cherry dessert
f-Nut covered ice cream bar on a stick

Wed 5/9/07 - Clyde Common (opening night)
with BC and Y
a-Butter lettuce salad with rhubarb, aged balsamic, and parmesan
b-Asparagus with caul fat wrapped egg (poached)
c-Chitarra with nettles, walnuts, and pecorino
d-Whole roast fish with preserved lemon, olive sauce, and chickpeas
e-Charred hangar steak in harissa with grilled onion salad (mushrooms make an unannounced appearance)
f-a bottle of Gruner

Fri 5/11/07 - Pok Pok (plus post-meal drinks at Victory)
with CC
a-Khao man som tam
b-Khao soi kai
c-Mango and sticky rice with coconut milk
d-Cha manao

Honestly, a pretty serious week of eating.

* - Best thing I ate all week

Le Pigeon image nicked from
Other images from the restaurants' web sites

Saturday, May 12, 2007

What happened to Norris?

Anybody else notice the distinct absence of Norris Dairy products everywhere? Well, I guess I can only confirm they are missing at New Seasons on Interstate and at the Farmers Market, but isn't that enough?? The guy at Salumeria de Carlo told me he hadn't seen them at the market at all this season.

Oddly, in place of Norris, New Seasons is now carrying Strauss Family from California. One of the reasons I love NS is their commitment to local goods. This seems to be the exact opposite... Nothing against Strauss, but they are not local.

Anyone know what's up?