Thursday, May 31, 2007
2272 John Rolfe Parkway
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wine number two was experienced at the River City Cellars special tasting. Once again, the wine came from Alsace: 2002 Charles Schleret Riesling “Herrenweg.” And yes, a weighty wine worthy of serious food. And here is where it gets even wilder. On the night of the River City Cellars tasting, my husband and I had to go separately due to schedules. Unbeknownst to us, we both brought home a bottle of this fantastic white (and he is no white fan either).
This is why wine remains exciting. You swear off a particular grape or type of wine and out of nowhere you discover a gem (or two). I want to thank all of the wine shops and those few restaurants that seek to constantly educate us about wine and who are not afraid to let us try before we buy.
Sunday - Half Price "Featured" Region Brasserie Bottle Night
Monday - Half Price Reserve White Wine Bottle Night
Tuesday - Half Price Reserve Red Wine Bottle Night
Wednesday - Half Price Rose Wine Bottle Night
Thursday - Half Price Carafe (House Wine) Night
Friday - Half Price "Half" Bottle Night
Saturday - Half Price Sparkling Bottle Night
Make sure to ask the wait staff about the wine special of the evening (in case they forget to mention it).
A votre sante!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
We like wine
We also live in Richmond.
This is our web site and you're more than welcome to hang out with us. 'Nuf said.
I love it!
But never fear. We continued to be resolute and went back early on Saturday evening. We dined al fresco. The evening was lovely. The building blocked most of the gusty breezes. And, surprisingly enough, the traffic was barely noticeable. I did take a gander inside. Both the bar and the dining area is non-smoking (thank you dining gods for smiling upon the Northside with breathable air!). I liked the funky and shiny green bar top (which was very lively) and the Trask paintings high up above the blond wood booths. The menu held appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and pasta dishes. Something for everyone. The wine list was short, but contained at least one gem: A 2004 75 Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon, Amber Hills Vineyard. We knew this was a gem because we had tasted it earlier in the day at a special tasting put on by The Wine Cellar. Full-bodied, good fruit, and just plain yummy. The Wine Cellar retailed this wine for $24.95. The price at Kitchen 64 was $36. Not too shabby and extremely serendipitous for us.
Food wise we could not resist ordering the Roasted Red Peppers and Fresh Mozzarella as an appetizer ($7.95). Surrounded by olive oil and sprinkled with a fresh basil chiffonade, it was a great starter for an evening of outside dining. The other great thing about this dish was the flexibility. If you wanted tomatoes instead, you just had to ask. The only thing we would add to the dish is Balsamic vinegar. And since a salad dressing option is oil and Balsamic vinegar, we would probably just have the wait staff bring the oil and vinegar with the appetizer. The bread was a little course and a little yellow and a little hard. The slices were accompanied with butter pats, but tasted much better with the olive oil from the appetizer plate. Once again, we would request the oil and vinegar dressing for the bread. As we still munched on our appetizer, my husband’s house salad arrived. (I assume with most new restaurants kitchen timing can be tricky at first. Our appetizer, salad, and entrees eventually all piled up on our table at the same time. I’m confident that this will be worked out in short order). The Vidalia dressing that my husband had requested did not appear (the kitchen was out), but a creamy Greek with Feta appeared on the side and he was quite satisfied.
As for entrees, we selected the Home Run Pasta($11.95) – linguini with meat sauce and meat balls covered with cheese and baked and The Duchess of Pork($14.95) – sliced pork tenderloin topped with thyme-roasted shallots accompanied by mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables (green beans, zucchini, and asparagus on this night). First of all, these entrees were BIG. The pasta was served up in a huge white ceramic bowl. The meat sauce was hefty and bursting with flavor. And we loved the ample amount of gooey melted cheese. The meatballs were also huge, but milder in flavor. We could only eat a third of the dish (lunches at work will be divine next week!). The pork did not disappoint but lacked that in-your-face flavor that the pasta had. But once again, the portion was huge and we boxed up half of it. As we enjoyed our food other selections passed our table destined for other diners. All looked very large and delectable. Sandwich and burger plates were piled high with fries. The nachos were enormous. A shrimp dish made us envious (and this was after we were full from our own dinner).
Generally, we do not consider dessert, but with a new place, a lovely evening, and a restaurant within walking distance, we splurged. Desserts could be viewed from a rotating carousel between the bar and the kitchen. My husband was tasked with selecting something for us to share. He returned raving about how big the peanut butter chocolate cookies were and how tempting Death by Chocolate would be to the taste buds. In the end we ordered the Key Lime Torte ($3.95). Homemade with tiny bits of lime peel in a graham cracker crust, served with whipped cream, fresh blackberries, and a raspberry sauce. Delicious!
Funky and fabulous . Several of the wait staff sported multiple visible tattoos. All were pleasant and commented on how good the food looked or smelled. Our waitress, Sara, was thrilled that we ordered a bottle of wine. She wants to learn more about wine. We turned her onto The Wine Cellar. She has a fabulous journey ahead of her. And we have a fabulously new local joint to enjoy. Life is indeed good.
3336 N. Boulevard
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Addedum: The staff also padded my credit card bill by $40. I'm still getting this straightened out.
Food tastings include:
Black angus tenderloin
A variety of other gourmet products
Wine tastings include:
75 Wine Co, Sauvignon Blanc
75 Wine Co, Cabernet
Longview Reserve Cabernet
Veal chop stuffed with proscuitto, Swiss cheese, and fresh sage leaves (seared in olive and black truffle oil and then roasted in the oven)
Baked mashed potatoes with black truffle oil and Romano cheese (boiled, mashed with the oil, Romano, a tablespoon of butter , salt, and pepper and then baked in the oven)
Diagonally sliced carrots (sauteed in butter and seasoned with dried lavender)
To drink we had a 2003 Estancia Meritage from Paso Robles. This widely available gem boasts a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot. Smooth, yet full-bodied. And available at Total Wine for ~$22 a bottle.
Lip-smacking inspiration returned for at least one night.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tuesday May 15, 2007 from 5:30ish to 7:30 PM (I put the ish in based on the timing of the last tasting)
2005 Maurice Ecard et Fils, Bourgogne AOC
2003 Louis Latour Santenay
2002 Domaine Carre-Coubin Volnay 1er Cru
2003 Earl Daniel Bocquenet Nuits-St.-Georges
1998 Domaine Anne Gros Chambolle-Musigny
Special pricing will be available on all Burgundies during the tasting. Woo-hoo!
One small bump along the rail was the wine list. We had wanted to splurge with a 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape. Alas, it was not available and we settled upon a 2004 Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. The cab emitted spicy flavors and a chewy feel (is it my imagination or are 2004 California Cabs trending toward the spicy realm?).
We both ordered Filet Mignon, medium rare, with a tomato/asparagus medley, and a corn infused butter. Real roasted red-skinned potatoes rounded out the plate. What bliss. The medley and butter melded with the tenderness of the beef without anything overpowering the other. Once again, a fine balance.
To change things up a bit, we had skipped appetizers so we could order dessert. My husband’s dense chocolate torte with whipped cream was dreamy, but the mini crème brulees stole the show. Three tiny ovals of creamy goodness laced with Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Frangelica. We thoroughly enjoyed comparing each flavor against the other.
For a special occasion The Track did not dissapoint.
I found a beautiful, bodaciaous head of red leaf lettuce at the Byrd House Farmers' Market on Tuesday for only $1.00. A bargain by anyone's standard and darn delicious! The market announces its vendors every week. This past week vendors included plants, herbs, produce, fresh eggs, farm raised local meat, bread, and desserts. I can't wait for next Tuesday.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
On Friday we dined at Dogwood Grille and Spirits with another couple. My husband and I had never been, although it had always been a goal. Our friends had not eaten there in quite a while. I, for one, was quite excited. This heart-of-the-Fan restaurant located on
I’ll begin with the water. The regular, generic tap water was infused with mint. And while I advocate anything that will perk up city water, no one alerted us to the water’s altered statebefore pouring. I liked the wine list. It contained a variety of choices and the price points were not exorbitant. The higher end selections were decent for a restaurant. Our table selected the Hahn Estates Cabernet Sauvignon. Slightly spicy and jammy. It turned out to be an interesting choice since the table ordered either seafood, fish, or Creole for entrees. But up next, the appetizers: Venison Carapaccio, Tuna2 (Tuna Carapaccio and Tuna Tartare), and Barbequed Duck Wontons. The Venison won the most raves of the night. The tuna was decent, but the Saki shooter, which accompanied the dish, had an alcohol burn that overpowered the dish. The wontons, again, were decent, but the Asian-influenced slaw was tastier and preferred. Entrees consisted of Crab cakes with a tartar sauce, roasted potatoes, and green beans (the special of the evening); Tuna steak; and Quail stuffed with Andouille sausage atop dirty rice. My husband wanted me to stress that, at least for him, tartar sauce has no business anywhere near a crab cake. Thus, even though lump crabmeat filled the cake, his opinion was “The tartar sauce sucked.” And even though the special boasted roasted potatoes, the received potatoes seemed to be of the boiled variety. One of our friends ordered the Tuna steak. He loved the sides (and mea culpa I can not remember what the sides were), but thought the tuna had just come along for the ride. The Andouille overshadowed the delicateness of the quail; however, the dirty rice had a nice, spicy flavor, and had an abundance of crawfish. With both the crab and the tuna, we discovered something amazing – the wine (a spicy Cabernet) acquired a pronounced vanilla taste. Very interesting. We skipped dessert and had truffles and cookies along with Sambucca, Belle de Brillet, and quiet conversation at our friends’ house.
For me, Dogwood Grille and Spirits had no “wow” factor. And at these prices, “wow” must be present. All of the items on the menu appealed to the imagination – interesting and unusually juxtaposed ingredients – unfortunately, the food did not realize its potential on this visit. At least the place is non-smoking. I salute them for providing a breathable atmosphere.