Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oenophile at Large: Grownups' Night Out in Decatur

I am now officially done with my former job except for some contract work I’m doing for them. The problem is now that whenever I’m connected to their system, the rest of my internet applications don’t work, like it’s greedily sucking up all my bandwidth and probably a few other things, too. Oh, and the final "stuff from my desk" count: 5 boxes, one very full bag, another plastic shopping bag, and some journals carried out by hand along with my lower back support. That was really interesting when people tried to hug me on the way out.

In my last post, I wrote about pouring at Sherlock’s with Hubby on August 23. The adventures didn’t stop when we put the bottles away. Okay, we did take a quick breather for Mass.

Tangent: Three things I love about being Catholic (don’t worry, I’ll keep this brief and leave the heavy spiritual thinking to Dan):
1. Drinking alcohol is allowed, even in Church, although Communion wine is not very good.
2. They have Saturday evening services so you can sleep in on Sunday.
3. The pope says we can believe in aliens!

We just happened to go by Tastings afterward, which was already getting busy. We shared the “Tuscan Picnic” meat and cheese plate, which has Asiago, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Peppered Salami, Sopressata, Roasted Red Peppers, and Toasted Pine Nuts, all served with crostini.

I got a taste of each of the following. Please note that all were tasted with food:

Inama Vin Soave, Soave Classico (Veneto, Italy): 100% Garganega
This medium-bodied white had a nice apricot/pear nose. It tasted mineral with almond and honey.
Rating: Good

Coltibuono “Selezione R.S.” (Chianti, Italy): 100% Sangiovese
A nice red with berries on the nose and a buttery finish.
Rating: Very Good

Telmo Rodriguez Dehesa Gago (Toro, Spain): 100% Tempranillo
Ripe, dark fruit nose with a caramel/pepper finish
Rating: Okay

I confirmed that I still like the Fife Redhead Red Zinfandel and other stuff, and Hubby got to have some this time, too. For some reason, I didn’t get vintages – sorry! I do have two things that I don't like about Tastings: it's over air-conditioned (see: freezing!), and the layout is such that it's hard to maneuver around inside, especially when it's busy.

I’m not sure why we decided we were hungry for dinner after that huge snack, but that’s what we did. Deciding what to have for dinner typically takes some negotiating. Maybe it’s because we’re both Pisces and can’t make up our minds about anything. Café Lilly? No, he would feel under-dressed in shorts. The same went for Cakes & Ale, and it was really crowded, anyway. I didn’t really feel like ethnic, and as for getting into the Brick Store, forget it. So we ended up at Sage.

The last time I reviewed Sage, I complained that they hadn’t updated their menu in a long time. They do have a few items that looked unfamiliar (and aren’t on the online menu, which is still the November 2007 one), so it looks like they’re keeping their favorites and changing some things seasonally. I can’t complain about that; it's a formula that works for a lot of places. Hubby had the “Mafia Steak,” which was essentially steak and mashed potatoes. I combined the Crisp Duck Confit and Baby Greens Salad for my entrée. Overall, it was a good experience, and they were very accommodating when we were chased inside by the rain.

After dinner, we hung out at Twain’s and watched the Olympics. Their wine list is limited, but I was still able to find something to keep me occupied for a while in addition to the male singles’ diving finals. I had a glass or three of the Hogue Cabernet Sauvignon, which I knew would be good because we’ve been to their winery. I had never been inside Twain’s, and I was surprised at how big it is. I was also pleased to discover that their kitchen doesn’t close til late, so my midnight jonesin’ for onion rings (wine munchies?) was satisfied. They might take the billiards thing a little far by designating their bathrooms as "Balls" and "Racks." Speaking of going too far, later in the evening, I was treated to a play-by-play analysis of what was going on in the "Racks" room by a drunk co-ed as she wiggled and waited. She'd probably been watching too much Olympic coverage.

I have a confession: we ended up at the Waffle House at 1 a.m. Yes, we decided to relive some of our college days. Nothing much to report there. I’m all about a pecan waffle in the wee hours of the morning.

As much fun as we had, we were sure to enjoy responsibly. I'll also add that we walked to, around, and from Decatur. It was grown-up fun and exercise, too!

Next weekend, we get to have a new adventure! Last Fall, we’d started in the (probably bad) habit of stopping by the Angel after Saturday evening Mass for a glass of wine and a snack. I called it bribing my non-Catholic husband to go to church with me; he called it keeping in line with his Scottish heritage to stop for alcohol after church. Either way, we were disappointed when the Angel closed and we couldn’t do that anymore. We’re thrilled that it’s reopening as The Grange this coming weekend, September 6. We’ll be there!

This week on the blog: Still catching up – Late Summer Beer Dinner and Breast Cancer Benefit at Feast; Midtown Restaurant Week at One Midtown Kitchen; going OTP for dinner in Roswell

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