Friday, March 28, 2008

Date night! Restaurant Review: Trois

On Wednesday evening, Hubby and I went on a theater date to see "Avenue Q," which is, essentially, a Sesame Street-type musical for grownups. It's absolutely hysterical but not for those who are easily shocked, as you can tell with the opening number, "It sucks to be me." You also learn that "It's okay to be gay," "When you love a man, you may want to kill him," and "The internet is for..." Well, let's just say it's not for reading fascinating wine blogs. There are also puppets engaging in rather bawdy activities after getting smashed on Long Island Iced Teas, which is quite the feat considering that there really isn't anything to them below the waist.

Of course a nice evening at the theater requires a good dinner beforehand, and Hubby requested that we go to Trois because he's heard me rave about it after having attended profession-related dinners there. We started off in the bar downstairs, where he had Oban (single-malt Scotch) and I had a glass of prosecco. Unfortunately, Trois has not updated their menu or wine list online, so I can't say exactly what I had to drink, just that the wines I had are not on the older menus.

Upstairs in the restaurant itself, we opted for meals from the pre-theater menu, which is a prix fixe, three-course meal. For our starters, we both got the warm bucheron, which is essentially a mixed green salad with frisee and watercress with a slice of warm French cheese, apricots, nougatine, an with a balsamic reduction drizzled on top. All the flavors worked well together, although the nougatine made me fear for my teeth. For dinner, I had the skate wing, which was stuffed with bread crumbs and herbs, pan-seared, and served with haricots verts with almonds and a brown butter sauce. All the flavors and textures worked really well together and went nicely with the pinot noir the server recommended, which is also not on the online menu. Hubby had the beef bourguignone, which was also really good. He got the Selby Syrah, which I remember because we belong to their wine club. That wine was excellent and paired well with the beef.

Then came dessert, which was the highlight of the meal. Baked chocolate mousse with vanilla bean ice cream and some sort of caramel, all served with chocolate sauce. Wow. It was the best dessert I've had in a long time, and I eat a lot of dessert.

Score card:
Atmosphere: Very nice, trendy modern
Food: Very good
Wine list: Nice selection of glasses and bottles
Wait staff: Excellent and knowledgeable
Desserts: Excellent
Vegetarian friendly? Probably not
Kid friendly? No kid's menu -- please don't bring them here!
Would I go back? Definitely

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tasting Notes: Blind Tasting at Java Monkey

The most educational type of wine tasting is the blind tasting, where, stripped of preconceptions associated with type, you can really get into the characteristics of the wine itself. You can also find out how much you really don't know. This was my experience at Java Monkey's most recent tasting.

1. Martin Hugl Gruner Veltliner, 2006, Austria
This wine had a really floral nose and a lot of mineral to the palate with a hint of sweetness. Hubby got the closest when his first impression was "something German or Austrian."

2. Babich Sauvignon Blanc, 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand
Credit for this one goes to our friend M. (whose photos will be showing at Java Monkey in April). He picked it out as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc right away, mostly because it has the odd finish that you find with some of these. Honeysuckle nose and citrus flavors on the palate are also typical of the type. No one at the table really liked this one.

3. Montinore Estate Pinot Noir, 2006, Willamette Valley, Oregon
This one came out of the bottle very light in color, but the flavor was all Pinot. One of the better wines of the night. Hubby and I got this one right.

4. Campos Reales Tempranillo, 2006, La Mancha, Spain
This one had a grape jam nose and dark fruit/grape flavors. It's unoaked, which threw the table. I had Tempranillo as an alternate guess, but no one really got this one.

5. Cartlidge & Brown Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, California
This one is a Cab blended with some other stuff. By this time, I was too frustrated to take notes, so I don't have anything except that it was "very good."

6. Niner "Bootjack Ranch" Syrah, 2004, Paso Robles, California
Tannic and spicy, I got this one as a Syrah, except I guessed a Shiraz from Australia. Oh, well, at least I got the varietal correct. It was also pretty good and got some more fruit to it after it had been open for a while.

I could say that I'm frustrated with not doing better, but I choose to look at it like this: the desire to learn more about wine will take me to some interesting and very yummy places, and further expertise will come with experience. I think I'll go open some more experience now.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oenophile at large (restaurant review three-fer)

Greetings, fellow Oenophiles!

Apologies for the slow blogging this week -- it's been busy, and then my computer decided to crash out on me. Thanks to tech support (i.e., computer genius husband), it's working again.

Last Saturday, we had the pleasant surprise of a visit from my parents. They got stuck in Atlanta thanks to the crazy weather, so they stayed the night with us, and to say thanks, they took us out to Cafe Alsace. This started the theme for the week: really good meals that I didn't have to pay for, and so I have three restaurant reviews. Three price ranges, three types of cuisine, and three different areas of town.

Visitors often want to know where the locals go, and Cafe Alsace is where residents of Decatur and the surrounding areas seek out a leisurely French meal. Emphasis on "leisurely:" on a weekend night, plan to spend a couple of hours. It's a tiny restaurant with a packed dining room and a small kitchen, which you have to walk through to go to the bathroom. The bathroom is worth it for the comics and cartoons that the staff and owner have put up, which shows that, contrary to the normal image of the French, there is nothing stuffy or snooty about this place. The food is consistently good, and everything on the short wine list is excellent. On this visit, I had the cassoulet, which I've had before. Hubby and Mom had the special crepe, which was essentially chicken cassoulet filling in a thin pancake, and Dad had the stuffed trout. Everyone enjoyed their meal. Save room for the chocolate mousse.

We split a bottle of the red wine special, the 2005 Abbaye de Tholomies from Minervoirs, France ("Languedoc terroir"). This wine, which is 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre, is produced by a French rugby player turned doctor turned wine maker. Beautifully colored, it has some spice to it and a fig and dark fruit flavors: a perfect quaff for a cold evening.

Score card:
Atmosphere: Very nice
Food: Excellent
Wine list: Small, but everything is very good
Wait staff: Excellent
Desserts: Excellent
Vegetarian friendly? Probably not
Kid friendly? No kid's menu
Would I go back? Yes, it's a favorite

My day job comes with the perk of getting treated to lunches and dinners by large companies vying to have my colleagues use their products. Was that vague enough for you? This perk allowed me to experience my next two culinary adventures.

My first adventure took me way Outside the Perimeter (or OTP, as we say) to Discover Mills and Athens Kouzzina, which has very reasonably priced Greek food. I had the Mousaka, which is eggplant, ground beef cooked with peppers and onions, bechamel sauce, and potatoes covered in a lightly cinnamon-flavored tomato sauce. It sounds a little weird, but the end result of all the flavors is fantastic. I had enough to take for lunch the next day. The house Merlot from Sycamore Lane is also quite good, medium-bodied and fruity, as one would expect, but also very smooth. The only complaint is that the tiramisu, which is actually a tiramisu cake, doesn't even begin to compare to the one from Southern Sweets. I should have gotten the baklava, which got rave reviews from others at the table.

Score card:
Atmosphere: it's a sit-down mall restaurant with the accompanying neon signage, etc. The private dining room was nicely decorated.
Food: Very Good
Wine list: Fair, has Greek selections
Wait staff: Unsure -- we were in a private dining room, and our waiter was excellent
Desserts: Good
Vegetarian friendly? Fairly so with a decent number of veggie options
Kid friendly? Yes, if your kids are adventurous
Would I go back? Yes, if in the area

My final adventure took me into town to Restaurant Eugene. This place has been featured in Gourmet, and I had high expectations, which were all met. Again, I was the guest of a certain company with commercial interests, and we had a tasting menu with wine pairings. Yes, I was very excited. I'll go ahead and say that the pairings all worked really well.

Amuse: She Crab soup paired with the Gruet Blanc de Noirs from New Mexico. The creaminess of the crab soup went very well with the sparkling wine, which is one of my favorites.

First: "Seared Maine Diver Scallop with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree and Pickled Jerusalem Artichokes with Benton's Bacon"
This dish was a fun combination of flavors and textures. The wine, Burgans' 2006 Albarino from Galicia, Spain, had a citrus flower nose and floral, fruity flavors with a mineral finish, also fun. As one of the novice wine drinkers at the table noted, the bouquet actually smelled like a bouquet.

Second: "Grilled Florida Pompano with Carneroli Risotto, Green Garlic, and Baby Shiitakes, Tempura Razor Clams, and Sake-Shellfish Broth"
Pairing: 2005 Rijckaert "Recolte" Chardonnay Macon Village, France
The wine was fruity with a lot of mineral and acid and had a nice, creamy finish. It was well-balanced with the fish.

Third: "Painted Hills Beef Two Ways: Grilled Ribeye and Braised Short Rib with Rutabega Puree, Bok Choy, Baby Carrots, Hakurei Turnips, and Veal Jus"
Pairing: 2005 Carr Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
This wine, a true big-ass red, made me very happy. It had a cedar/oak nose with a hint of caramel and was very smooth on the palate with a lot of dark fruit and some leather. The beef was cooked perfectly, and the whole dish was savory. Vegetables were done crisp-tender.

Fourth: Fleur de la Terre cheese on toasted ciabatta
Paired with a Zinfandel, the 2006 from Seghesio Family Vineyards in Sonoma County, the cheese course could have more than amply finished the meal. The cheese itself was like a sharp Italian white and contrasted with the aged balsamic vinegar that was drizzled over it. I found the zin to be a little disappointing, but my palate may have been burned by the cab.

Dessert: "Valrhona Chocolate Bar with Wild Hibiscus Flower, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and Pistachio"
Pairing: Kopke 10 Year Tawny Port
The dessert was a chocolate-gasm, a small, creamy rectangle of chocolate served with a melon-ball sized scoop of vanilla ice cream. The salty pistachios complemented it beautifully. The wine, however, was a bit too alcohol-forward for my taste, and I usually like port. I don't think anyone at the table finished it. Yes, the hibiscus flower is edible, but just as functional as a garnish.

Score card:
Atmosphere: Formal
Food: Excellent
Wine list: Unknown
Wait staff: Excellent, but again, were in a private room
Desserts: Excellent
Vegetarian friendly? Unknown; would likely accommodate
Kid friendly? Don't even think about it
Would I go back? Yes, even if I had to pay the check

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tasting Notes: ABC's of Wine (Java Monkey Thursday Wine Series)

ABC's stands for "Anything but Chardonnay or Cabernet," and this is what we got. Jess and wine rep Chuck (who will introduce himself as "Sacajawea," but don't be fooled) put together an interesting and tasty program. It could also be dubbed as the night for "Wines that are hard to spell."

Minini Orvieto 2006, Orvieto Italy (DOCG)
Grapes: Trebbiano toscano, druppelo, and verdello
Rating: good
Citrus fruit and mineral

Craftsman Cserszegi Fuszeres 2006, Nesmely, Hungary
Grapes: Gewurtz and Irsai Oliver
Rating: okay
Very floral on the nose with apricot hints, but the taste was very different; an unenthusiastic start gave way to a fruity and flowery finish

Chrismont Rosato Mezzanotte 2005, King Valley, Australia
Grapes: 50% Sangiovese, 25% Barbera, and 25% Marzenino
Rating: good
One of our table-mates immediately picked out cherries on the nose and palate. Others described it as "strawberry Kool-aid." I didn't find it to be that sweet. It's fruit-forward with a mineral backbone and not much of a finish.

La Caplana Barbera d'Asti 2005, Piedmont, Italy
Rating: good at first, very good after it had opened up a bit
A little green on the nose until it had breathed. Dark fruit, then acid with a mineral finish. A red Italian wine like this begs for food. One of our table-mates suggested that it be served slightly chilled, which is an intriguing idea, but I would suggest that if it has time to chill, it also has time to breathe. Consider this a take-home experiment.

Salena Petit Verdot 2003, Southeastern Australia
Rating: very good
This one comes out of the bottle a deep purple. It had a grape syrup/jammy nose but proved to be a medium-bodied red: lots of fruit but with a slightly acid finish.

Monte Volpe Primo Rosso 2005, Mendocino County
Grapes: Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Carignan, Negro Arraro, and Nebbiolo
Rating: excellent
This is a wine by Greg Graziano, whom I tend to like. This was a fruit bomb, very smooth, and with both stone and dark fruit flavors. My favorite of the evening.

Rankings: I polled random people whom I happened to be sitting near, and the last wine universally ranked as number one. The Barbera and Petit Verdot also did very well. Our friend who's an equal opportunity red and white drinker also liked the first one, but the second and third ones were given an "elusive check + crooked check" rating (essentially a 1.5 out of 2) by one of the others.

In other words, it seems that this wine tasting had something for everyone. I'll close with a quote from a young man who particularly liked the Rosato:

"If you're a dude drinking pink wine, you've gotta be prepared to take some [crap]!"
(Yes, I lightened the language.)

So, gentle readers, let us not allow prejudice to taint our wine-drinking experiences. I look forward to your comments.

Coming next week: Going OTP for a restaurant review, and perhaps even some oeno-fiction.

Winery Review: Meinhardt Vineyards

Meinhardt Vineyards and Winery, located in Statesboro with a tasting room in the Downtown City Market of Savannah (according to their brochure), makes only one kind of wine: Muscadine. Hubby speculated this before we went into the tasting room, but as the Random-Oenophile who eschews snobbery and pretention, I felt it my duty, nay, obligation to try them. Because if you think about it, to any drinker of what we consider to be "normal" (vinifera) wine, Muscadine wine is pretty random.

One of the elements of a good tasting room is staff who is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the product without being pushy and snotty about it, as we found when we visited Badger Mountain winery in Washington. Joe Anderson, who poured wine last Saturday, embodied the perfect combination of someone who works in a Muscadine winery: knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and patient, even when I let the phrase, "funky Muscadine flavor" slip out.

The tasting list had ten wines and one cider on it. We were surprised to find that there are 438 varietals of that particular grape, more than any of the vinifera grapes we typically see in wines. With this large stable, Muscadine wineries produce whites, reds, dry, off-dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, and yes, the very sweet we usually associate with that grape. Joe was able to tell us the varietal for each wine as well as who developed it. Apparently the Southern universities' agriculture departments have been heavily involved in Muscadine development, and scientists all across the Southeast have been interested in their health benefits, particularly large amounts of the antioxidant resveratrol . Apparently, muscadine wine has more of this agent than vinifera red wine.

So now that I've (hopefully) removed some prejudice against grapes, here are the wines with varietals and the place they were developed (I'm telling you, Joe knew everything!):

Smithfield: Tara varietal, developed at the University of Arkansas
Dry white: dry in front, mild fruit, interesting semi-sweet finish

Eagle Harvest: Carlos, Ole Miss
Semi-dry white: peach and apricot tones, like a semi-dry riesling, had sediment; would be good for Riesling lovers

Eagle Run: Summit, UGA
Sweet: milder than traditional, a little fruitier, wouldn't be bad for dessert

Windmill Harvest: Tower
Dry red: light orange-red in color, funky Muscadine flavor, rough finish

Southern Eagle: Noble, UGA or University of Florida
Semi-dry red: sweet in front, dry middle, light fruit finish, not bad

Kennedy Pond: Supreme by Ison (private breeder)
Semi-sweet: had funky Muscadine flavor

Hopeulikit (pronounced "Hope you like it") Red: Nesbitt released from UGA in 1887
Sweet: Muscadine flavor, sweet, red-peach color; I didn't like it

Plum Southern: Early Frye by Ison
Fruit/sweet: Yep, wild plum +grapes, sweet grape with plum overlay and finish; wouldn't be bad with Asian food; varietal has some scandal behind it (for the full story, you'll have to go ask Joe)

Nero Mora: Frye, UGA
Rose: blackberry and blueberry

Pesca: Late Frye, Ison
Fruit/sweet: wild white peach added to grapes at fermentation, sweet in front, dry in back, needed context

Muscadine Cider:
Non-alcoholic: really good, Joe suggested making a Martini of it with vodka and a twist of lime

We came home with a bottle of the Eagle Harvest.

Things to know when tasting Muscadine wines:

1. The red wines are very light, more in the rose color spectrum.
2. There is sediment in some of the wines. This is from tartaric acid, the crystals of which help to preserve flavor. This technique has been imported from Italy.
3. The front, middle, and finish flavors go across the palate more slowly than those of vinifera wines. This is an interesting experience.
4. Eat before you go! We hadn't had lunch yet. That was not a good idea. We didn't get the alcohol contents of any of the wines we tasted, but I'm thinking they were higher than normal.

Scorecard: Meinhardt Vineyards and Winery (visited March 1, 2008)
Fee: $5 for 5 wines plus the cider; you get to keep your glass
Atmosphere: Very nice, as you would expect in an "Old South" tasting room
Staff: Excellent - knowledgeable, enthusiastic without pushiness, and friendly
Wines: Just keep an open mind, and you'll be pleasantly surprised

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Saturday in Savannah: Sunny with a chance of wine

Saturday morning we woke up to the smells of breakfast: the salty tang of ham, the mouth-watering fruit topping for the waffles, and coffee, which, sadly, was nowhere in reach until we got dressed and went downstairs. The Foley House offered a choice of one of three breakfasts, the Basic Foley, which was typical eggs/grits/breakfast meat fare, the Sweet Foley, which was waffles with berries, and the Savory Foley, which was smoked salmon and cream cheese on a croissant. I had the Sweet Foley, and it was like having pie for breakfast. I had no problem with that.

Stuffed, we wandered out to and through some squares and ended up at the Mercer-Williams House, famous since the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Due to fire codes and the presence of only one rather narrow staircase, we could only tour the downstairs, but that was more than enough. The tour guide was knowledgeable, and we all laughed when she referred to the Civil War as "that recent unpleasantness." She also pointed out the vines growing up from the courtyard to the balcony: muscadines. This proved to be foreshadowing, although we didn't realize it at the time (but then, who does?).

We strolled on to Forsyth Park, where the local Savannians were out enjoying the weather and the tourists took pictures of the large fountain. Yes, I did, too. The rhododendrons opened their pink cups to the flawless blue sky, and the Spanish Moss seemed romantic and mysterious until Hubby pointed out that the stuff that had fallen on the sidewalk would scamper right back up the tree when no one was looking. And he says that I have an overactive imagination! We didn't see any of the characters from The Book, as it's called there, but we did see one guy having a very animated argument with someone we couldn't see. And no, he didn't have an earbud or cell phone.

After walking through the park, we turned around and headed back toward the river. We passed a square that is under construction -- apparently the city is putting in a parking deck under it -- and saw a winery sign. A winery? This bore further investigation, and so we headed in. I'll review it in my next post. I'll just say one thing: it's not a smart idea to go tasting Southern wines before you've had lunch.

Luckily, we found a Scottish pub, Molly MacPherson's, where they don't mind if you come in already intoxicated. Hubby had the Blackwatch Burger, which he said was good, and I had a Molly's Favorite, which was a smoked turkey sandwich with melted cheddar and sliced apple. It came on rye, and I had ordered wheat, but that's my only complaint. I'm going to skip the scorecard on this restaurant because it's a pub, and there wasn't really anything remarkable to set it apart from other pubs we've been to. Good food, good beer, 'nuff said.

After lunch, we headed down to the riverfront and walked right into the middle of the First Saturday festival. I had no idea there were that many people in Savannah! Of course, a large part of the crowd was elderly couples who seemed to be part of a large tourist industry-sponsored trap, tag, and release program. We escaped the crowd and went back to the hotel with time to spare for our 4:00 couples' massages.

We ate dinner at Bistro Savannah (no website available), which is located right next to the Scottish Pub. This allowed the sound of bagpipes to drift in periodically during our meal. We ordered a split (half bottle) of The Crossings 2007 (Marlborough, NZ) Sauvignon Blanc. It was fruity on the nose with strong lime, and it had a nicely balanced taste with citrus, mineral, and acid. I started my meal with the mixed greens salad, which had goat cheese and pine nuts and just the right amount of a raspberry vinaigrette that wasn't too sweet. For my entree, I ordered the larger size of the Mussels Mariniere appetizer. The mussels were a little small, but it was a good portion, and the broth was excellent, especially with the rosemary bread. Hubby had the scored flounder, which was really good and had a tangy apricot glaze on it. It was fun watching him try to turn it over to eat the other side. Dessert, a "fallen chocolate cake" with vanilla ice cream and hazelnut caramel sauce, made me very happy.

Score card:
Atmosphere: Nice, a little noisy even outside of the bagpipes, and lacked tablecloths
Food: Very Good
Wine list: Very Good with a decent selection of half bottles, although not many options for glasses
Wait staff: Very good
Desserts: Excellent
Vegetarian friendly? Probably not
Kid friendly? No kid's menu
Would I go back? Yes

Monday, March 3, 2008

Travelogue: Fry-day in Savannah

As most of you have probably noticed, it's Monday. The blog entries are on a slight delay due to the lack of laptops while traveling. I was on vacation from both careers, writing and my day job, so I decided to go tech-free except for cell phone in case of family emergencies. We had hubby's blackberry for directions and whatnot, but other than that, no computing power. Luckily the withdrawal effects didn't last too long.

We spent Thursday night in Macon and drove to Savannah on Friday morning. Seeing as it's currently Lent, so no meat for me on Fridays, we hit seafood restaurants for lunch and dinner. Lunch was at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House on Whitemarsh Island. Bubba is Paula Dean's brother, and at his restaurant, they refer to the Lady herself as, simply, "Paula." Although it's a seafood place, her fried chicken is on the menu. I guess it's where to get it if you don't feel like waiting in line or spending the day on the phone to get into Lady and Sons. After looking over the menu, I couldn't help but think that this would not be a place to try and eat healthy. Even the salads looked like they'd clog one's arteries. With that observation, we dove in.

Hubby had never had fried pickles, so we shared an order of the Fried Dill Pickles, which was served with a remoulade dip. Yes, in the South, you can fry darn near anything! They were okay, cut a little too thick. The ones at the Fickle Pickle in Roswell are much better. For our main course, I had the Fried Oyster Po'Bubba, and Hubby had the Fried Shrimp Po'Bubba. The oysters were from Louisiana, according to the blackboard hanging in the main dining room, and they definitely tasted fresh under their crispy coating. The fries were standard restaurant fries, and they got a little mushy under the weight of the sandwiches (all were served in baskets). The standout of the meal was the cornbread that everyone gets after sitting down. It was amazing with crispy exterior, soft center, and a slightly sweet flavor. Although Uncle Bubba has a full bar at his restaurant, his wine list is not posted online, so I'm afraid I can't comment on it. Also, we didn't have any room for dessert, but the chocolate creme brulee bears further investigation upon a return trip.

Score card:
Atmosphere: As would be expected, but with very nice views of the river and surrounding marshes
Food: Good
Wine list: ?
Wait staff: Very good
Desserts: ?
Vegetarian friendly? Hell, no
Kid friendly? Probably
Would I go back? If I was in the area, I'd consider it

That afternoon, after checking into our B&B, we took a tour of the Owens-Thomas House. It was elegantly restored and furnished and gave a good glimpse of what everyday life would have been like in the mid-19th century for the upper class.

Somehow we managed to find our appetites again for dinner, which was with a friend at the River House Seafood Restaurant and Bakery. Yes, I heard bakery and was intrigued. I even brought home a paper menu with the recipe for "Chatham Artillery Punch," which looks to be a potent brew. I started off the evening with a King Estate Pinot Gris from Oregon, which had a very strong grapefruit flavor but turned out to be very good with food. Our friend had the St. M Riesling, which was on the sweet side, and Hubby had a Naked Chardonnay, which had a surprising amount of fruit and a little bit of sweetness to go with its butter, and, best of all, no oak. All of the main courses are served with a caesar salad that's tossed table-side, and it's so good that our vege-phobic friend ate the whole thing. I moved on to a Rodney Strong Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California with dinner. We visited the tasting room on our trip to California in 2005, and Rodney Strong has always been a safe choice. The Pinot Noir was smooth and fruity with a hint of mineral and went well with my tuna.

For dinner, I had the yellowfin tuna, which was cooked rare and topped with mushrooms, green onions, and tomatoes and served over angel hair pasta. It was fantastic, and I'm not typically a tuna fan. The fish was fresh without even a hint of fishy flavor, and the whole dish held together well. Hubby had the pecan encrusted tilapia, which he described as "typical." Our friend had the chicken marsala, which he said tasted a little fishy. I had the chocolate cheesecake for dessert, and it was excellent. The only complaint I have about this restaurant is that our friend had to box his own leftovers. If you have entrees with prices over $20, the servers should box leftovers.

Score card:
Atmosphere: Nice with good people-watching out the windows
Food: Very Good
Wine list: Somewhat short, but with a good variety
Wait staff: Very good
Desserts: Very good
Vegetarian friendly? Probably not
Kid friendly? Not sure
Would I go back? Probably

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Savannah: Good food, slow kitchens

Greetings, fellow oenophiles!

Just arrived back from a romantic weekend in Savannah with the hubby, who scored major husband points with the whole trip. I'll spare you the mushy details that I'll use to make my female co-workers jealous tomorrow, but I do recommend the Romance Package at the Foley House Inn , although the champagne carriage ride is actually better in theory than in practice. Carriages are bumpy, and champagne tends to slosh, although our driver/horse pair Julie and Jake were fantastic.

I'll publish more as the week goes on and I organize my notes. Exciting things to come include lots of restaurant reviews as well as a tale of a trip to a winery that produces only muscadine wine. Yes, some of them were drinkable. It was a very interesting and informative experience.