Preview: Fork & Bottle
Fork & Bottle
Jack and Joanne explore artisan food, wine and cheese. This includes sustainable gardening, What To Feed Kids, wine country guide and restaurant reviews, gingerbread houses, cheese resources, recipes, and biodynamic wine producers.
Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 19:12:48 GMT
Restaurant Review: Bistro des Copains in Occidental, CA
Wed, 07 Jan 2009 19:12:42 GMT
Our summer foray to Bistro des Copains doesn't have us running back. But since our visit, the chef has changed although the menu is extremely similar. We liked that it's very true to it's bistro name, offering french-style comfort food in a casual setting.
Fork & Bottle's Holiday Gift Selections
Sat, 06 Dec 2008 04:00:33 GMT
Jack & Joanne offer dozen of gift ideas for Wine Lovers, chefs (young & older), wood-burning oven and BBQ enthusiasts, cheese lovers, connoisseurs, gardeners and bakers... Happy Holidays!
Recipe: Apple Fennel Dressing
Thu, 27 Nov 2008 01:53:40 GMT
This apple fennel dressing had the perfect amount of lightness and crunch to compliment turkey on our holiday table last year but it would also be lovely with pork or ham.
Recipe: Persimmon Bread Pudding
Tue, 25 Nov 2008 20:46:28 GMT
Enjoy persimmons at the peak of season in this easy to make ahead dessert, which will win you raves at Thanksgiving and beyond.
Restaurant Review: Restaurant Eloise in Sebastopol, CA
Tue, 04 Nov 2008 18:27:30 GMT
Restaurant Eloise, Sebastopol's newest fine dining spot, lured us with the promise of house made charcuterie and an appetizer of bone marrow. We were enthralled and will be back soon.
Getting your Kids to Try New Foods, Eat Diversely and Make Better Food Choices
Mon, 18 Aug 2008 21:29:17 GMT
It's back-to-school time and Joanne has been thinking about how children eat both at home and away from home. Here are some tips for parents to get their kids to try new foods, eat diversely and make better food choices. Included are some suggestions for better snacks and packed lunches.
Great Cheese Find: Cora's Tumin del Dian
Mon, 04 Aug 2008 21:46:30 GMT
Tumin del Dian is a small round of cow and sheep's milk cheese. It's seasoned with pepper and wrapped in a chestnut leaf.
Fork & Bottle's Directory of Irish Farmstead Cheese
Thu, 24 Jul 2008 21:52:55 GMT
After visiting Ireland last year and, tasting many of its great cheeses, Joanne decided to compile this directory of Irish Farmstead Artisan cheeses.
Ireland is famous for its milk, cream and butter – and also lately for its cheese. She’s added tasting notes and photos for a few of the cheeses we encountered on the trip, some of which were bought at Sheridan’s Cheesemongers in Galway, Co. Clare, some at On the Pig’s Back, in the English Market in Cork City, Co. Cork and still others at Trevor Irvine’s stall at St. George’s Market in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Many of the cheeses listed in the directory are available in the US, but a number of them you will have to go to Ireland to taste.
Three Mendocino County Restaurant Reviews
Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:59:21 GMT
During a two-day visit to the Mendocino coast we visited Café Beaujolais (Mendocino), Le Rendezvous (Ft. Bragg) and the Mosswood Cafe (Boonville). We particularly enjoyed Café Beaujolais.
More Food Reference Book Reviews
Fri, 30 May 2008 20:56:24 GMT
Joanne has added the following reviews:
The Story of Tea
A Cultural History and Drinking Guide
by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss
Aromas and Flavors Around the World
by Lydia Gautie
Without Freezing or Canning
by the Gardeners and Farmers of Terre Vivante
by Paul Johnson
by Michael Mascha
Restaurant Review: Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA
Tue, 29 Apr 2008 21:10:51 GMT
We return to Cyrus after a couple of years and have a truly great meal. Prices are up but our recent experience definitely justified the Michelin two stars. The food sets the highest mark in Sonoma county, but we'd still like to see more focus on local purveyors. If elaborate dining is what you seek in Sonoma, Cyrus is the perfect destination for indulgence.
You must not miss the excellent cheese cart...
Restaurant Review: The Restaurant at Meadowood in Saint Helena, CA
Tue, 15 Apr 2008 19:40:11 GMT
Our dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood was lovely. The restaurant has a pleasant, relaxed décor which is still elegant. This casual elegance is reflected in the food from Chef Christopher Kostow. The meal was very enjoyable and we would happily return.
Great Cheese Find: Abbaye de Tamie
Tue, 01 Apr 2008 22:23:20 GMT
Yes, monks can make great cheese. Abbaye de Tamie is such an example. It's a washed rind raw cow's milk cheese. It's not so easy to find, but worth the hunt.
Wine Tasting: Rhone Rangers 2008
Mon, 24 Mar 2008 18:43:20 GMT
The 2008 Rhone Rangers tasting in San Francisco was quiet this year. There were some good wines here, with Copain's wines standing out.
Wine Tasting: Bordeaux 2005
Mon, 17 Mar 2008 21:32:49 GMT
Jack and Joanne taste more than 40 of the better Bordeaux wines from the heralded 2005 vintage.
Wine Tasting: La Paulée 2008
Sat, 15 Mar 2008 00:05:09 GMT
This year's La Paulée event was held in San Francisco. Jack reports on more than 90 Burgundy wines.
Recipe: Fast Lasagna!
Mon, 10 Mar 2008 22:09:49 GMT
Joanne's recipe makes great lasagna fast, cutting some corners to make it quicker and easier, but no less delicious.
Essay: Bad Fruit or Good Cookies - Which is Better?
Wed, 20 Feb 2008 21:31:00 GMT
Joanne shares her thoughts about whether it's better to give kids, as a school treat, out-of-season, "conventionally-farmed" fruit from another continent or, cookies made by a parent with mostly high-quality, ingredients.
And, how bad is sugar? Do you think sugar-substitutes are a better choice than real sugar?
She invites your comments.
WBW# 42: Fontodi and Tenute Loacker
Mon, 18 Feb 2008 22:57:38 GMT
We taste two enjoyable Italian reds and review them in exactly seven words. We enjoyed the 2001 Tenute Loacker Cabernet Sauvignon-Lagrein Kastlet more than the 2001 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve.
Restaurant Review: Nick's Cove in Marshall, CA (Marin)
Tue, 12 Feb 2008 03:49:53 GMT
Our first to Nick's Cove was quite a mixed bag. We understand the popularity of the spot, but the food and service was not what we had expected from this pricey new waterfront destination.
Restaurant Review: Ubuntu in Napa
Tue, 05 Feb 2008 22:07:03 GMT
We had a nice dining experience at Ubuntu, but this lunch fell a bit below our expectations. Even so, it is the 'go-to' restaurant for vegetarians in Wine Country. We will try dinner there next time.
Still Say No to Girl Scout Cookies in 2008
Thu, 31 Jan 2008 01:16:47 GMT
Our 2008 update on how the Girl Scouts STILL have trans fat in the cookies, despite their promise to eliminate trans fat three years ago. This remains shameful to us, as the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemic continues.
Wine Blogging Wednesday #41: Friuli-Venezia Giulia Whites - The Round-Up
Mon, 21 Jan 2008 05:30:13 GMT
Here's the roundup for January 2008's WBW. More than 40 participated to report on Friuli-Venezia Giulia white wine. Results seemed to depend more on local choices and availability, than the amount spent, although many of the more expensive wines were enjoyed most.
Wines reviewed were from Radikon, Zidarich, Vodopivec, Jermann, Miani, Movia, Damian Podversic, Lis Neris, i Clivi, Livio Felluga, Adrian Gigante, and many more.
Wine Tasting: Friuli-Venezia Giulia wines
Thu, 17 Jan 2008 21:01:16 GMT
A tasting of four red and fifteen whites at the Jug Shop in San Francisco. I tasted some extremely interesting and outstanding wines from Gravner, Jermann, Vodopivec and Moschini.
WBW #41: Miani and Jermann from Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Wed, 16 Jan 2008 20:43:09 GMT
Fork & Bottle are hosts this month for Wine Blogging Wednesday. For our selection, we chose to feature a wine from two of the best makers in Friuli-Venezia Giulia: The 2006 Miani Ribolla Gialla and the 2004 Jermann Capo Martino. Both were quite good, but only offering about $35 of pleasure right now. Some day though...
Bonhams' Pre-Auction Wine Tasting: Massandra Collection
Tue, 15 Jan 2008 18:29:01 GMT
Can they make great wine in the Ukraine? Of course they can, and they have been at Massandra, in the Crimea (Yalta), for more than one hundred years. On November 30th, we tasted one dozen Massandra wines at Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco.
Reminder: Deadline entries for Wine Blogging Wednesday #41
Mon, 14 Jan 2008 20:03:53 GMT
A short reminder: For those of your participating, please submit your entry for WBW#41 by the end of Wednesday, January 16, 2008.
Again, the theme is the excellent white wines of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Northeastern Italy.
Tue, 08 Jan 2008 23:07:36 GMT
We introduce this page with four Sevens:
• Seven Extraordinary White Wines made from unheralded grape varietals
• Seven Great Grower Champagne Producers
• Seven Great Sonoma County
Pinot Noir Producers
• Seven Popular, Pricey Napa Wineries not favored by Wine Geeks
Update: Food and Wine Blogs that Score!
Tue, 08 Jan 2008 22:40:18 GMT
Blogs that Score
is one page at Fork & Bottle which gets updated ten or more times a year. Five recent additions I'd like to bring to your attention are:
– Heath Putnam has some amazing posts here about the raising and slaughtering of pigs (with a gourmet bent).
What to Eat
– Marion Nestle frequently blogs on the food issues of the day.
Grow Better Veggies
– Cynthia Sandberg (Love Apple Farm) shares her expert knowledge on growing biodynamic vegetables.
Two wine blogs, The Picky Eater
(Keith Levenberg) and Rockss and Fruit
(Lyle Fass) are written by New Yorkers who know an awful lot about wine, despite being just 30- and 33-years-old (respectively).
And, if I had to choose a Blog of the Year, I would give it to The Ethicurean
. Bonnie Powell distills the news on food issues, food concerns and food politics, making it possible for the rest of us to keep up and be informed on the subject.
2007 Photos from our Gardens
Tue, 01 Jan 2008 00:28:33 GMT
It's winter, so although not much is happening in the garden right now, our gardens from 2007 are worth a second look. This page is a collection of photos from our garden for the 2007 calendar year including photos of a couple of unusual additions and visitors.
Great Cheese Find: Cahill's Porter
Sat, 22 Dec 2007 23:55:02 GMT
Joanne's latest cheese find is Cahill's Porter, an Irish farmhouse cheese made with Porter from County Limerick.
Food Sevens - Top 7 Food-related Lists
Thu, 20 Dec 2007 22:10:38 GMT
We introduce this page with five Sevens:
• Seven Real Reasons to Buy Organic Food (the one Jack is most proud)
• Seven Cookbooks that get a lot of use in our Kitchen
• Seven Ingredients you never want to find in a food you’re about to Eat
• Seven Favorite Antique Apple Varieties
• Seven Notable American Heritage Turkeys
Restaurant Review: Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, CA
Tue, 18 Dec 2007 23:00:05 GMT
We finally return to the Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg (CA), after dining there twice, five years ago. It has improved, but we're still not loving it. The Ahi Tuna Tartare rocked, though, along with the grapefruit and orange sorbets.
WBW #40: Carver Sutro and Switchback Ridge
Fri, 14 Dec 2007 17:20:37 GMT
This month's theme, chosen by Megan (Wannabee Wino), is wine made from the Petite Sirah grape, also known as Durif. Of the two wines we drank, the 2002 Switchback Ridge was big and alcoholic, and the 2002 Carver Sutro was more balanced and food-friendly.
More Cheese Book Reviews
Wed, 12 Dec 2007 22:21:26 GMT
Joanne reviews five more Cheese books:
• Cheese & Wine by Janet Fletcher
• The Cheese Deck by Max McCalman & David Gibbons
• The Cheese Lover’s Companion
by Sharon Tyler Herbst & Ron Herbst
• The Murray's Cheese Handbook
by Rob Knafelt
• Vermont Cheese Book
by Ellen Coke-Ogden
Restaurant Review: AOC in Los Angeles (A|O|C)
Tue, 11 Dec 2007 21:22:38 GMT
Two new reviews: Jack dines alone, and then a second visit, with family. We like this restaurant/wine bar and, if we lived near enough in L.A., we would visit regularly.
Kids Cookbook & Gardening Book Reviews
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 19:35:20 GMT
Joanne reviews ten more Children's Cookbooks, Garden Books and Story Books:
• Fairytale Feasts by Jane Yolen & Heidi E.Y. Stemple
• My A to Z Recipe Box by Hilary Karmilowicz
• A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston, Illus. by Sylvia Long
• The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, Illus. by Shari Halpern
• Kids Cook 123 by Rozanne Gold
• Great Gardens for Kids
• The Magic School Bus Gets Baked In A Cake by Joanna Cole, Illus. by Bruce Degen
• The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad by Joanna Cole, Illus. by Bruce Degen
• The Magic School Bus In a Pickle by Joanna Cole, Illus. by Bruce Degen
• The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds by Joanna Cole, Illus. by Bruce Degen
Christmas Gingerbread House Gallery
Fri, 07 Dec 2007 20:46:05 GMT
Joanne and Trent have been building Gingerbread Houses for three years. We have compiled a gallery of Christmas Gingerbread House photos. 2007's houses are currently underconstruction (not up yet). Cross the yellow tape at your own risk.
Dining with Kids in Restaurants
Wed, 05 Dec 2007 05:11:50 GMT
While we're far from experts on parenting, we think that kids should get to eat real food at nice restaurants. Joanne offers encouragement to parents and then explains the rules plus tips, tricks and gadgetry to make it a success.
Fork & Bottle's Cheese Sevens
Fri, 30 Nov 2007 23:45:39 GMT
This is the debut of a new F&B feature - Lists of Sevens. We're starting with four lists for Cheese:
• Seven Great Irish Farmhouse Cheeses
• Seven Great Fondue Cheeses
• Seven Cheeses to Eat with Beer
• Seven Great California Cheeses
Fork & Bottle Pantry Feature: Butter Resources
Thu, 29 Nov 2007 19:29:11 GMT
We love butter. Unsalted, salted. We've been tasting the butters of the world and Joanne has compiled a list of the ones we've tasted. A few years ago we even hosted a butter tasting. This page will grow and expand as we sample more butter and find more butter sources.
A Guide to Buying Wine at Auction
Tue, 27 Nov 2007 05:08:36 GMT
If you ever have considered buying wine at auction, Jack's guide will lead you through many of the ins and outs of choosing where to bid and how to be successful. The focus is on purchasing Drinking wines rather than Collectible wines.
How to Build a Gingerbread House Kit
Fri, 23 Nov 2007 23:19:22 GMT
Joanne, for the first time, mixes and bakes the walls of a Gingerbread House using a bake-your-own ginger bread house kit. Although this page is not a step-by-step instruction set, it's close enough that most questions you'll have are answered. (It's not rocket science, but it does take some careful planning.)
How to make a Party or Holiday Cheese Platter
Thu, 22 Nov 2007 00:39:23 GMT
Putting together a holiday cheese platter? This quick guide from Joanne might help expand conservative cheeselover's horizons and their guests. Included are tips on plating and choosing cheeses as well as ideas on what cheeses to choose for your holiday cheese plate. Joanne also offers some suggestions for more kid-friendly cheeses.
Countdown to Thanksgiving Dinner 2007
Wed, 28 Nov 2007 17:56:00 GMT
This is our third year of Joanne doing a diary leading up to our Thanksgiving meal. This year, we're having one of the rarer breeds of heritage turkeys, a Slate Blue. Except for the wines, just about everything being served is local, organic and/or from the farmers' market.
Updated with final photos, menu and text.
WBW #39: Vincent Dureuil and Guillemot-Michel
Tue, 20 Nov 2007 17:45:32 GMT
This month's theme, chosen by Neil (Brooklynguy), is Burgundy from the Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise. A biodynamically grown wine we chose was the 2005 Guillemot-Michel Macon-Villages Quintaine. It was delicious and very appealing right now - restaurant ready. The 2005 Vincent Dureuil-Janthial Rully 1er Cru Vieilles Vignes was in need of at least several years, if not more, before we would be loving it. (It took three days for it start to come around, showing great promise.)
Both of our wines really impressed us and we would buy them again.
Recipe: Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta & Walnuts
Mon, 19 Nov 2007 22:39:30 GMT
Brussels Sprouts get a bad rap. Perhaps restaurants are to blame, as my father complains constantly (he loves brussel sprouts) that all the restaurant ones he gets are undercooked and inedible (or cooked to horrid mush).
I've converted a number of confirmed brussels sprouts haters at Thanksgiving with this recipe. Simply, they are nicely cooked with some bacon, butter & crispy walnuts. These brussel sprouts have a mild flavor and a nice al dente texture. They are easy to partially make ahead and finish the day of. We'll likely have them this way again this year (with Boccalone pancetta), as we scored the very last "club" at the farmers' market.
Bet you didn't know: It is spelled both brussels sprouts and brussel sprouts.
Great Holiday Kitchen Gadgets & Essential Items for the Kitchen
Mon, 19 Nov 2007 00:23:11 GMT
We've updated our page for the Holidays. All items we've tested and can truly recommend. - Joanne
A gift for the Cooking Engineer – the ultimate thermometer – and the one I use everyday:
Thermapen Digital Thermometer
A gift for those who use a lunchbox or lunchbag - For the Daily Zen of Lunch:
Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless-Steel Lined Lunch Jar, Silver
For the cook who likes to make gratins: Kyocera Adjustable Ceramic Slicer
For the cook who'd like to make perfect rice everytime: Zojirushi NH-VBC18 10-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System
For the cook who is serious about stews and soups (or roasting!): Le Creuset French Ovens
For leftovers - an alternative to plastic wrap: Silicone Universal Lids
A gift for seafood lovers: The best lobster & seafood cracker: Zyliss Lobster/Seafood Crackers
A gift for a Cook who makes Gravy or Stock: Glass Fat Separator
A gift that will please the dishwasher: Cucina Detergent
A gift for teflon users: A better choice than regular teflon - Look Cookware
My Favorite Kitchen Pan and the most versatile piece of All-Clad I own: All-Clad Ltd 13" Braiser
A great gift for tea drinkers - The best way to boil water: Simplex Coil Bottom Kettle (for gas stove tops)
A great gift for coffee lovers: KitchenAid Pro Coffee Grinder & Bodum Thermal Stainless Coffee French Press
Great gifts for cooks who love to bake:
An Awesome Spatula: Chef'n Silicone Switchit Spatula
The very best whisk: Rösle Flat Whisk
The essential item for a baker or roaster: Silpat Food Grade Silicone Mat
Great hostess gifts for cooks:
The Ultimate Spice, Cheese & Chocolate Grater: Microplane Graters
The best cutting boards: Epicurean Grooved Cutting Surfaces
The ultimate best oven mitts: Duncan Industries: Kitchen Grips Oven Mitts
For the cook who has everything: For Sharper Knifes without Fear: Füri Rachel Ray TechEdge Pro Knife Sharpening System
A great gift for a BBQ enthusiast: Outset Non-Stick Grill Basket – Copper
Restaurant Reviews: Plumpjack Cafe in Squaw Valley
Sat, 17 Nov 2007 22:05:13 GMT
Plumpjack Cafe is the most upscale dining spot in Squaw Valley. And like every other Plumpjack-owned restaurant that we've dined at, it has a hotel chain-feel to it, rather than an independent feel. So, they don't many chances with the food and the wine list is more boring than it should be. We'll reluctantly go back, but we really think they can improve if they just had the desire to.
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Baked in a Pumpkin
Fri, 16 Nov 2007 21:46:03 GMT
Was this the original Thanksgiving pumpkin pie? Who knows, but it tastes great and is even a fun cooking project to do with your junior chef...
Restaurant Review: Graham's at Squaw Valley, CA
Thu, 15 Nov 2007 23:15:49 GMT
We were excited about visiting Grahams after viewing their winelist online. Too bad the food that evening didn't justify the high prices. Do we need to pay a $12 entree tax just because we're in ski country?
Great Cheese Find: Selles sur Cher
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:29:54 GMT
Joanne's latest cheese find is the renowned AOC Selles sur Cher from the Loire Valley. This ash-covered goat cheese has intense acidity, while its complexity speaks of its terroir. Best in Spring and Fall.
Recipe: Cheese Herb Scones
Thu, 08 Nov 2007 02:01:00 GMT
Trent first made scones in a kid's cooking class. Joanne adapted a few recipes to end up with this one using a premium cheddar like Lincolnshire Poacher and fresh herbs from the garden. The bread flour makes this scones more like buns and they are a great cooking project for little cooks; they are very easy to make and the results are delicious. Try them with soup, as an after school snack, with dinner or even as Thanksgiving side dish!
Restaurant Reviews: Where to Dine in Squaw Valley (nr. Tahoe)
Fri, 02 Nov 2007 21:28:07 GMT
Here are our reviews of the casual restaurants in the Village at Squaw, including Plumpjack Balboa Café Squaw Valley, Auld Dubliner Irish Pub, Fireside Pizza, Mamasake and Plumpjack Bar. The Plumpjack Bar is the best of the lot. We also visit the new and only wine store, Uncorked - Wine Store & Wine Bar.
Spooky Kids Halloween Party
Tue, 30 Oct 2007 21:55:56 GMT
Joanne and Trent threw a Halloween party last year and Joanne wrote up some notes about the party preparations. They made swamp punch, frog burgers, pumpkin cakes and tombstone cupcakes. In addition, they made popcorn ghosts to decorate the table and, for the guests to take home.
These Pumpkin Cakes
are not too sweet - more like a pumpkin muffin but the icing, which is tinted with natural food coloring, made them really cute for the party. Joanne ended up serving them on a bed of green tinted coconut (grass).
Wine Tasting: Terry Theise Grower Champagnes Fall 2007 Tasting
Fri, 26 Oct 2007 17:35:32 GMT
This was my third time tasting through Terry Theise's Grower Champagne lineup. I tasted all 67 wines that were available that day. I've long been a fan of Vilmart and they were showing really well, again. But quite a few others really impressed me, too.
Afterwards, I tasted some other wines available from Winewise, with the Tissot and the Lopez de Heredia standing out strong.
Restaurant Review: Unnamed Cafe in Geyserville, CA
Wed, 24 Oct 2007 01:31:18 GMT
Formerly the Chateau Souverain restaurant, the Unnamed Cafe has a beautiful view. The food is good enough to stop at when you're hungry and in this area (which has few restaurants). But, it's not a destination and the wine list is only for those who want to drink the wines of Rosso & Bianco. (Good thing they have beer!)
WBW #38: 2005 Quinta do Crasto Reserva Old Vines
Tue, 16 Oct 2007 19:59:34 GMT
This month's theme is dry Portugese wine. We have reviewed the 2005 Quinta do Crasto Reserva Vinhas Velhas from the Douro. It is a wonderful red field-blend of perhaps 30 varietals that wowed us with it's concentration and balance. Worth buying and cellaring.
Recipe: Zucchini Mini Muffins
Thu, 11 Oct 2007 18:55:32 GMT
Joanne and Trent create a delicious recipe for those spare zucchinis in your garden.
Restaurant Review: Solbar in Calistoga, CA
Fri, 05 Oct 2007 18:15:21 GMT
A visit to Solbar, the restaurant at the new Napa Valley resort, Solage, proves to be a pleasant lunch spot. Joanne really liked their handmade Potato Gnocchi with summer vegetables, local herbs and hobb's pancetta. The Gulf Shrimp & Vegetable salad was pleasing:
Wine Tasting: Bonhams & Butterfields Pre-Auction Tasting 9/2007
Mon, 01 Oct 2007 18:41:56 GMT
Last week, we attended another worthwhile tasting at Bonhams & Butterfields. The standouts included the 2001 Dujac Bonnes Mares,
the 1975 Stag’s Leap SLV Lot 3,
the 1997 Voerzio Barolo La Serra
and the 1998 Chapoutier Ermitage Les Meal.
A half-dozen first-growth Bordeaux were all quite good but none rocked.
Restaurant Review: Bar Crudo in San Francisco
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 23:45:29 GMT
Our first meal exceeded our expectations at Bar Crudo, a small restaurant in San Francisco near Union Square. We are quite eager to return for their excellent seafood, such as their Lobster Salad, coupled with a wonderful beer list.
Restaurant Review: Blue Water Cafe in Vancouver, BC
Wed, 19 Sep 2007 01:33:21 GMT
Blue Water Cafe was our favorite restaurant during our short stay in Vancouver, BC this last April. Simply put, this restaurant specializes in seafood and it's excellent. We are eager to return.
WBW #37: 2002 Terlano Lagrein Porphyr Riserva
Fri, 14 Sep 2007 20:25:42 GMT
The theme this month is indigenous grape varietals, chosen by Tyler (Dr. Vino's wine blog). We chose a red wine grape, lagrein, which is native to Alto Adige. Our 2002 Terlano Porphyr is an excellent wine, but would be better with additional aging, as it's still tight, even after being open for more than five days.
Restaurant Review: Oliveto in Oakland, CA
Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:20:47 GMT
We finally made it to one of Oliveto's Oceanic dinners. We feasted on a diverse selection of seafood. The pink sea bream was excellent and we loved the shaved octopus. (One of the special wines of the night totally rocked, too.)
Wine Tasting: 2007 Family Winemakers
Tue, 11 Sep 2007 05:51:38 GMT
Jack focused mostly on whites this time and was quite pleased with the Chasseur Chardonnays. The wines from Ramey, Calera (Mills vineyard pinot noir vertical) and Littorai also stood out.
Restaurant Review: Manresa in Los Gatos, CA
Thu, 06 Sep 2007 19:47:33 GMT
Finally, we write up our two dinners at the heralded Manresa in Los Gatos, CA. Our 22-course meal last year was spectacular. This year's Alain Passard-L'Arpege dinner was a wonderful tribute to spring vegetables. Manresa is definitely worth a special trip.
Great Cheese Find: Seelander
Tue, 04 Sep 2007 18:29:15 GMT
Joanne's latest cheese find is Seelander, a selection of the reknowned Swiss affineur, Rolf Beeler. It is Gruyere-like in nature, making it a great addition to a Fondue, but is wonderful on its own. Seelander has a long finish.
Restaurant Review: West County Grill in Sebastopol, CA
Thu, 30 Aug 2007 22:34:44 GMT
We enjoyed our visit to this bright new restaurant in Sebastopol. The atmosphere at West County Grill is appealing and the food was good. We liked the emphasis on using local suppliers and that they have a wood-oven. We'll happily return for another meal there soon.
Recipe: Fried Gubbeen
Mon, 27 Aug 2007 17:10:32 GMT
Joanne's Fried Gubbeen cheese recipe was inspired by a lunch item at a pub in County Cork. Gubbeen is a wonderful washed rind Irish Farmhouse Cheese (which is imported into the US) but you could also use any washed rind cheese for this recipe. It makes a wonderful accompaniment to a salad or appetizer.
Restaurant Review: Odyssey in Windsor, CA
Sat, 25 Aug 2007 01:57:19 GMT
Our first visit to Odyssey, the new hot restaurant in Windsor, CA, garnered mixed feelings. There is definite promise in the food and the choice of ingredients, but we felt as if there was still some ironing out to do on the details.
Wine Tasting: The Sorting Table
Wed, 15 Aug 2007 21:42:03 GMT
An excellent tasting of The Sorting Table's portfolio. The White Burgundies from Remoissonet and Henri Boillot were outstanding amongst a strong field of wines.
Restaurant Review: Rodney's Oyster House in Vancouver, BC
Tue, 14 Aug 2007 00:58:00 GMT
During our short foray to Vancouver, BC in April, we made a point of asking for the locations of the best oyster joint. Rodney's was by far named the most, so off we headed. We can see the appeal. Rodney's is a casual, pleasant spot, with a great raw bar. We would happily return to feast there again on oysters.
Restaurant Review: Rare in Vancouver, BC
Wed, 08 Aug 2007 21:59:21 GMT
The Aldergrove Duck Breast was singing at Rare. The food was quite good but the service was a bit too in your face. Still, we would definitely return.
Side note: Our four-year-old did his first tasting menu, eating most of the courses.
Artisan Charcuterie Resources
Mon, 06 Aug 2007 20:58:46 GMT
Joanne has assembled a great shopping resource of companies offering artisan charcuterie which practice sustainable or good farming or that use heritage meats. It's a work in progress so keep checking back.
Recipe: Melon Sorbet
Fri, 03 Aug 2007 17:50:46 GMT
A simple, fun recipe for making melon sorbet from most any kind of sweet melon. Make it with your kid(s)!
Restaurant Review: 'wichcraft in San Francisco
Wed, 01 Aug 2007 20:08:22 GMT
A lunch at 'wichcraft was a bit better than the reviews we had read but still, this is not a destination. Before or after a movie at the Metreon or shopping at Westgate, it beats the chain restaurants in the area.
Eight Cookbook Reviews
Mon, 30 Jul 2007 19:58:01 GMT
Joanne reviews eight more cookbooks:
• The Ballymaloe Bread Book by Tim Allen
• Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine
by Daniel Boulud and Melissa Clark
• Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger
• Michael Mina: The Cookbook by Michael Mina
• Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
The other three reviews are on this page
• Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon
by Claudia Roden
• Instant Entertaining from Donna Hay
• Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant
by Yoshihiro Murata
Great Cheese Find: Timanoix
Thu, 26 Jul 2007 19:25:05 GMT
Joanne discovers Timanoix, a soft cow's milk cheese brought into the US by affineur Pascal Beillevaire.
Update: Kids' Food Books and Kids' Cookbooks
Mon, 23 Jul 2007 21:05:29 GMT
Joanne reviews seven more books:
Ratatouille (movie tie-in)
The Paper Bag Prince by Colin Thompson
How to Make An Apple Pie by Marjorie Priceman
A Kid’s Herb Book by Lesley Tierra
Sweet Treats by Carolyn Beth Weil
Fun Foods by Stephanie Rosenbaum
There's a Hair in My Dirt by Gary Larson
The Artisan & Farmstead Cheese Pairing Project
Thu, 12 Jul 2007 16:18:18 GMT
Fork & Bottle, along with some cheese-aficionado bloggers, tested pairings with more than a dozen cheeses: Black Gold, Comté, Cone de Port Aubry, Fleur Verte, Garrotxa "La Bauma", Kuntener, Langres,
Picolo, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Pozo Tomme, Pt. Reyes Blue, Queso de Obeja Blanda, Red Hawk and St. George.
Restaurant Review: K and L Bistro in Sebastopol, CA
Tue, 03 Jul 2007 00:22:09 GMT
Our latest visits to K & L Bistro find the food mostly delicious, but don't be in a hurry as the kitchen is small and our main courses arrive slowly. K and L is a great casual wine country spot and can be a successful dinner with kids, too.
We always order the Fritto Misto now, too:
Recipe: Raspberry Lemonade
Sat, 30 Jun 2007 22:28:29 GMT
Joanne and Trent whip up and perfect homemade raspberry lemonade.
Wine Book Reviews
Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:59:55 GMT
Jack has reviewed more wine books. His favorites are:
4000 Champagnes by Richard Juhlin
Italian Wines 2007 from Gambero Rosso
The Wines of France by Jacqueline Friedrich