February 13, 2002 |
How to impress someone with a nice meal in a short amount of time? Serve grilled swordfish. It's impressive on the dinner plate--perfect for Valentine's Day. Try grilling it on a stove-top grill pan--these are a nice addition to any kitchen. Look for the ones made from cast iron, they'll get hotter. Best of all, a stove-top pan will keep you inside rather than running out to the grill while your valentine waits.
February 4, 2014 |
Crisp and nervy, this Txakolina from the Spanish Basque country has more depth than most and a welcome minerality. Scented with Key lime and jasmine, it ends on a slight bitter note, just enough to make you want to take another sip. A serious wine. Of course, it's a brilliant match with crudo or sushi, a chilled seafood platter or grilled fish. Have it with salt-cured anchovies drizzled with olive oil, which is what winemakers typically serve with their Txakolina in the tasting room.
May 19, 2011 |
Bear Flag Fish Co. is the seafood wonderland we all long for on idle summer days, a fish market-cum-restaurant where brilliant slabs of tuna glint like rubies and the spindrift of crashing waves hangs in the air. It's minimalism at its seafaring best — Bear Flag understands that often all a fish needs is a satisfying char and the salty rush of a beach breeze. The restaurant sprouted from between the corporate cracks of Newport Beach's Balboa Peninsula. Since it opened in 2008, owner Thomas Carson, a Newport native who grew up working on his father's commercial fishing boat, has seen Bear Flag blossom.
September 16, 2009 |
Hot days are not going away any time soon, and so begins the search for that elusive bottle -- a crisp, refreshing white for less than $10. I've found one in the 2008 Las Colinas del Ebro from Spain. Clean, cool and crisp, with hints of tropical fruit yet very dry, this is a basic summer white to keep chilled in the fridge, ready to break out at a moment's notice. Drink it as an aperitif, with bruschetta and jamÃ³n serrano , with salads and soups, a simple grilled fish.
May 5, 2011 |
In glorious warm weather like this, if you're going to drink a Chardonnay, make it something crisp and minerally like this fine Macon. The fruit carries hints of celery seed, anise and melon. Lithe and elegant, this Maconnais Chardonnay isn't weighed down with oak. The price is right too, from this undervalued region. Drink it with a classic bruschetta — inch-thick toasted country bread rubbed with a garlic clove and drowned in extra virgin olive oil. It's wonderful with seared scallops too. Or grilled fish stuffed with wild fennel and herbs.
July 7, 2012 |
The Bandol rosé with which I celebrate birthdays and most major warm weather occasions now, Domaine Tempier, costs about $40 a bottle. I've still got a couple of bottles tucked away, but I'm on the hunt for alternatives. Previously, I've loved Pradeaux and Domaine Sorin. Domaine Dupuy de Lôme (don't let the difficult-to-remember name put you off) is a real find. The vineyard is sustainably farmed, which is expensive, yet Gérald Damidot is producing a beautiful Bandol rosé for about $20. A blend of 70% Mourvedre with 20% Grenache and the balance Cinsault, the 2011 is dry and zesty with notes of apricot and rose petals and a complexity that makes it ideal for summer foods.