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.
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.
April 25, 2011 |
Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley has a special character — minerally, lean, focused. At Domaine de la Charmoise in the Touraine, grapes from 40-year-old vines go into the signature Sauvignon Blanc "M. de Marionnet. " I love the notes of citrus and chalk coupled with a tart acidity and lingering finish. A perfect warm weather wine, it's great with chilled shellfish, Dungeness crab, steamed mussels and grilled fish. Keep an eye out for proprietor Henry Marionnet's Vinifera wines too, made from grapes from ungrafted vines.
August 12, 2010
Front Page Jamaican Grille LOCATION 1117 W. Manchester Blvd., No. C, Inglewood; (310) 216-9521. PRICE Entrees, $7 to $13; grilled fish, $15 to $20; sides, $1 to $4; drinks, $1 to $5. DETAILS Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Soft drinks and fresh fruit juices. Credit cards. Lot parking.
July 22, 2010
2009 Momo Sauvignon Blanc I don't know about you, but right now I'm looking for something crisp and cold to beat the heat. And this aromatic Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is just the bottle to do it. Made from grapes grown on three different vineyard sites in the Marlborough region, the 2009 Momo Sauvignon Blanc has lively fruit, notes of flint and stone, and a finish that has you going back to the glass for more. At less than $20, it's still a serious Sauvignon, delicious with chilled soups, seafood platters, composed salads and grilled or broiled fish.
March 4, 2010
Here's a lively, fresh Pinot Grigio from the vineyards of the Alto Adige region of Italy, near the Austrian border. Scented with flowers and sweet grasses, the 2008 St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio comes from a great little cooperative in the region. I'm taken with its bright acidity and touch of minerality, along with its notes of pear and ripe apple. Pinot Grigio is a tremendously versatile white wine that can go with all sorts of dishes. Minestrone and other rustic vegetable soups, pasta dishes, grilled fish and scampi come to mind first.
January 27, 2010
I once spent New Year's in a freezing summerhouse near Lake Garda in the Veneto region in northeast Italy, so cold I wore everything in my suitcase to bed. I remember drinking a wonderful white wine called Custoza that day, and I'm happy to report I just found one here. Corte Gardoni Bianco di Custoza blends Garganega, Trebbiano, Trebbianello and other local grapes to make a fresh, light wine. Pale gold in color, it is fresh and dry, with a lovely scent of apples and lime, very similar to a Soave in character.
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.
August 12, 2009 |
What can I say? The kind of weather we've been having the last few weeks cries out for rosÃ©, well chilled and lots of it. Though I will always love Domaine Tempier's Bandol rosÃ©, I just can't justify buying it anymore at close to $40 a bottle. But here's another favorite from the Bandol region from the excellent producer La Bastide Blanche with an equally charming rosÃ© at about half the price. Made from Mourvedre, it's bone-dry, with a hint of rose petals and lavender. I wish I were sitting in the little port at Bandol right now enjoying a bottle of rosÃ© and some soupe de poissons with croutons and a fiery rouille.