February 14, 2014 |
Have you ever tried the beets and berries at Rustic Canyon? Because the dish is kind of mind-blowing when you think about it, a mess of roasted beets and purple quinoa in a rustic pottery bowl. There are herbs scattered over the top, and a few crisply roasted pistachios, and a few chunks of buttery, ripe Reed avocado, along with a seedy smear of slightly unripe mashed berries that seems to be there more for its fragrance and acidity than for any particular flavor. There may be a hint of dairy, and I seem to remember a version of this dish with creamed horseradish, but it could probably pass as one of those vegan feel-good bowls at a place like Real Food Daily or Café Gratitude - at least until you realize that you have powered your way to the bottom without half realizing it, and that the berries are doing unspeakably wonderful things to the avocado and that this may be the first bowl of quinoa you have eaten with pleasure since the last time you went to Peru.
February 14, 2014 |
Typically, wine clubs have had about as much coolness factor as the old Columbia Record Club. No serious wine drinkers would have ever considered joining such a club. But now a handful of new wine clubs is changing the game with selections focused on Santa Barbara wines, grand cru Burgundy or natural wines. Bottles are hand-picked, often highly allocated (i.e. hard to find), come with tasting notes and/or recipes - and inside is something you'd actually like to drink. Some clubs cater to what you already like.
February 13, 2014 |
Hard to believe, but the 2005 is the latest release of the LAN Gran Reserva. Rioja works on a different time scale than the rest of the wine world, releasing its reds only when they're ready to drink. The 2005, mostly Tempranillo with just 10% each Mazuelo and Garnacha, still tastes youthful. Such a pretty wine with notes of cherry, spice and earth - and a pleasant rasp of tannin. Perfect for a plate of jamón ibérico and chorizo. Region: Rioja, Spain Price: About $20 Style: Supple and balanced What it goes with: Prosciutto or serrano ham, beans with chorizo, baby lamb chops Where to find it: BestWinesOnline, (888)
February 5, 2014 |
What is a Tuesday Night Wine? A friend used the term one evening as we were sipping an expensive wine -- a dense, smoky Côte-Rôtie from the northern Rhone -- for a birthday celebration. Tuesday Night Wine was definitely not what we were drinking. Her definition: an everyday wine, something that's usually under $15 or, on a stretch, under $20. Something to drink with a regular dinner -- meat loaf, sauteed chicken, pork chops, maybe pasta or a stir-fry. She had her usual picks but was tired of drinking the same wines all the time, so she asked me for some suggestions.
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.
January 30, 2014 |
Driving to Silver Lake the other day to visit his father, Leonardo DiCaprio passed through the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, the neighborhood where he spent the first nine years of his life. Back then, DiCaprio says, he'd be in the car, riding to and from school, and see micro-skirted prostitutes on every corner. In the alleyway near his home, he'd occasionally notice people smoking crack and shooting heroin. "I try to tell my godson, who lives close to that area, what it was like, how there used to be a major prostitution ring on my street corner, crime and violence everywhere.