May 28, 2012

Spring Eats at Cakes & Ale

Stopped in at Cakes & Ale for a quick bite last week. I feel silly heaping praise on Cakes & Ale at this point as I seem to do that monthly. I'm just thankful they are in my neighborhood; if you haven't been lately, you are missing out. The duck dish above, with pole beans, pickled beets, and whipped potatoes was a standout. The duck skin was nicely crisped with the meat a perfect med-rare.
The wood oven roasted spring vegetables topped with lightly scrambled eggs was also tasty. We also tried the bresola with fennel, arugula, and pecorino salad; as well as the "crouton" with fresh ricotta, early tomato, pole beans, and pesto.
Prior to drinking the 1998 Louis Jadot Corton Pougets we brought in, I tried The Desperado off the cocktail list. Consider it a from-scratch Margarita made with Partida blanco, lime juice, bitter lemon soda, cilantro, and Agave nectar. A good cocktail for a warm spring evening.

May 21, 2012

Jura Wine from Le Caveau in Chamblee

If you follow this blog at all, you know I spend a lot of time drinking wines from Burgundy. However, as much as I'd like to do this all the time, my wallet does not allow me to do so. Consequently, I do have to look for interesting wines from other regions (still mostly in France) from time to time. I have lately discovered an infinity for wines from the Loire Valley.

A couple of weeks ago, I was turned on to some interesting wines by my friends at Le Caveau Wines in Chamblee. On a recent visit to Le Caveau last week I was able to try some wines from the Jura region in France.
The Jura, France's smallest winemaking region, is located about 50 miles southeast of Burgundy as one heads towards Switzerland. The wines of the Jura, not unlike the region itself, are rugged, interesting wines that speak of a place. I recently popped a bottle of the 2007 Michel Gahier "La Fauquette," a Chardonnay from the Arbois commune in the Jura. This is an edgy Chardonnay bursting with rugged acidity and a rich palate. The wine is available at Le Caveau for around $30. They also have some nice Pinot and Poulsard from Jacques Puffeney you can see in the pic above.

May 15, 2012

Spring Eats at No. 246 in Decatur

    I recently had another tasty, seasonal-inspired meal at No. 246 in Decatur. I hadn't visited in a few 
    months and really enjoyed the spring-focused menu last weekend. The carrot and ricotta Agnolotti  
    with spring peas and baby carrots pictured above was a hit. As was the pork rillettes with   
    beet-pickled egg pictured below.
A spring pea soup with pancetta was disposed of in quick time.
Pan seared trout with fennel, radishes, olives, local Swiss chard.
    I can't say I've ever had an 'off' experience in my many visits to No. 246. Whether it's lunch or dinner,
    there is attention to detail, cooking with local, seasonal ingredients, and the welcoming feel of a local
    hangout. I'm glad they're in the neighborhood.
No. 246 on Urbanspoon

May 13, 2012

The Grain Bowl at The Bakery at Cakes & Ale

I hadn't been to The Bakery at Cakes & Ale for lunch in a few months before my visit last week. I tried several things, but the grain bowl was the most memorable, per usual. A tasty, healthy, and comforting bowl of Beluga lentils, quinoa, pumpkinseed oil, peppedew peppers, scallions and feta cheese. There are variations on this theme often at Cakes, and it never disappoints. That's all.

May 8, 2012

A Week in Pictures

I've been busy lately with not a lot of time for cooking, serious drinking, or other fun stuff. Here are some pics of what I have been up to, like drinking the Agrapart & Fils 7 Crus Brut Champagne above...
...along side some tasty Ad Hoc-style fried chicken.
Made some buttermilk biscuits.
They were tasty.
Drank a 1996 Robert Groffier Chambolle Musigny 1er Les Sentiers. A beautiful wine that is drinking well now, like many 1996s. 
Fried jalapenos and pickles at Big Tex in Decatur.
No, they aren't good for you, but they are damn tasty.
One of my favorite beers...Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning Uber Pils.
Drank a decent bubbly bottled by Mumm Napa for Carlos Santana's Milagro Foundation. It's a pretty good drink for a great cause. This bottle was provided to me free of charge as part of the MUSEXPO tasting last week.
I made some pizza Friday night. To be honest, it was just "good" again. I suppose it's time to break the oven to get the results I really want.

May 2, 2012

Tasting with MUSEXPO 2012

I recently was invited to participate in another Tastelive event, this time in conjunction with MUSEXPO 2012. MUSEXPO is an annual conference that brings together musicians, songwriters, and music industry professionals. The wine tasting event in conjunction with MUSEXPO was hosted by Ziggy the Wine Gal, a host of wine and beverage programs on television and radio. 
The wineries included this year included: Mumm Napa, Krutz Family Cellars, Kokomo, and Rodney Strong. I'll post more on some of the other wines soon, but the strongest wine of the lineup for me was the 2009 Krutz Family Cellars Syrah Stagecoach Vineyard.
From the Stagecoach Vineyard, perched at the edge of a canyon in Napa Valley, this Krutz Family syrah offers a cool climate, mineral-driven profile. The fruit is clean and restrained, with lots of earth and smells of autumn leave. The wine is similar to a northern Rhone Syrah, which is a good thing. A nice wine that I'd be happy to drink again.