Events
Hedonist's Gazette

Charity Dinner at the Oregon Grille, Baltimore

The best restaurant outside Baltimore, in rural northern Baltimore County is the Oregon Grille. I have long been a fan of Chef Mark Henry, although I don't think this restaurant has fully utilized his talents. It's basically a steak and lobster house where Chef Henry is permitted to do a few innovative dishes for the locals. However, there are some things he does better than anybody, and that includes some of my favorite French chefs. He creates incredible soft shell...

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Charity/Award Dinner, Baltimore

The National Jewish Research Hospital gave me their annual Spirit of Achievement Award at a catered dinner held in Baltimore. Knowing it was going to be catered, I suspected the wines might be lousy. I wasn't completely wrong, although a local wholesaler did donate one attractive wine, the 1998 La Vieille Cure from Fronsac. Knowing I would be at the head table with some serious wine lovers, I brought jeroboams of 1989 Grand Mayne St.-Emilion, 1989 Haut-Brion, 1982 La Conseillante, and 1990 Vieux-Château-Certan. These were...

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At the French Counsel's Office in New York City

The outstanding chef from Paris's Hotel Bristol prepared a sumptuous meal for the ceremony where I was awarded the top honor from the International Academy of Gastronomy. All the wines were delicious, with the white Burgundy being the least distinguished. The 1988 Albion is a great buy for readers looking for a modern-styled Spanish red with oodles of flavor as well as new oak. The remarkably young 1975 Vega Sicilia Unico is a sensational effort revealing some maturity, but exceptional depth and youthfulness. The...

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Big Time Aussie Night

Getting psyched for three-plus weeks Down Under, I thought I would open a half dozen of the blockbuster Australian Shirazes. I also wanted to do something I like to do with young wine, re-cork the bottle and go back to it over the course of a subsequent four or five days to see to what extent there is oxidation and/or a positive development. The wines were chosen on a night where I kept the meal very simple — grilled sirloin...

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30th Anniversary of the 1971 Barolo/Barbaresco's

What can you say about the amazing cooking of Daniel Boulud? From the opening dish of foie gras and figs, to an amazing Boulud gazpacho of toro of tuna with heirloom tomatoes, followed by veal tongue, white truffles, risotto with mushrooms and zucchini, rainbow trout stuffed with bacon, a remarkable guinea hen stuffed with foie gras, and Boulud's classic, stick-to-the-gut short ribs, it was another tour de force in cooking. As for the wines, once again Coche-Dury's 1995 Corton-Charlemagne was nearly perfect. Sadly, I consumed my entire...

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A Charity Dinner at Restaurant Daniel, NY

The menu at this charity dinner included sardines with oven-baked onions in olive oil, pine nuts, and anchovy juice, sea scallops in a corn clam chowder with root vegetables and prosciutto, roasted monkfish with cured lard and braised cabbage, rabbit stew à la Provençal, ravioli of rabbit livers and foie gras, pork with roasted garlic, summer squash gratin and crispy flowers, stuffed squab with fresh figs and foie gras, chipped beef fries and spinach, Côte de Boeuf and stuffed marrow bone...

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1998 Châteauneuf du Pape Extravaganza, Four Seasons, New York

This was the second tasting of these wines, because the first, held several months earlier, was so extraordinary. I wrote this tasting up, for the most part, in Issue 138 of The Wine Advocate. While the food was not up to the standards of restaurant Daniel, it was still very good. But the wines were even better at the Four Seasons than they were two months earlier at Daniel, vindicating my belief that this vintage for Châteauneuf du Pape is putting on enormous...

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Charity Dinner, Oregon Grill, Hunt Valley, Maryland

he Menu: This is one of Baltimore as well as its suburbs' finest restaurants. With the Chardonnay flight, we had the exquisite Maryland soft shell crabs in a beurre blanc with mustard seeds. The second course was planked salmon served with mashed potatoes and a red wine sauce made out of a reduction of Bordeaux. The third course was straightforward New York strip steak with creamed spinach, mushrooms, and crispy onions. The dessert was crème brulée. Flight One: As for the wines,...

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Charity Dinner at the Hay-Adams Hotel, Washington, DC

Sadly, the food from the restaurant at Hay-Adams was mediocre, but the wines made up for it. I have already referred to the great 1989 Laville-Haut Brion, a youthful, vigorous wine with 40 years of longevity. The 1995 Kistler Chardonnay Cuvée Cathleen is vibrant, full-bodied, gorgeously textured, ripe, and complex Chardonnay that probably has another five years of life left in it. The youthfulness of the 1982 Bordeaux continues to amaze even me. Not surprisingly, from large format bottles, they taste like four...

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