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would you go to picholine, bar boulud or nougatine before the opera?

Bar Boulud. Picholine is fantastic but an event in itself. Better to go to Pich when all you are doing is dinner.

Sep 06, 2009
nyjim in Manhattan

Wine storage

The types of wine storage I am considering are refrigerated, such as the Vintage Keeper, Eurocave, and other brands. I'm just not sure if these are adequate for long term storage. I have a basement, but it is a finished rec room and there is no space for a traditional wine cellar.

Sep 01, 2009
nyjim in Wine

Wine storage

Hi. I just started collecting wine and am interested in suggestions about products and methods. I was thinking of purchasing a wine storage cabinet with enough space for 100 to 200 bottles. That should give my collection room to grow without forcing me to purchase a new cabinet every year. I'm curious to know which makes and models others have used. Are you happy with yours? How long have you been using it? Should I keep all my wine in it, or only those bottles that I want to lay down for a long time. Frankly, I think it is handy to keep a case in a storage cube next to my bar, but if I need to change my habits I will.

Thanks in advance.

Jim

Sep 01, 2009
nyjim in Wine

Napa Recommendations

My wife and I visited Napa in July and enjoyed many of the wineries that people have already recommended to you. I agree that Frog's Leap should be high on your list. But there is a winery that does not stand out for architecture, setting, or food. It was just a fun stop with good wine. Check out Elizabeth Spencer's tasting room in Rutherford. It is a small space that was once the post office building. But the wine is great, the staff is friendly, and they have a pleasant patio upon which you can sit and enjoy their excellent wines.

Aug 20, 2009
nyjim in Wine

What's the big deal about Bottega?

Here's how our service went: We were told the wait for our table (we had reservations) would be 30 minutes, so we were given a Macaroni Grill style vibrating pager with flashing red LED lights and invited to sit at the bar or on the porch. We sat outside, and waited for a waitress who never looked in our direction once. Ten minutes later, the Chuck E. Cheese pager went off and we were sat at our table. For the next 20 minutes, we tried to get someone to come by to take our order for drink, food, or both. Finally, we flagged down the manager who took my wife's drink order and walked away before taking mine. Just as I was getting ready to walk out and go to find another place to eat, the manager hustled back and apologized for not taking my order. His excuse was that he thought we both wanted a glass of the same wine. Several minutes went by before someone delivered our drinks, but still no waiter or waitress visited our table. Wine finished, we hailed the manager again, who took our dinner orders in a rush. Honestly, my wife enjoyed her prosciutto and melon. I agreed with her. My salad was unmemorable. Personally, I think a restaurant can be judged by it's salads. Flavorful and fresh salads are the hallmark of thoughtful chefs. My salad might have been fresh, but the chef must not have liked the flavor of the greens because he drowned them in other flavors. A salad should be fresh and true to the flavors of its ingredients. This was not. As for our pasta dishes, all I can say is that they were fine. Nothing memorable, but not bad. All in all, this meal was not worth the money or the time.

Aug 14, 2009
nyjim in San Francisco Bay Area

What's the big deal about Bottega?

To start, I had the insalata del Bosco and my wife had prosciutto and melon. For our second course, I had the sea urchin risotto with shrimp and my wife had the parppardelle Bolognese. The pappardelle was fine, but not memorable and the risotto was poorly seasoned.

Aug 14, 2009
nyjim in San Francisco Bay Area

What's the big deal about Bottega?

My wife and I visited the Napa area in late July and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The wine, food, weather, and terrain dazzled our senses. One evening, we had the chance to dine at Bottega. The retaurant's reputation is as high as Michael Chiarrello's, but our experience was disappointing. The place was over-crowded and understaffed, and the food was nothing different from what you would get at a good NYC pasta joint. That's not to say that the food was bad. More to the point, it was uninspired. What really did Bottega in was the service. The staff was inattentive and overtaxed. A well-run restaurant would not overbook itself and punish its customers. I doubt that people in the Bay Area or Napa have to look far for good Italian, so why do they flock to a place that serves uninteresting food and treats its customers like cattle?

Aug 12, 2009
nyjim in San Francisco Bay Area