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eatmedrinkme's Profile

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Pairing Suggestions

So forgot to give the dinner update (if anyone cares?) Ended up bringing the Cloudy Bay Te Koko SB and prieur beaune du champs. Started with a beautifully done escargot that paired really nicely with both wines. I had the tarte and my wife started with the salad. the sav blanc paired nicely with both of these as well. The harrisa spiced ragout completely destroyed the burgundy and I had to request some bread of clear my palate to enjoy the rest of the wine after I finished my lamb. In hindsight the best wine to stand up to this dish would have been a whopper of a syrah (cote rotie) or a shiraz as many suggested. good suggestions from all thanks for the help

Nov 02, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Wine

Pairing Suggestions

@ chefjune: I was thinking the same about the bordeaux and piedmont wines, im sure I will find an excuse soon enough ;)

i do have trimach reisling that could fit the bill. I also think I will go with jaques prieur champ-pimont because your right about the versatility with both meat dishes.

Thanks again for all of your suggestions.

Sep 21, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Wine

Pairing Suggestions

thanks for the ideas. I do have a Guillard Cote Rotie that could work for the lamb.

Sep 21, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Wine

Pairing Suggestions

p.s. I have some older vintage/ready to drink 2nd growth bordeaux and barolo/barbaresco that I have been wanting to open to check in and see how they are developing if you think that may be fitting for the lamb and buffalo dishes. Was thinking about a 2005 Cloudy Bay Te Koko savvie for the sea bass. What do you think?

Sep 20, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Wine

Pairing Suggestions

Phoenix is celebrating Restaurant week and we have made reservations for a BYOB restaurant for dinner with some friends next weekend and am interested in some pairing suggestions. I already have some ideas but wanted to get some advise from the chow community. Here is the "restaurant week" menu at Coup Des Tartes:

First Course (choice of):
Three Onion Tarte: Our delicate sweet crust filled with caramelized shallots, leeks, onions, fresh herbs, a bit of bacon & Gruyere custard. Served with mixed greens.
Soup Du Jour: Freshly made, organic, soup of the day!
Harvest Salad: Mixed greens with organic apple, red onion, dried cranberries, chevre & candied walnuts tossed in apple cider vinaigrette.

Second Course (choice of):
Chilean Sea Bass: Roasted Chilean Sea Bass topped with a fresh grape, roasted pepper, and walnut salsa, drizzled with melted balsamic butter and served a top Israeli couscous with sauteed spinach.
Lamb Shank: 100% natural grass fed Australian lamb coated in warm spices and served Moroccan style atop couscous with a harrisa spiced vegetable ragout studded with dried fruits. Our house specialty!
American Buffalo (Bison): Oven roasted all natural bison topped with a shitake mushroom and tarragon sauce. Served with Saut�ed asparagus and lobster mashed potatoes.

Third Course (choice of):
Choice of four different freshly made decedent tartes.

Sep 20, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Wine

1st Anniversary Dinner, Need Some Tips

Thanks to all of the replies, we have special occasion destinations for years to come.

Aug 30, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

1st Anniversary Dinner, Need Some Tips

Unfortunately we are celebrating the weekend before Kai reopens.

Thank you for the open table link and the info on Posh, right now I think its the forerunner.

I wish we had the time and/or money to take a little trip to vegas, there are so many good places we haven't gotten to try yet.

Aug 24, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

1st Anniversary Dinner, Need Some Tips

Thanks for the coups des tartes suggestion! I hadn't heard of it before and I'm always looking for a good restaurant that byob.

Have been to NOCA don't think its really on par with Binkleys or Kai (they are just on another level). I also don't know that the atmosphere at NOCA is really fitting for an anniversary dinner.

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Binkley's
6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Aug 24, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

Vietnamese in Scottsdale/Phoenix area please!!!!!

We don't really care for Pho Avina. Nam Sao is definately our spot. owners are very friendly and accommodating as well.

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Pho Avina
4920 W Thunderbird Rd, Glendale, AZ 85306

Nam Sao
4349 W Bell Rd, Glendale, AZ 85306

Aug 24, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

1st Anniversary Dinner, Need Some Tips

As the title states we will be celebrating our first anniversary in a couple weeks. The night I proposed we ate at Kai, unfortunately, they are closed through late Sept. so that's out of the question.

Our favorite spot in the valley is Binkley's. We love his creativity, playfullness, and experimental nature. However, this being our "go to" place we were hoping to try something new that could possibly rival our experiences there.

I have been perusing the boards and based on others comments have compiled a short list.

Posh
Talavera
Vincents (We like french, french inspired)
Quiessence

I'm basically needing some suggestions or input that would help us narrow down the search. We would very much appreciate your help.

Thanks!

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Binkley's
6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Quiessence
6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

Aug 23, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

Vietnamese in Scottsdale/Phoenix area please!!!!!

My favorite place in the metro area is Nam Sao at 43rd Ave and Bell Rd. But I aslo live on the west side of town

Aug 23, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

Calling all desert dwelling Gastronauts, three part question about Italian Food Restaurants in Phoenix

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. Have been to quit a few of these and was looking for a place that we haven't tried, so got a few new places to hit now.

Jul 12, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

Calling all desert dwelling Gastronauts, three part question about Italian Food Restaurants in Phoenix

1. What are your favorite Italian places in Phoenix? Why?

2. Really looking for a good Italian Mom & Pop shop in West Phoenix. Any suggestions?

3. Where can I get good Osso Buco in Phoenix and the restaurant is BYOB?

Jun 21, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

Vegas Report: Twist

Thanks for all of the great reviews. We will be in vegas in february and want to have an awesome meal out at one of the many french inspired restaurants. We had planned on fleur de lis but from the sounds of it, maybe not the best place. Twist has received other rave reviews along with this one. So, on to my qujestion. Which french inspired restaurant would you chose to eat at in vegas, if only one?

Jan 13, 2010
eatmedrinkme in Las Vegas

Review Redux: Binkley's Restaurant (Cave Creek, AZ)

If you are lloking for a WOW experience than NOCA is out of the question IMO.

Dec 30, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

Review Redux: Binkley's Restaurant (Cave Creek, AZ)

You could go to NOCA it would be convenient and the food will be ok. But if you are willing to drive for excellence, Binkley's is your spot.

Dec 30, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

REVIEW: Lola's Tapas (800 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ‎)

My first ever review so please tell me what you think.

From the outside it doesn't look like much more than a hole in the wall restaurant in an area with many. I will admit that the sign reading "Lola's Tapas" has always caught our eye on the numerous occasions that we have passed it. Given the many good reviews, we figured it was time we tried it.

We enter the south-facing door to this one time house converted to restaurant and feel very comfortable in the lively, upbeat, and friendly yet tight quarters. The room is filled with lively patrons having far to great a time to notice the people coming in and out of the front door. Immediately greeted by a smile and welcome we are taken to available seating. The room is small and full, but not crowded or stuffy. The decor is punctuated by warm and dark colors and wood, with a youthful and eclectic "hip" vibe that somehow manages to speak Spanish. The seating is divided between higher bar type seating (not in front of a bar) and picnic bench type tables. Being asked if we would like to sit across from each other or next to each other Samantha quickly opted for the latter. Which turned out to be a great choice. The friendly couple in their fifties sitting across from us greated us with a smile and gave evidence to another asset of this place. The seating really does invite an open and easy setting and, provided your neighbors are friendly, adds a wonderful dynamic to this place. A little small talk with them and before we new it our server was handing us menus and a wine list and reassuring us she would get us a water and give us time to figure out our drinks.

The wine list was interesting, different, with a noticeably smart approach. All of the selections being from Spanish influenced wine regions and mostly Spanish grape varietals. A real wine person is loving this fun list of choices. Samantha having heard the hype about their Sangria ordered that and I had a glass of Guelbenzu Azul 2005 –Ribera del Queiles. Fresh baked rustic bread arrives with our drinks. Samantha’s Sangria lives up the hype (best I’ve ever had). My wine on the nose had red fruit, plum, herbs, and spice. Rich and accessible, was an easy drinker with its rich forward fruit and limited if not non-existent tannin. However, there were lots of herb, spice, and anise flavors that added wonderful points of interest that kept my glass tilted. Not knowing this maker, if I had to guess would say I’m 97% sure this wine is predominantly Tempranillo.

The menu is labeled “Spanish small plates to share”, which by definition is tapas. Suddenly the ambiance makes so much more sense. The atmosphere expressly stating share food, share drinks (Sangria by the pitcher), share words, laughs, and good times. A list of nine or ten very tough choices appears on the one page menu. With each choice being moderately priced between 4 and 15 dollars the tough choices are made easy, because if you really wanted to, and had enough time to, you could try them all. We started with a plate of the Gambas al Pil-Pil. Quickly arriving at our table is a beautifully designed plate of perfectly sauted shrimp swimming in a garlic, cumin and sherry sauce. The sauce is divine, well balanced flavors of smoky cumin, butter, garlic, maybe a little cream?, a little red chili for heat (If you don’t like hot you will still love this), and the perfect addition of sweet on the finish from the sherry. Light and elegant, the plate was cleaned with our bread, which I found took to all of the flavors of the evening as if on purpose.

The second course was one of the two specials, the jerk chicken. Cooked and spiced to perfection, the chicken is moist and flavorful. The jerk marinade explodes on your palate, but doesn’t overwhelm the natural flavor of the meat. It rests atop a bed of black bean puree, which is prepared in a very understated way. The beans on their own may seem bland and boring. However, given its purpose on the plate the dish is better for having it there. The soft earthy flavors and textures balance the pop and flare of the potent and juicy chicken. The plate is drizzled with what I believe was a balsamic reduction. And the perfect bit containing all three components was a treat for the taste buds.

Not knowing how large these “plates to share” would be we aired on the side of caution and started with just these first two dishes. Having been impressed so far, having room for more and many wonderful choices on the menu, we dive into course three Garbanzos con Espinacas a la Andaluza. A simple dish consisting of chickpeas and spinach, and topped with toasted bread crumbs (I’m assuming the same bread we had already killed to plates of). This dish is a must try for any spinach lovers and with spinach being a close second to collard greens on the veggie chain of command, I was sold. The earthy notes in the garbanzos and the firm texture played nicely with the softer garden and butter flavors of the spinach. The toasted crumbs where a necessity, adding a crunch and really melding the flavors on the plate. Very simple home style dish that I found to be an interesting and more traditional contrast to its more playful counter parts.

Lastly of course is dessert. The offering of the evening was Cheesecake Flan. Not being the biggest flan fan in the world, the name was slightly discouraging. However, with recent memory’s residual effects still firmly planted on my palate and my mind, I put my faith in the hands of our (so far this evening) flawless chef and let it ride. The dish arrives and looks to be something quite closely resembling flan. Whiter in color and creamier in appearance, it didn’t have that gelatinous slightly translucent textural thing that is really behind my dislike of the quirky Mexican dessert. Imagine someone taking all of the bad qualities of flan and trading them for all of the good qualities of cheesecake and this is the wonderful creation that sat before us. Heavenly is the word that comes to mind. Guess what, I love this FLAN.

The tab comes with no sense of urgency and no push to the door. The nights culinary trip came to the tune of $60.00 leaving me feeling as if the food were stolen and we should tip the chef’s and owner of this perfect little hole in the wall. In hindsight this place embodies why I don’t eat at Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill and as long as people continue to embrace the emergence of these little family owner places popping up around the valley, I may never have to again.

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Lola
800 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Nov 23, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Phoenix

Yuma restaurant for lunch

It is an awesome place. I was thinking more along the lines of fast food take out fare and think of Los Manjares as a sit down spot. Good call though.

Nov 23, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Southwest

Yuma restaurant for lunch

Nov 21, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Southwest

Yuma restaurant for lunch

Yuma is home to tons of wonderful mexican food restaurants. There is one place that stands alone as the local staple and favorite, Mr. G's. Owned by the gutierrez family who also own Chili Pepper (mr.g's sister restaurant) and La Casa Gutierrez (their sit down place). I would recommend The green or red mix burrito, The bean and cheese is also great (the beans are made with the grease they fry their rolled tacos in). The rooled tacos themselves are the best I've ever found. The salsa is the perfect compliment to all of their food. I think you will agree that the salsa is distinct and unlike anything you will find elsewhere. You can't leave with out buying a bag of their homemade paper thin tortillas which are made fresh daily (if they have any left, they go quick). Having grow up there and frequently coming back to visit family, a weekend is not complete without a lunch at Mr. g's. Closed sundays, enjoy!

Map link http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp...

Nov 21, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Southwest

Marilyn Merlot 1988 ($2,000.00 ARE YOU SERIOUS)

So a friend of mine's mother has a bottle of 1988 Mariyln Merlot that has been sitting in there wine cellar since I would imagine the 80's. Always assuming that these were just novelty wines I didn't really consider that they had much value to them. I found the marilynwines.com website and they are boasting this wine at $2,000.00. Is there validity to this? I mean this thing can't be worth a Petrus or Screaming Eagle!

Any information I can get on the subject the better

Aug 18, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Wine

If you could have one meal in Paris, Where would you go?

haha

Jul 10, 2009
eatmedrinkme in France

If you could have one meal in Paris, Where would you go?

Thanks, can't wait

Jul 08, 2009
eatmedrinkme in France

If you could have one meal in Paris, Where would you go?

Your a wealth of knowledge thank you!

Jul 08, 2009
eatmedrinkme in France

If you could have one meal in Paris, Where would you go?

I guess going almost limited on $450.00 for two people isn't exactly what I would call budget, unless I miss read...But yes budget suggestions would be great.

A nice inexpensive place close to or around the corner from, 10 rue Auguste Barbier 75011 PARIS, where we are staying is really what I want. That would be perfect when we come home from a long day of sight seeing and want to grab a bite close to home before bed.

Jul 07, 2009
eatmedrinkme in France

If you could have one meal in Paris, Where would you go?

Thanks for all of your recommendations. Are there any places you would recommend on a budget?

We are staying at, 10 rue Auguste Barbier 75011 PARIS. Are there any good places close by that you can recommend?

Jul 06, 2009
eatmedrinkme in France

If you could have one meal in Paris, Where would you go?

We are honeymooning in Paris (whooo-hooo) and can't afford to eat like royalty the entire time. We can budget for one meal of $400.00-$450.00. Where would you go to experience the best that Paris has to offer for this price point?

Jun 22, 2009
eatmedrinkme in France

Planning Wedding - Need Wine Suggestions

I like your suggestions and having never tried either, will be dipping on both of these choices this weekend. Thanks!

Jun 11, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Wine

Planning Wedding - Need Wine Suggestions

I am getting married in September and we will be giving our guests the option of a red or a white. I would like to spend as little as possible but still provide something that everyone will enjoy and wine drinkers will appreciate.

Not sure what the food menu will be yet, although I know it will be a buffet therefore probably eclectic and possibly hard to pair with everything.

Lets keep it under $15.00 and thanks in advance for your help.

Jun 09, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Wine

What are you drinking right now?

Chateau Lilian Ladouys 2003

On the nose barnyard, pencil lead, spice, cassis and blackcurrent. The cassis and blackcurrent becoming more pronounced as time goes on. On the palate a wall of ripe black fruit. Little hints of earth and leather followed by firm tannins which carry through a semi-long finish. Somewhat of a disconnect between the fruit and tannin at first but with some time they begin to marry. Not the most sophisticated wine but not completely strait forward either. The bottom line, enjoyable drinking, with a some thinking involced. I don't think this wine will benefit from any more time in the bottle but will be drinkable for years. Lots of sediment so you must decanter. For the price point Iit is a success and I went back to the store and bought several more. Cheers, Matt

May 28, 2009
eatmedrinkme in Wine