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Going to be in Minneapolis for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Restaurant recs?

I'd strongly second The Lynn on Bryant. As warm a place as exists in the Twin Cities. It's not pretentious, so if you're looking to shazam and kablam the night up, this isn't it -- but if you want a perfectly lovely night, with heart-dilating bistro food, it's fantastic.

Feb 19, 2014
uberslop in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

What is a good (great) book for getting started with wine...

see below/above for earlier Chow thread, but yeah I'd second the Wine Bible if you want something that will serve as introduction and yet is comprehensive enough that you'll be using it/relying upon it for years as you expand your knowledge base....

there are a lot of recent books that are even more basic intros, but the Bible is the "one" I'd recommend if you were only gonna get one to learn from for 1-5 years....

Feb 10, 2014
uberslop in Wine

What is a good (great) book for getting started with wine...

Feb 10, 2014
uberslop in Wine

Where to buy Val de Rance French Cider

When/if in Paris near Montmartre you can pick up Val de Rance ciders at La Cave des Abbesses, a great little wine shop specializing in small producers (many organic, but far from exclusively) with a small and casual wine bar in the back.

Feb 10, 2014
uberslop in Wine

Porto, Ribeira Sacra, and the Douro.

Jan 30-Feb 9.... I haven't seen any evidence of a Ribeira Sacra wine festival!

Jan 22, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal

Porto, Ribeira Sacra, and the Douro.

Any recommendations for bodegas in the RS, lugosur? The only place I have a tentative appointment at is Dominio do Bibei.

Jan 21, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal

Porto, Ribeira Sacra, and the Douro.

and thank you for the aquiperto link!

Jan 21, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal

Porto, Ribeira Sacra, and the Douro.

Jmoryl, the used copy of the Metcalfe book I ordered just arrived -- only the 40 some-odd pages on the Douro are missing! Ripped out by someone who clearly didn't want to tote the whole book along. Sigh. Back to the Amazonian drawing board.

I'd originally hoped to go to the Dao, too, partly for that reason -- but a) our trip got shortened and I thought something needed cutting if we weren't going to do a whirlwind tour and b) I had the vague sense (correct me if I'm wrong) that the Douro was both slightly more, well, spectacular*... as well as a bit more ready for wine visitors? Thoughts? I assume this is still wise, though you're making me wonder -- I hope someday to visit Alvaro Castro et al.

*As a rejoinder to my sentiment above: "Sometimes I think if I like more the Dão or the Douro. Maybe my heart slams more for the Dão. It's true that the Douro is very dramatic, dazzling, spectacular, but the Dão - it's mysterious and has a more discreet beauty, with the dreamy pines and flowing eucalyptus forest - the dark and magic forest surrounding the vines (as my son says, where we can find dwarfs and elves). That's why the wines from the Dão are the most interesting wines in the world."

- Antonio Lopez Ribeiro, maker at Casa de Mouraz

Jan 21, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal

Porto, Ribeira Sacra, and the Douro.

Jmoryl, this is great. We're on the same wavelength -- my copy of the Metcalf book should be arriving today! And I absolutely do *not* want to eat at exclusively at fancy places -- but they're popping up on the radar a lot more readily than their rustic counterparts. (The Michelin guide to Portugal is almost useless to me, outside of the cities, so under-researched and -reported it seems.) I enjoy following my nose, but experience shows me that a little research often goes a ways toward helping my nose out! Thanks for the Lamego tip, and for the Regua over Pinhao nod.

While I'll admit that not all of my favorite wines are micro-producers, when traveling this way I tend to lean away from the sleek & imperially inclined sort and toward the smaller when possible. (I.e., the opposite of the prototypical Californian experience, at least inasmuch as we picture a big Napa tasting room when we say that.) Some of my favorite and most highly memorable wine experiences have come at the generous hands of tiny, tiny wine producers in France and Italy -- often the only people there, either in a non-descript concrete warehouse or a wooden shed, tasting and bullsh!tt!ng with the makers themselves. I've written a few of my favorites in Spain, and am in the process of scheduling a visit or two. But my assumption is that there are makers there that I've never heard of who are making fantastic juice, and I'm just looking to gather some ideas. I'm extremely eager to check out Vallado, et al., but I'm also eager to find some institutions considerably less put-together than those of the "Douro Boys." Thanks again for all your help -- any further ideas/info most welcome! (I've written Macedos, per your rec.)

Jan 21, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal
1

Porto, Ribeira Sacra, and the Douro.

Thanks, y'all! Lugosur, included on the "list" are D.Ventura, Guimaro, and the Dominio do Bibei folks in the Ribeira Sacra. (I loved Raul Perez's Pecado the one time I had it, but get the sense that he's a winetrotter, and have no idea if there's any way to arrange an actual visit with him or his people.) In the Douro I'm eager to check out Niepoort, as I've enjoyed some of their wines here and want to get a better sense of the range of their experimentation. I'd love other people's recommendations, especially if there are young, innovative, small producers out there that wouldn't have hit my radar yet. Thank you all again, as ever.

Jan 20, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal
1

Porto, Ribeira Sacra, and the Douro.

Hello Hounds -- we're planning a trip to the Ribeira Sacra and Douro regions. We'll only have 8 days (I know, I know!), and are trying to balance not trying to do too much on the one hand -- and getting a chance to at least get a brief impression of two of our favorite wine regions on the other.

Our tentative plan is to spend the first two days and one night in Porto; then head to the Ribeira Sacra region for three days; then head south into the Douro, eventually wending our way back to Porto.

Foz Velha is on our list, as our both of Rui Paula's restaurants (DOP and DOC; both? One?). What are other restaurants we need to know about -- low-end, high-end, and/or (well, actually especially) rural finds? Where to eat in the Ribeira Sacra region?

Any great small inns to know about?

Lastly, we have our favorite wineries from both regions, but have no idea which ones make for great visits. And if there are smaller producers that are faves for any hounds, I'd love to know about them -- I of course only know producers big enough/lucky enough to have found their way to California.

Any and all thoughts/advice is massively appreciated!

Jan 19, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal
1

Any new thoughts on Porto, Peso da Regua and Chaves?

Hello all -- I know this thread is a bit old now, but I thought I'd inquire here before starting a new one. We're planning an 8-day loop (I know -- not enough time! there never is!) from Porto up to the Ribeira Sacra and back through the Douro. I'd love to hear of can't-miss eateries and wineries, especially if you all have been back, or have acquired new intel in the meantime! Thanks in advance for any time and thoughts!

Jan 19, 2014
uberslop in Spain/Portugal

Mottainai Ramen: has it gone down hill?

Nov 30, 2013
uberslop in Los Angeles Area

Mottainai Ramen: has it gone down hill?

eater la as well as gold's (I realized this wasn't up-to-date, but it had come out subsequent to my last visit) as for eater, as recently as last month they included it....

Nov 30, 2013
uberslop in Los Angeles Area

Mottainai Ramen: has it gone down hill?

Back in LA for Thanksgiving, long-dormant cravings re-surfaced, and bade me re-visit some of the old haunts. Sadly, I hadn't seen this thread. Almost immediately it was clear to me that something had changed -- and yet hadn't my beloved Mottainai still been making all the "best of" lists? Hope sprang eternal.

Alas -- Mottainai is no more. The toasted miso glory is a thing of the past. Neither the broth nor the ramen are what they once were. Gone, too, are the flavor bombs. This is Mottainai in name only. I haven't been to Hayatemaru yet -- how does it stack up, for any old-school Mottainai lovers among us?

Nov 30, 2013
uberslop in Los Angeles Area

Seville Orange omelette for harlots

ha! i'm showing my age... and i guess how inactive i've been in here of late -- but rworange (along with ruth and lauriston) used to be one of the go-to recommenders -- sorry to hear the great rworange has left!

was super-curious about the recipe....

Nov 23, 2013
uberslop in Home Cooking

Seville Orange omelette for harlots

so... did you ever make the orange omelette for harlots? inquiring minds need to know!

Nov 23, 2013
uberslop in Home Cooking

new chef & menu makeover at Plum [Oakland]

So... has anybody been to Plum under the new (or new new) regime? Curious how palpable the differences are, and how the food struck you -- thinking of heading there this weekend.....

Oct 02, 2013
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area

The Lynn on Bryant

Let me just begin by saying that I'm from California and I'm kind of a jerk. By which I mean I'm pretty darned smug about what it is we get to eat out here, and that it takes a lot to blow my food-gaskets.

Let me now tell you that on a recent trip to Minneapolis, I ate at one restaurant four times in a row. Four. Times. In a row.

That restaurant was the Lynn, and it was gobstopperingly good at lunch, dinner, brunch and, yes, dinner again. As my Lost Weekend at the Lynn spiraled deliciously and deliriously out of control, I wondered to myself, is there a restaurant in SF or LA that could command me so? Is there a restaurant that could nail all those meals that well? That could be quite that vertical in its ability to dress down (casual lunch) and dress up (exquisite dinner) with such aplomb? I'm sure there is, but I couldn't think of it.

To tell you what I loved would be to reel off the menu. Everything we had was scrumptious. I wish they served cocktails. I wish they were in Berkeley. Beyond that I have very little to come up with in the way of room for improvement. This place would be my jam were I a Minneapolite.

Jun 27, 2013
uberslop in Minneapolis-St. Paul
2

Best places in Palm Springs?

We had good meals at both Le Vallauris and Tinto. Neither would stand up to your favorites in any other metropolis (or micropolis, for that matter), but they both made us very happy in different ways. We did the chefs tasting menu at Tinto, and I'd say he batted .750, with the winners being real standouts and the losers being totally passable. Le Vallauris was tasty, but it's their classic ambience that gets them by -- it's not the greatest French restaurant any of you will eat at this year by a stretch, but if your expectations are set right you'll have an absolutely wonderful meal. We ate outside, on the patio, and were totally delighted. The owner makes his rounds and chats with everyone in that weird mix of avuncular and seductive that only an older Frenchman can pull off.

Jul 19, 2012
uberslop in California

Best places in Palm Springs?

Any luck, SeattleSam? Any reviews, or must-dos?

Jun 13, 2012
uberslop in California

Burgers and coffee, that's elf food, apparently -- your thoughts solicited

Coffee-wise, I adjure you to try Local 123 if you're in the East Bay. Absolutely as good as it gets.

Mar 19, 2012
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area

Burgers and coffee, that's elf food, apparently -- your thoughts solicited

I've been to almost all of the places mentioned here, and many others, and I must strenuously if respectfully object to the current frontrunners. I've only eaten at Mua once -- it was a completely acceptable and enjoyable burger, but it didn't come close to making a run for the Top 10. Ditto Slow Club. That said, they're worthy of mention, and great places to go. Luka's, though, has taken noticeable turn for the worse, and I can't see how a visitor would put it on a list of Bay Area to-do's. 510burger's good, and I'm always happy to see their truck -- but unlike a handful of other food trucks that are actually quest-worthy, I wouldn't tell a Canadian visitrix to go out of her way for it.

I haven't eaten the 4505 or Mo's burgers, and can't wait to try, based on reviews here.

My top vote: Sidebar, in Oakland. Consistently, gobstopperingly, revelationally good. Second: Nopa or Marlowe, depending on the day. Honorable mention: Grayson 900.

And a quick remembrance is in order here: RIP Namu's Korean-influenced burger.

Mar 19, 2012
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area

Drago (Non-Centro): Should I Go?

Thanks for all the input, ipse, fmh, & NT -- much appreciated. I think I'll keep my Drago reserve for now, based on your input, and maybe hit Jiraffe (which I've wanted to go to for awhile and forgotten about) or Fig (despite the fact that my friend recently called it the most SF restarurant outside of SF)... thank you! (and keep em coming, if anyone else has thoughts!)

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Jiraffe Restaurant
502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

Drago Restaurant
2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

May 18, 2011
uberslop in Los Angeles Area

Drago (Non-Centro): Should I Go?

I'm an SF hound who's staying in Playa del Rey for two nights, and am planning on having dinner with my Pasadena-based parents out near where I'm conferencing (Santa Monica/West LA/etc.). Drago came to mind via some Jonathan Gold-love I read a while back, but I'm surprised by the absence of enthusiasm/comments here in the LA boards -- is this just a case of its having been around a while? (I should note that there's not much in the way of criticism, either.) Or are there other places you'd steer me to in its place?

Notes: 1) I'm looking for a great meal -- not an expense account meal. 2. While my dad's wildly adventuresome, my mom's not -- so I'm looking at something between new American and old Continental....

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Drago Restaurant
2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

May 17, 2011
uberslop in Los Angeles Area

Frances dinner ...

Well, yes... but add to that Esquire's "Best New Restaurant of the Year," Bon Appetit's "Best New Restaurant of the Year," James Beard awards and probably a whole list of things I missed, and there's a whole lot more pressure on the restaurant than the already-considerable pressure exerted by being arguably the only decent dinner spot for blocks and blocks..... Id est: on my last visit there, there was a couple to my left who'd driven in from Novato (!), and a family who'd cabbed directly to the restaurant from the airport.....

May 17, 2011
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area

Frances dinner ...

I say this as an unabashed Francesophile: you're absolutely right. But it's not "overrated" so much as it is "misrepresented." Imagine that the perfect neighborhood spot went into a neighborhood as popular as it was un- or under-restauranted. then imagine that that restaurant exceeded all of the original neighborhoodites' expectations, and that it got a lot of things really, really right, ranging from signature dishes to an innovative wine approach to lovely desserts. (You'll notice I still haven't said anything about it being The Best Anything and/or it being Worthy of Pilgrimages.) Now imagine national press showered accolades on it so that it became impossible to get into, and ratcheted up everybody's expectations of it to bizarre levels. This is where we are. To get back to being able to enjoy Frances, a) imagine that your friend told you about his favorite bite-sized restaurant and b) don't worry about pursuing a reservation at all costs.

May 17, 2011
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area

With only 4 days in San Francisco, should we spend a half day checking out Berkeley?

Rumors of North Berkeley Wine's demise have been greatly exaggerated? Still kickin', and still great.....

May 13, 2011
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area

Descriptive Wine Menus?

i <3 Heart's wine menu. Sometimes, though, it feels a little too close to my own snarky-ass brain, and I find myself perilously close to hating it as much as I do... well, my own snarky-ass brain. It's the kind of thing I might write in an email to a single friend... that would seem too cloyingly clever by half were they to be for public transmission. It's like some weird wino-beast offspring sprung from the diseased loins of Chuck Klosterman and an aggrieved/would-be Pitchfork writer. Robert, any even remote inklings of doing something else? (If any of you missed his fantastic Locanda da Eva, check out the pdf of his wine list if it's still available online. If Heart's list is David Foster Wallace at best and Chuck Klosterman at worst, Robert's was Jim Shepard/Rick Bass/Jim Harrison -- earnest, lovely, expository, unshowy.)

May 12, 2011
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area

Descriptive Wine Menus?

Robert L's Locanda wine list was my all-time favorite. RIP.

May 12, 2011
uberslop in San Francisco Bay Area