Archive for January, 2009

Wine Tasting Party at Le Beaulieu Restaurant

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Wine Tasting Party, 29 Jan. 2009, at Le Beaulieu, Cuisine by Herve Frerard.
50 Soi 19 Sukumvit Rd.
Bangkok 10110
Tel. 02 204 2004

These were three wines that I fancied and for complete information on all wines tasted follow this link: The Post StonesChardonnay 2007 easy to drink and priced well
Domaine de Rapatel Gerard Eyraud 2005, very fresh for a white wine of this vintage, mature and well-rounded
A. Scherer – Gewurztraminer Reserve Particuliere 2006, spicy with lots of fruit
Ch. de la Roulerie 2007 – 100% Cabernet Franc. An Interesting wine on the light side but enjoyable, and the first time I have drunk a pure non-blended Cabernet Franc

Presented by Comte de Sibour Ltd. and Le Beaulieu distributed by Wine Not Limited
Tel: +66.2 789 3002
Fax: +66.2 645 0895
Mobile: +66.80 081 8500

Chef Luke Mangan’s Expansion Plans Will Include L.A. & Hawaii

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Australian chef Luke Mangan, who owns Glass Brasserie in Sydney’s Hilton Hotel and Salt in Tokyo, plans to open a Los Angeles branch of his San Francisco restaurant South Food and Wine Bar. To be called South on Sunset it will feature Australian and New Zealand cuisines and wines. He has further plans to open in Hawaii as well.
“We’ll be flying in fresh seafood and produce from Australia a couple of times a week such as lobster, barramundi, oysters and lamb there will also be a large fish tank full of fresh seafood,” Mr Mangan said.
“The decor and food will reflect the best of Australia such as our beautiful sunsets and wave-like curves in the ceiling and dining room. It will not be a tacky Australian-themed restaurant though, it will be classy yet not formal.”

The restaurant comes about four years after international restaurant developers Port Japan Partners bought a 49 per cent share of Mr Mangan’s Salt brand.
Evidently Australian produce is highly regarded in Japan, however their cuisine until recently was not well known. It is an amazing fact that Japan is Australia’s largest export destination for food; worth almost $9.9 billion in the last financial year, $2 billion above the US, the next largest market.

L’avant Goût Bistro – Paris

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

26, rue Bobillot, Paris 75013
13th arrondissement
Tel. 01 53 80 24 00
Metro: Place d’Italie (line 2, 5, 6 or 7)
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri Noon-2pm, 7:30pm-11pm
Cuisine: Bistro Nouvelle
Chef: Chistophe Beaufront
Credit Cards: Visa, Master Card
Prices: Moderate (Menus Lunch 14 €; Dinner menu at 23 € and at 40 €)

It is a popular destination, both intimate and yet lively, in a modern design. It is a bit off the beaten track although it is worth the travel as you will find exquisite food at reasonable prices. Chef Chistophe Beaufront adds his varied slants to French fare. Do not miss his pork pot-au-feu and desserts are homemade.
He only uses the freshest of products.

Susan Feniger’s Street – Hollywood

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Street Restaurant

742 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tel. 323-461-7813
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate

Chef and restaurateur Susan Feniger, one half of the team that created the “Two Hot Tamales” TV cooking episodes and restaurants with a latin theme such as City Cafe, City Restaurant, Ciudad and Border Grill, which includes a Las Vegas branch. She has developed a new concept: Global Street Food, which amounts to up-scale vendor food to be consumed in relative comfort off the street. It is called Street and located on Highland Avenue in Hollywood; she is assisted by her protégé Kajsa Alger. They are now open, and almost immediately after releasing their menu and prices, criticism about high-pricing for street food is circulating on the web. This was to be expected, and it will stop, and they will find their niche.

The New Lucas Carton – Paris

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

9, Place de La Madeleine – Paris 75008
Tel. 01 42 65 22 90
Opening Hours:  Open every day except Saturday noon, Sunday and Monday noon.  Closed from July 11 to September 15, 2005.
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate-Expensive (76 €; à la carte from 160 to 250 €)

Chef Alain Senderens, owner of the prestigious and luxurious restaurant Lucas Carton with much deliberation decided to abandon his 3 Michelin Guide stars in order to launch a new style that is more in tune with the times; less expensive with the average price of a meal dropping from 300 to 100 €.  The matching of the dishes and the wines continues, and new dishes with less costly ingredients will appear on the à la carte menu.  The new decor is from designer Noé Duchaufour Lawrence and architect Axel Schoenert.

Tribute to Le Club (Long Closed) – New York City

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

I just want to dwell on Le Club for a moment, before it is swallowed up in time, for no other reason than I sincerely enjoyed this smart little club. Igor Cassini with some help from his brother Oleg Cassini are given credit for the beginnings of this intimate European members-only club (à la Castel, Paris) in New York City.  Le Club, which followed the large nightclubs such as El Morocco and the Stork Club and between the time that discos came into vogue. The Cassini’ brothers played a big role in promoting Le Club and as well initiating the intimate European-style club in Manhattan.
For a time Igor Cassini was the principal owner of Le Club, a members-only nightclub on the East Side of Manhattan. Mr. Cassini also claimed credit for coining the term Jet Set to describe the free-living, free-roaming international rich, and he was proud of the fact that he picked Mrs. Kennedy as ”debutante of the year” in 1948 when she was Jacqueline Bouvier.
He was the younger brother of Oleg Cassini, the fashion designer who was the official couturier for Jaqueline Kennedy when she was First Lady
Igor Cassini, who as Cholly Knickerbocker was king of society gossip for the Hearst newspaper chain in the 1940’s and 50’s, then lost his job after he pleaded no contest to a charge that he represented the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo but without telling the government about it. I had dined with both of them over the years and a good many times at La Coupole in Paris.
Both Igor (2002) and Oleg (2006) are now deceased.

Cipriani Ocean Resort – South Beach, Miami

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Cipriani Ocean Resort and Club Residences

Giuseppe Cipriani, the operator of New York’s Rainbow Room and other restaurants and catering halls in New York said, “The fact that we have been able to close this loan during this challenging time for construction financing demonstrates the quality of the project and the confidence the lender has in its future success”.

Giuseppe Cipriani will transform the old Saxony Hotel into a 170 room condo-hotel just 6 blocks from South Beach.  will open in Miami and Los Angeles. The group has bought the shuttered Saxony Hotel, which is being transformed into a condominium complex and a 170-room condo-hotel.

In branding their $250 million project the Cipriani Resort and Residences South Beach, the developers have linked the oceanfront complex at Collins Avenue and 32nd Street to a name best known for high-end entertaining in the Big Apple.

“I see nothing like what we’re going to achieve there,” Cipriani said, before ticking off the faults of some of the region’s top hotels. They also have plans for Los Angeles at a later date.

La Cremerie Wine Bar & Shop – Paris

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Tel. 01 43 54 99 30
9 rue des Quatre Vents
Paris, 75006
Metro: Odeon
Open Tuesday to Saturday
10:30am-3 pm and 5 pm-10 pm
No Smoking
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Inexpensive

There are just a few bar stools and as many tables in this former dairy shop turned wine store. Although it becomes a holding area for diners waiting for a table at Yves Camdeborde’s Le Comptoir a short distance away, it should be a destination on its own, as you can pay a corkage charge of 6 euros and buy any of his several hundred labels of organic wines and drink it on-the-spot, or there is always a choice of two open red and white wines available by the glass accompanied by plates of organic artisanal cheese or charcuterie, sliced with a vintage bright red slicer. Owner Serge Mathieu, who was born in America and brought up in France, and his wife Helene claim that they are not a bar nor a restaurant but a wine bar and store where you may consume their wine selections on the premises or take them away.
This is a sweet little place with lots of charm.

Tasting of Bordeaux Wines, French Wine Co., Ltd. – Bangkok

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Ms Vanessa Bartocetti, Wine Consultant for French Wine Import Co., Ltd.

125/34 Soi Ruamrudee 4
Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan
10330 Bangkok Thailand
Tel. +66 (0) 2 256 6701
Nat, Sales Executive Consultant
Laurent Lespiler, Director

Following were the three wines out of nine tasted that I found to be the most interesting:

Roy Charles 2004, Cotes de Castillon AOC was a good all-around drinking wine that would please most tasters. Medium bodied with a fragrant nose and well-rounded long lasting finish.

Ch. Terre de Grand 2005, Bordeaux Superieur AOC was well structured with intense berry concentration very good overall; containing 93% Merlot, 7% Cabert Franc & Sauvignon

Galius 2001, Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOC. In my opinion the best wine of all nine wines tasted. 75% Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

The tasting was held at Aldo’s Restaurant located on the 7th Floor by the beautiful pool, which is surrounded by tented cabanas where you may dine in extremely comfortable surroundings, at the Ascott Towers on Sathorn Road, Bangkok. Following is a list of the other wines opened for tasting including  mentions of their respective awards and medals:

Emilio Rose 2007
Bordeaux AOC
Emilio Red  2006 • Bronze Concours Grands Vins de France 2007
Bordeaux AOC
Lahire 2002 • Mundus Vini
Bordeaux AOC • 1* Star Testing Prowein
Roy Charles 2004 • Bronze Concours Grands Vins de France 2006
Cotes de Castillon AOC • Mundus Vini
Andeli 2001 • Silver Vinalies Internationales China 2005 • Seal of approval Korea / China Wine Challenge 2006
Andeli 2001 • Silver Vinalies Internationales China 2005 • Seal of approval Korea / China Wine Challenge 2006
Saint Emilion AOC • Gold China Wine and Spirits Competition 2006 • Recommended Decanter World Wine Awards 2006
Royal Saint Emilion 2005 • Gold Concours Mondial Bruxelles 2005 • Silver Korea Wine Challenge 2007 2,200
Saint Emilion AOC • Silver Japan Wine Challenge 2005 • Gold Concours General Agricole de Paris 2007
Cotes Rocheuses 2003 • 1* Star Guide Hachette 2006 • Gold Korea Wine Challenge 2007
Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOC • Bronze Japan Wine Challenge 2006 • Silver Challenge International Blaye Bourg 2007
• Gold World Selection Montreal Wines 2007 • Bronze Concours General Agricole de Paris 2007
Galius 2001 • Gold Korea Wine Challenge 2006 • Bronze Challenge International Blaye Bourg 2006
Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOC 2005 • Citation Guide Hachette 2006 • Silver International Wine Challenge 2006
• Silver Concours Mondial Bruxelles 2006 • Recommended Decanter World Wine Awards 2006
Aurelius 2001 • Silver Korea Wine Challenge 2006 • Trophy Best Old World Red Wine Tokyo 2005
Saint Emilion Grand Cru AOC • Gold Japan Wine Challenge 2006 • Bronze Challenge International Blaye Bourg 2006
• Bronze Decanter World Wine Awards 2006 • Silver Japan Wine Challenge 2006
• 1* Star Guide Hachette 2006 • Gold Bordeaux Concours Vins d’Aquitaine 2006
• Silver Concours Mondial Bruxelles 2006 • 96/100 Guide Gilbert&Gaillard 2007
• Silver China Wine Spirits Competition 2006 • Silver Bordeaux Concours Vins d’Aquitaine 2007

Pomme Frite Belgian Restaurant, Palm Springs, California

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

256 South Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Tel. 760-778 3727
Parking: Street
Dress Code: Casual
Reservations: Yes
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate

This French-style Belgian restaurant, located on the main drag in downtown Palm Springs, has built its reputation on excellent pomme frite served in a wire cone and Moules à la Marinière, which is as Belgian as it gets. They also offer an equally outstanding roast chicken, Carbonades Flamandes (beef stew made with beer), escargot and various homemade pâtes. It is interesting to dine and people-watch on the sidewalk terrace.
The owner Jean-Claude Constant, who in the past spent more time in the kitchen, has now hired a chef who came from the award-winning Desert Sage Restaurant in La Quinta. This may be a good thing for the kitchen, but it assures for a terrible experience for diners, as it has given him more time to spend in the front of house and the unpleasant sound of his loud voice bossing his wait-staff and yelling orders to the kitchen is really irritating and annoying. It is a shame that this restaurant’s cooking, which is quite all right, is diminished to nothing due to the constant (no pun intended), distraction of the reverberation of this tyrannical Belgian’s voice in the dining room.