Archive for July, 2009

Ebury Wine Bar – London

Monday, July 27th, 2009

139 Ebury Street, London,
Tel.  0871 3328766
Venue Type: Wine Bar
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 18:00-22:30
Underground: Victoria or Sloane Sq.
Cuisine: British
Kitchen Open: Daily 12:00-14:45 & 18:00-22:15
Booking Essential on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Facilities: TV Screens showing sports events
Children: Welcome
Credit Cards: Visa, MC
Prices: Moderate

In the late sixties and early seventies when I spent a good deal of time in London I frequented Ebury Wine Bar while staying with friends who lived around the corner on Chester Row. In those days, they had on offer some very reasonably priced, solid “little” French Burgundies, both red & white, along with a good selection of Loire Valley, Rhône, and Alsace wines available by the glass or bottle. At the time, it was excellent value especially for the wines; and the food was, on the whole, quite good. Today, they have no hope of offering the quality of the wines from France and Italy that they could in those days, and no one expects that, however, they are scouting out a great many “interesting wines” from the old and new world that are quite surprising in their own right. It is because of these elements combined with maintaining the integrity of the kitchen that it has remained to be one of the great wine bars in London for over 40 years.

Information below includes: Name of wine, region, vintage year, country of origin, price by bottle, price by glass, alcohol percentage by volume.

White Wines – House Selection

1. Chevanceau Blanc, Vin de Pays du Cotes de Gascogne, 2005


2. Chenin Blanc, Stormy Cape, 2006


3. Sauvignon Blanc, Reserva, Echeverria, Curico Valley, 2006


4. Pinot Grigio, Della Provincia di Pavia, Cielo, 2005


5. Unoaked Chardonnay, Foundstone, 2006


6. Riesling, Kabinett, Johannisberger Erntebringer, Rheingau, 2004


Red Wines – House Selection

38. Chevanceau Rouge, Vin de Pays de L’Herault, 2005


39. Merlot, Vin de Pays D’oc, La Place, 2005


40. Santa Ines, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004


41. Malbec, Bodegas Terrazas Mendoza, 2004


42. Nero D’Avola, Mandrarossa, 2005


43. Anares Tinto Crianza, Rioja, 2003


44. Shiraz, Tyrrell’s Moore’s Creek, Hunter VAlley, 2004


Bistro 33 – Bangkok

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Bistro 33
22 Sukhumvit 33 (Daeng Udom)
Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Tel. 02-260-3033
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate

Bistro 33 is on a corner of a sub-soi off Sukhumvit Soi 33, situated in a house with a lovely garden and large plate glass windows that take full advantage of it. Truthfully, this cafe has little in common with a bistro in the strict sense, semantics aside though, it has lots to offer in the comfort-food department and one can while away many hours in this very pleasant environment.

The menu lists a Caesar salad, variations on the theme of hamburgers: cheese burger, meat ball burger with spicy tomato sauce, and a turkey burger. In addition; a Ruben sandwich, Quesadillas (either chicken or vegetarian) and the usual inescapable Italian items—all these dishes seem to improve somewhat after a few quaffs from the well-thought-out and properly priced wine list. Basically, there is something for everyone on this eclectic menu. My daughter enjoyed an Orange/Yogurt smoothie, and that made her day, along with an excursion into the garden with her drawing pad, where she plunked herself down on a wooden bench and attempted to sketch a Plumeria tree.

Hotel Derek Presents PS Valentino & Vin Bar Coming Soon – Houston, Texas

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

PS Valentino & Vin Bar
Hotel Derek
2525 West Loop S., Houston, TX 77027
Tel. 866-292-4100

PS Valentino and the more casual and less-expensive Vin Bar will be taking over the Bistro Moderne space in the Hotel Derek sometime this fall. Piero Selvaggio of the famed Valentino Restaurant in Santa Monica, California, which it seems has been around for eons and with good reason, also more recently Las Vegas, is headed to Houston. Selvaggio and executive chef and partner Luciano Pellegrini will open PS Valentino Vin Bar in the trendy boutique Hotel Derek this fall, taking over the Bistro Moderne space. PS Valentino Vin Bar will house two dining experiences, an intimate fine dining restaurant serving Selvaggio’s inventive Italian cuisine and the more casual Vin Bar with a selection of innovative dishes in the now quite familiar “primi” or small plate format. PS Valentino Vin Bar,  no direct phone line available as yet, although you can dial the hotel. Stay tuned for the latest information as it becomes available.

Hotel Derek
The earthen colors chosen for the public areas are mostly caramel and coffee tones, while the genteel, guest rooms, up to 1200 square feet, include rain showers, spacious glass desks, high-speed Internet access, and cordless phones.  The outdoor swimming pool area is an interesting layout—it looks a bit barren at the moment, but with a bit more planted areas or potted greenery and given the Houston sun/humidity . . . it certainly should bush-out quickly. The mainly Texan and Californian inclination to stretch the gas-guzzling SUV making it even less green, is offered by the hotel for guests to shuttle them around the city.

Chevalier Alexis Lichine & Gourmet One Wine Dinner, Bonjour Restaurant – Bangkok

Friday, July 17th, 2009

1217/2 Sukhumvit Road Klongtan Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110
Tel. 02-7142112 Fax. 027142477

The Chevalier Alexis Lichine Wine Dinner was given at Bonjour Restaurant food and wines supplied by Beverage One and Gourmet One. Bill Fisher of Les Grands Chais de France represented Alexis Lichine Wines and Pheera Iamrahong was present for Beverage One and Gourmet One.

The menu follows:

The French Kitchen – Singapore

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Pictured above: Terrine de Joue de Boeuf et Foie Gras – Angus beef cheek and duck liver terrine

The French Kitchen
7 Magazine Rd (off Merchant Road)
#01-03, Central Mall
Singapore 059572
Tel: +65 6438 1823
Fax: +65 6438 3043
Opening Hours: Lunch: 12pm-2pm Tue-Fri; 12pm-3pm Sun
Dinner: 7pm-10pm Tue-Sat 6.30pm-9.30pm Sun; Closed on Mondays
Corkage 750ml: Mon: None; $30: Tuesdays to Thursdays; $40: Fridays, Saturdays, Public Holidays & Eve of Public Holidays
Maximum seating interior: 40
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Set Lunch 3-course $36++; Degustation Menu $88++; Starters from $24++
Main Course from $35++; Desserts from $14++

Jean-Charles Dubois formerly resident chef at the Raffles Grill is now cooking at The French Kitchen his new restaurant at Central Mall. He abstains as usual, from using modern techniques as molecular cooking or canister foams and sticks to basic classic French cuisine! Bravo!

The Menu Follows:

angus beef cheek and duck liver terrine, Pommery mustard dressing and printaniere salad
traditional lobster bisque with tiger prawn beignet and leek custard
home smoked salmon with traditional garnish of finely chopped egg, parsley, capers, shallot and horseradish cream

grilled tuna fillet with home smoked bacon, warm citrus scented salad of corn and baby romaine, light port wine jus
confit duckleg with caramelised fig, crispy polenta, sauteed Jerusalem artichoke and duck jus
pan fried skirt steak with endive leaves, cauliflower gratin and perigourdine sauce

organic orchard fruits; compote of apple, sable biscuit, citrus scented jelly and fresh berries
dark chocolate creme brulee with vanilla ice cream

Bastille Day Celebration – Los Angeles

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Come join in the fun!
Celebrate Bastille Day at the Southland’s Best French Festival!
Monticello Old Lodge
(next to the Dodgers Stadium – corner of Stadium Way and Scott Avenue)

Win a trip to Paris or Tahiti!!
Enjoy great French food and wine!
Noon – 10PM

On Sunday, July 12th, 2009, Angelenos will celebrate the eight annual official Bastille Day LA Festival in the heart of Los Angeles — Elysian Park, Monticello Old Lodge (next to the Dodgers Stadium) corner of Stadium Way and Scott Avenue. — with French gastronomic delicacies and spectacular live entertainment.

Come join in the fun and experience what thousands of people have been enjoying for the past seven years, making this annual celebration one of the most well-attended community festivals in Los Angeles. Entertainment includes:

– A true Provencal Petanque Tournament under the pine trees
– A Parisian Waiters Race
– Street performers
– Comedians, singers, artists
– French Market vendors
– Fun prizes for all races
– Fabulous raffles including a trip to Paris!!
– Famous French food, wines and gastronomic delights!

The Festival takes place under the auspices of Consulate General of France in Los Angeles.

Event Hours: Noon to 10PM

Entrance Fee: $5 – Free for children (under 13)

Parking Information:
Free parking is available on the streets around the Elysian Park, Monticello Old Lodge.

Parking is also available at the Dodgers Stadium in Lot 13, with free shuttle to the Monticello Old Lodge.  Parking lot 13 is located on Stadium Way, East of Elysian Park by the fire station.
Parking: $5

This event is produced by Passions Productions:

Pétanque: The Los Angeles Pétanque Club will organize a friendly tournament during the Bastille Day Festival. For more information or to join the club, please contact:
Max Legrand
direct line: (310) 475.8681

More: One tennis court on location.
There is a 3 mn walk from the entrance of the gated private road to the park area where the event takes place, please wear comfortable shoes.
Large picnic grass area.

Pascale Fortunat
Tel (323) 656.6083 / Fax (323) 656.6484

Macelle Geoffron
Head Sponsorship Strategist
Direct line (626) 660.5740

Gerald Maestu
Direct line (310) 497.2197

Entertainment Director:
Véronique Hunkin-Tomasi
Direct line (310) 951-0393

Mozza2Go Pizza Take-Out & Gourmet Store – Los Angeles

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Mozza 2 Go
6610 Melrose Avenue
(between North Highland and North Citrus Avenues)
Tel. 323-297-1130
Online Orders:

Take-Out Pizza or you may choose to have it Delivered from MOZZA2GO as well as antipasti such as Nancy Silverton’s Chopped Salad or Chicken Liver Bruschette.
It is advisable to call ahead to TAKE OUT your order. The small shop is lined with premier ingredients for your kitchen as well. From creamy artisinal Burrata, handpicked by Nancy’s exacting palette, to authentic dried pastas and sauces, the shelves of MOZZA2GO are what will become the new neighborhood Italian specialty shop.

Nozawa’s sugarFISH Launches in Brentwood – Los Angeles

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

sugarFISH™ in Brentwood
11640 San Vicente Blvd. #105, Los Angeles 90049
Phone: 310 820-4477

Sushi Nozawa, situated in Studio City announced the grand opening of the second location of sugarFISH on Friday, July 10. The new restaurant is in Brentwood at 11640 San Vicente Blvd. #105, Los Angeles 90049, and, like its sister restaurant in Marina del Rey, will serve authentic, moderately-priced sushi of the highest quality.

New Vision. To bring 
Chef Nozawa’s legendary technique to customers with utmost efficiency, they have made some changes that defy the way conventional sushi places function. The menu, while always changing to reflect the freshest fish, is dramatically simplified. Diners choose from two core selections, called Trust Me’s. There are no visible chefs behind the sushi bar. By moving our sushi-making to the kitchen, we can set up for maximum efficiency (and not for show). All of this allows us to deliver great sushi that can be enjoyed every day.

In the past year since its opening, sugarFISH Marina del Rey has enjoyed great
success with critics and guests alike.  The restaurant has not only created a
devoted clientele, but it also continues to receive rave reviews from food writers
(Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and Daily
Variety), online reviewers (Daily Candy, Zagat, and Gayot), and the blogging

sugarFISH’s loyal guests have come to  count on the incredible quality and ap-
preciate the outstanding value of sugarFISH’s traditional omakase-based menu.

Chef Nozawa’s focus on directly sourcing the finest and freshest ingredients translates into an authentic sushi experience delivered at a great price. Nozawa has also refined the sugarFISH menu to include his renowned handrolls and several specialty a la carte items such as scallop sushi, uni, salmon eggs and oyster sashimi.
Finally, sugarFISH introduced a thoughtfully designed take-out offering so that its guests can enjoy quality sushi at home, on the go, or even on a flight from LAX with their unique sugarFLIGHT service.

sugarFISH’s new location in Brentwood was designed by DEX , a multi-disciplinary design studio founded by Glen Bell in 1999.  The interiors incorporate classic Japanese design with a warm and modern aesthetic, and the restaurant’s signature feature is a stunning kibako wall.

sugarFISH follows Chef Nozawa’s philosophy of a chef’s selected menu that he calls Trust Me.

To enjoy Nozawa’s signature warm rice and crisp nori, they serve each plate individually as soon as it’s prepared.

Tuna Sashimi
Albacore Sushi (2-pc)
Salmon Sushi (2-pc)
Yellowtail Sushi (1-pc)
Halibut Sushi (1-pc)
Toro Hand Roll
Crab Hand Roll


Albacore Sushi (1-pc)
Salmon Sushi (1-pc)
Tuna Sushi (1-pc)
Nozawa Shrimp Sushi (1-pc)
Toro Hand Roll


sugarFISH follows
Chef Nozawa’s philosophy of a
chef’s selected menu that he calls
Trust Me.

To enjoy Nozawa’s signature
warm rice and crisp nori,
we serve each plate
Tuna Sashimi
Albacore Sushi (2-pc)
Salmon Sushi (2-pc)
Yellowtail Sushi (2-pc)
Halibut Sushi (2-pc)
Toro Hand Roll
Crab Hand Roll


Tuna Sashimi
Albacore Sushi (1-pc)
Salmon Sushi (1-pc)
Tuna Sushi (1-pc)
Nozawa Shrimp Sushi (1-pc)
Toro Hand Roll


Edamame  $2.50

Tuna Sashimi  $6.75
Oyster Sashimi $5.50

Sushi (2 pieces)
Salmon  $4.25
Nozawa Shrimp $4.25
Scallop (gunkan) $4.25
Tuna   $4.75
Albacore  $4.75
Unagi   $4.75
Snapper  $4.75
Yellowtail  $5.25
Salmon Eggs  $5.50
Halibut  $5.75
Halibut Fin (engawa) $5.75

Hand Rolls
Cucumber $4.00
Toro   $4.50
Salmon  $4.50
Scallop  $4.50
Yellowtail  $4.50
Crab   $4.75

Soda, Water, Tea
Bottled Water  $2.50
Green Tea (hot or cold) $2.00
Coke, Diet Coke
& Sprite  $2.00

Sapporo Light $5.00
Sapporo Premium $5.00
Yebisu  $7.50

Super Dry (Nozawa, 6 oz.) $9.00
Unfiltered (Nigori, 10 oz.) $8.00
Dry (Ryo, 12 oz)  $16.00
Premium Dry   $35.00
(Hakkaisan,10 oz.)

White Wine
Kunde (sauvignon blanc) $7/$25
Stag’s Leap (chardonnay) $9/$36
Cloudy Bay (sauvignon blanc)    $55

(Please ask server for details)

To-Go Trust Me $25.00
To-Go Trust Me Lite $15.00

Tuna Sashimi
Chu-Toro Sushi (2-pc)
Albacore Sushi (2-pc)
Salmon Sushi (2-pc)
Snapper Sushi (2-pc)
Yellowtail Sushi (2-pc)
Halibut Sushi (2-pc)
Toro Hand Roll
Crab Hand Roll



Uni $8.00

Let the chef choose. sugarFISH proudly upholds the centuries-old Japanese tradition called “omakase”: the master chef decides on the menu, based on his knowledge of what is most flavorful each day.

Old school values. 
sugarFISH embodies the philosophy of celebrated sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa, who believes in the Japanese tradition of omakase – “trust in the chef.”  With one exception, his “tricky” name “sugarFISH”, Nozawa shuns “American style” extravagant rolls or “fusion” dishes. Instead he concentrates on the purity of his basic ingredients—nurturing relationships with the finest seafood purveyors across the globe, cutting his fish with an artisan’s painstaking care, and even brewing his own fresh soy sauce and ponzu.

Brio Italian Restaurant, Marriott Riverside Resort – Bangkok

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Marriot Riverside Resort
257 Charnoennakorn Rd.
Tel. 024760022 ext. 1416
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Expensive

I spent the night in the Marriott Riverside Resort and it was very well managed and the service in all outlets was first rate.

Interestingly, the menu at the Italian Restaurant Brio is presented on a gimmicky, pizza paddle shaped object, which however unwieldy, and heavier than necessary it may be, still accomplishes the basic task of listing the dishes on offer. It occupies a space on the ground floor of this vast resort on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The establishment is highly visible to passing foot traffic on the resort’s main thoroughfare, a great deal of whom are Starbucks coffee toting types—who, to put it politely, are very casually clothed. There is ample clearance between tables and high ceilings that rise upwards at some points to over two floors. The place lives up to its name “brio” (it means warm and cosy), due to the warming effect given by the deft interior design, in spite of the large space with sparce table placement.

The chef, Antonio Facchinetti successfully delivers a casual Italian-style concept into a large hotel space, and most of his dishes are successfully implemented. The preparation of the Tuscan salad panzanella did not really appeal to me; especially since memories of other versions, previously tasted over the years, came to mind. However, the dish is an interpretation of the chef, and as such, it is arguably a matter of personal preference.
Brio is certainly the clear winner in a frail lineup of American restaurants within the resort’s compound. I only wish that Trader Vic’s would stick to the original recipes as laid down by Vic Bergeron and followed in various outlets all over the world. They cannot even build a proper drink in this Traders; almost impossible to imagine, as Trader Vic’s sells a line of bottled drink mixes that could be used as bases, with only the various rums and other alcohol to be added.