Monday, August 31, 2009

Congrats to Olivia and Feast!

For all you foodies out there, Bon Appetite magazine's September 2009 issue praises 2 of Texas' best! Here's a blurb from the website...

2009's Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America

Today's most exciting restaurants have a lot in common. They represent the new standard: simple, satisfying local food—all served with zero pretense. They support local farmers, sustainable agriculture, and regional cuisine.


2043 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin; 512-804-2700;

There's only one thing on the walls of Olivia: a Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings concert poster that chef James Holmes's grandfather gave to him. The image—two groundbreaking country music legends from Texas—captures the spirit of this sophisticated yet laid-back spot. The restaurant's clean art-gallery-esque interior really shows off the poster—and Chef Holmes's food. He gathers his culinary inspiration from (and in) his backyard vegetable garden. The resulting menu includes produce-based dishes like risotto made with squash and greens, and spinach-potato gnocchi with olives and tomatoes. Holmes is also fond of riffs on comfort-food classics, like spaghetti cooked in red wine and the milk-braised pork shoulder here. The diverse clientele—a tattooed musician on his way to a show or an operagoer dressed to the nines—only adds to Olivia's considerable charm.


219 Westheimer Road, Houston; 713-529-7788;

The locals didn't have much faith in Feast, a British-style gastropub with a menu that includes bubble and squeak, black pudding, and tons of offal. "They told us that we must put steak on the menu or we wouldn't make it. This is Texas, after all," says co-owner Meagan Silk. Despite the skeptics, Silk, her husband, James, and their friend Richard Knight decided to press on. And it's a good thing they did. Today, the restaurant—and its Brit-centric menu—is a huge hit. For the offal novices, we chose this recipe, which makes good use of beef neck bones and pig's feet. Try it. We promise that it's delicious.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

eParker Wine of the Day...

and one of my personal favorites from Eric Solomon's Spanish portfilio. Eric took us to visit the Castillo family and winery during our visit in Spain. Unbelievable balance in these wines folks!

WA Tasting NOTE: The 2007 Monastrell is even better than the 2006 which received 88 points in Issue 175. The wine is estate grown and bottled from old vines and low yields. It was aged for six months in seasoned French and American oak barrels. Dark ruby-colored, it exhibits a nose of spice box, black cherry, and blueberry. This leads to a medium to full-bodied wine with layered fruit, savory flavors, enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years, and a pure close. Drink it over the next four years. Importer: Eric Solomon, European Cellars, Charlotte, NC $9-$15 Retail.
2007 Bodegas Casa Castillo Monastrell
A Mourvedre Dry Red Table wine from
Jumilla, Spain

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wines of Origin - LIOCO

A few solid suggestions for the weekend...look for LIOCO at Centennial, Whole Foods, The Austin Wine Merchant and Block 7 to name a few retailers around the state! Cheers and TGIF! Notes from Tanzer...

2007 LIOCO Chardonnay Sonoma County
Pale gold. Vibrant, pure aromas of citrus fruit, flowers and herbs. Juicy lime and lemongrass flavors are complemented by notes of anise and honeysuckle. Gains power on the finish, which strongly repeats the anise note and offers good mineral cut. This is an outstanding value. $20, 90pts.

2007 LIOCO Pinot Noir Carneros
Vivid red. Smoky red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by pungent herbal and floral notes. Mineral-driven red fruit flavors are refreshingly tangy, with a bite of cherry skin adding grip. Becomes deeper and chewier with air and finishes with excellent clarity and sweet persistence. Give this some decanter time. $37, 90pts. 2007

LIOCO Red Wine Indica Mendocino County
A blend of carignane, petit sirah, grenache and mourvedre) Bright red. Flamboyant aromas of raspberry, cherry preserves and incense. Lively but supple red berry flavors are given depth by anise and cherry pit qualities. Reminds me of an open-knit 2007 southern Rhone wine, with excellent finishing clarity and persistent sweetness. $20, 90pts

Friday, August 21, 2009

Davis Family Vineyards Winemaker Dinner

Come on out and join Guy Davis, owner and Winemaker of California's Davis Family Vineyards...

Tillman's Roadhouse in the Bishop Arts District - Dallas.
Wednesday August 26, 7pm

The evening's lineup...

Seared Diver Sea Scallop
Pancetta butter beans, tomato consumme and sorrel swirl
2006 Gusto Sauvignon Blanc

Java Rubbed Lamb Ribs
jammy red wine glaze and tiny greens
2005 Barn D'Or

Jimi Hendricks Quail
Cherry wood smoked with spoon bread
(Special Davis Family Olive Oil)
2006 Old Vine Russian River Zinfandel

Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor
With Pistachio lavosh, baguette studded grissini and comeback creek figs
2005 Russian River Pinot Noir

Buttermilk Panna Cotta and Blueberry Powdered Sugar Dusted Landy Lemon Bar
With Blackberry Splatter
2006 Russian River Syrah

$95 per person.
Seated is limited for this special evening, please call Tillman's for reservations.
(214) 942-0988

See you at Tillman's!

Monday, August 17, 2009

TexSom 2009

Wonderful News tonight...Please join me in congratulating June Rodil of Uchi for winning Texas Best Sommelier tonight in Dallas!

It's a might fierce competition and she just rocked the house. I am very proud of our Austinite and fellow lover of Sake too! She's as sweet as she is smart - what an honor! And what super great news to kick-off my over-due blogging of late. Please congratulate June next time you see her at Uchi - outstanding my friend! Bravo and Well Done! - Ali

(This is a pic of June during out first "twitter happy hour at Uchi a few weeks ago).