Saturday, August 27, 2011

Okanagan Wine Tour 2011

Studying for my wine tour in a couple of weeks with a glass of Quail's Gate Dijon Clone Pinot Noir. Smooth, easy drinking and enough raspberry flavours to make it work as dessert. Truly lovely wine. We may have to make an extra stop on our wine tour to get more. 2 per person limit at the winery.

Delicious with the grilled tuna from this mornings market too.

Albacore Tuna

I spent an hour watching the group at Caper's on Robson and Albion Fisheries putting together a fresh tuna sale this morning. We rarely get to eat our local albacore tuna fresh. Usually frozen at sea they are an excellent choice on the grill. Quick and easy to cook and the leftovers excellent nicoise salad or tuna melts the next day. I hear it may become an annual sale and I'll look forward to joining them. Local, fresh and wild is wise.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

North Okanagan Wine Touring

Just drove up to Vernon for an overnight and stopped at a couple of wineries. I was on a quest for the award winning Volcanic Hills Rose. Unfortunately it was sold out but we did a tasting and discovered the delicious Pinot Gris. At $16.90 per this wine is crisp, refreshing and excellent value. The Gewurztraminer at $17.90 is also worth trying. They were offering a vertical tasting of the Gew 2009 and 2010. It was good to see just how different the vintage can be. Both were delicious but very different. In our group of 3, 2 liked the 2009 best and I personally preferred the 2010. The winery is in Westbank so combines well with a visit to Quail's Gate or Mission Hill.

We visited Quail's Gate and tasted a couple of their justly famous Pinot Noirs. They have a Quail's Gate Pinot Noir, a Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir and a Dijon Clone Pinot Noir. The first two are delicious; the family reserve is justly more money. I walked away with a bottle of the Dijon Clone Pinot Noir and am looking forward to tasting it.

On the way home we stopped and had lunch at Gray Monk. I like their Pinot Gris; it's my white pick at Cactus Club. The restaurant at Gray Monk is magnificent with a patio overlooking the lake. If the tasting room is busy, I'd recommend getting a flight of wines to share while you look over the food menu. We all 3 had the crab and heirloom tomato salad and it was a hit. I like the menu based on what is local and seasonal. Knowledgeable staff are helpful and cheerful. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant. We arrived shortly after noon and were lucky enough to get a table, by 1pm they were full.

RimRock Cafe Whistler

Last weekend we had our second meal at the RimRock Cafe Whistler. This outstanding restaurant is truly westcoast. Great food, wine and service in casual comfort. After our first visit a few month ago I talked to a lot of people who told me that the Rimrock was their favourite restaurant in Whistler, some said BC, some Canada. I was looking forward to a second visit. Eight of us met on a Saturday night. The restaurant was fully booked and yet our server managed to make us feel like we were the only table she cared about. With thoughtful information on the food and wine she really did help make the evening a success. The mussels appetizer with cherry tomatoes, white wine and cream was the best I've had in memory. Several of us had the salmon special stuffed with crab and a cream sauce. Delicious.

The scallops were also a big hit.

The wine cellar is excellent with a good selection of BC Wine. The mark up is reasonable and my favourite thing is that they will give you a half glass for half price. So civilized.

In short it is my recommendation that if you spend a night in Whistler you should include a dinner at The RimRock.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gran Bar Danzon - Buenos Aires

Gran Bar Danzon by Jason Stratford

Libertad y Santa F Capital Federal, Buenos Aires.

Telephone: (00 54 11) 4811 1108

Contemporary New York meets South America in this welcoming bar/restaurant with a long bar, plush sofas and intimate lighting. Cocktail aficionados will not be disappointed here, nor will anyone else with the truly impressive choice of spirits on offer or the delectable sushi. This is where the city's sophisticates and movers n' shakers go to play.

I visited here in May on a recommendation from the hotel's reception. The place doubles as a restaurant, bar, nightclub. It seemed to have a sophisticated, educated crowd which made you feel part of something special. We came for food and sat in the restaurant side and were not disappointed. They had a 2-for1 early evening special on for drinks so we both ordered two drinks right-off, he had delicious Apple Martini's and I had the local Quilmes beer which I always found to be refreshing and easy to drink. We were then given bread and dip which was tasty and then followed by our main courses. He ordered the Risotto with chicken nuggets white spicy caramelized carrots and fennel which he absolutely loved the flavours and textures. Cost ARS 64, approx CAD$15.

I ordered the Shrimp and corn ravioli in creamy sweet potatoes and herbs and loved it for the same reasons. Cost ARS 59, approx CAD$14. Only other things we paid for were standard for restaurants in Buenos Aires, Agua (water) and also Cubierto service fee (Cutlery) and both were minimal amounts. Total paid was ARS 210, (approx CAD$50) for the evening for 2 main courses, and 2 drinks each of exceptional quality. The service was friendly and prompt and a DJ begins to play a little later in the background of modern dance tracks but it wasnt intrusive to the ambiance at all and only added to the great vibe of the place.

Thoroughly recommended Restaurant visit in Buenos Aires!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Photos: The world's 10 most expensive foods

Seems like NYC has serves a lot of the most expensive food in the world.
I can recommend Norma's for breakfast even if you don't have the lobster
and caviar frittata.

Photos: The world's 10 most expensive foods