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Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2010 Lexus Grand Tasting

Morimoto, Jamie Lauren, Richard Reddington, Michael Chiarello

Mike and I were lucky enough to attend the Sunday Grand Tasting event at the Third Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival courtesy of Foodbuzz our favorite foodie social network.¬† The weather was not as nice as 2009 but that didn’t put a damper on our day. After taking a quick stroll around the tents to get acquainted we noticed right off the bat that we had entered Porkapalooza. Tons of chefs chose to serve pork¬† — which is always alright with me! Our favorite was by Richard Reddington of REDD (Napa). It was not only the best pork dish but our top dish of the day. Richard’s glazed pork belly was smothered in a sauce I wanted to take a bath in.

Reddington (REDD) - Glazed pork belly, soy caramel,apples & burdock

Other standout eats:
I’ve never eaten an anchovy raw in all its glory. This was the perfect combination of salty, creamy, sweet and crunchy.

Jamie Lauren - Marinated anchovy bruschetta w/ beet puree, burrata & lemon evoo

There was a little issue with the execution of this next dish because the pastry was a tad hard but all was forgotten when I tasted that plump sweet lobster.

Mark Gaier/Clark Frasier (Arrows, Maine) - Grilled lobster w/ marscapone, tomatoes & basil

I’m a sucker for pizza. They called it a tarte but really it was a thin crust pizza and I loved every morsel of it. This was a close runner up for best bite.

Walter Manzke (Church & State) - Bacon, gruyere, onion tarte

One thing lacking this year was desserts but the berry cobbler by Dory Ford of Aqua Terra was pretty tasty.

Enough food bring on the wine…

Mike (my wine guy) will continue with our prize picks:

2007 Buty Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc: Supple and big body cab blend with super fine tannins. Lots of berry upfront and a nice hint of spice on the finish. This Washington wine is a great buy.
2006 Cade Howell Mtn. Cab Sauvignon:  Big, bold cab with tons of dark fruit up front and a nice vanilla and chocolate finish.  Very delicate tannins. Beautiful wine.
2007 Hanzell Chardonnay: a wonderfully refreshing California Chard with tons of melon up front and a nice mineral finish. Not your typical CA Chard – in a good way.
2007 Molly Dooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz: a fabulous velvety Shiraz from down under. Great smoky aroma with tons of currant upfront and a hint of pepper on the finish.

Another Grand Tasting bites the dust.¬† We can’t wait till next year. Thanks Foodbuzz!

Additional photos:

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Want more? Check out our adventures from Pebble Beach F&W 2009…
Lexus Grand Tasting @ Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2009
Farm-to-Table Lunch, Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2009
Thomas Keller Cooking Demo ‚Äď Pebble Beach Food & Wine¬†2009
V√©rit√© Wine Tasting ‚Äď Pebble Beach Food & Wine¬†2009

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Bottega


Mike and I took my sister and her husband to Napa for a weekend before they moved from the Bay Area to Hawaii. We decided we would dine at Bottega, Michael Chiarello’s newest creation. On the night we arrived he was actually in the house. While waiting for our table he walked through the bar and mingled with guests. As he was making his way back to the kitchen he made a comment to my sister and brother-in-law. The waiting area is small and the place was packed so my sister was sitting on her husband’s lap. Chef Chiarello said something like¬† “You guys look comfortable… I’m gonna bring you a menu, actually maybe just dessert.”¬† (at lease that’s what I think I heard — it was noisy so I could be a little off but that was the jist).

Soon after we were seated at a large round table in the side dining area. We started our meal with a raw fish appetizer and fresh mozzarella. For mains, I chose the seafood stew, Mike had the Quail and my sister and hubby shared a giant porterhouse steak and fries. For dessert we had a yummy cookie plate and a tart. The food and service was very good definitely worthy of a Top Chef Master but we didn’t expect anything less. For years Mike & I have been fans of the NapaStyle empire Chiarello created. If you haven’t heard about his wine club check it out. We have been members for over 2 years and we love it.

Pictured: Mozzarella (top left), Fish app served on a salt rock (top right), Stew (bottom left), Quail (bottom right)

Rating: drumstick rating drumstick rating drumstick rating halfdrumstick

Website: http://www.botteganapavalley.com/

Note: This dinner occurred in May 2009.
Bottega on Urbanspoon

NapaStyle Yountville / Paninoteca & Wine Bar

napastyle-sign

We headed back to Napa for my bday weekend. First stop was Michael Chiarello’s flagship NapaStyle store in Yountville. It was not exactly what I expected. The space was small and packed to the gills. Things it has that you won’t find at other locations include an olive oil bar, house-made salami section as well as a cafe. I was most impressed with the Panini cafe called Paninoteca. Mike and I had lunch there and the sandwiches were terrific. Very fresh, tasty and light. On the way out we picked up a jug of the NapaStyle everyday olive oil. It tasted delicious.

napastylechick

Toasted spice chicken with braised potatoes

napastylesteak

Grilled flank steak with red onions and blue cheese

Shout out to the weather gods…thanks for the fantabulous weather. It was one of the nicest weekends I have experienced in Napa. On November 14th it was 86 degrees! At that time of year it’s normally in the 60’s. I was wearing shorts and flip flops. ūüėé

Address:
V Marketplace
6525 Washington St.
Yountville, CA

Michael Chiarellos NapaStyle Wine Club

napastyle logo

If you’re looking for an inexpensive wine club to join I urge you to consider Michael Chiarellos NapaStyle Wine Club. Mike and I have been members for 1 year and are extremely happy with our quarterly shipments. We receive the Cucina club which includes 6 bottles (red & white) from around the world for $90! What makes this club unique is that within each box delivered are recipes to go with each wine and suggestions on what types of foods they will pair well with. These are the kinds of wines that you can open up and enjoy immediately…no need to store in a wine cellar for years or wait for a special occasion. So far we have received 24 bottles and only 1 or 2 did I not care for. Michael Chiarello is a well known chef and proprietor of a small family winery so his recommendations are reliable.

Tasty Tip: There currently is an offer for $25 off your first shipment on the website.

Website: http://www.napastylewineclub.com/

Cool Chiarello items:
Napa Stories Wine Journal
Napa Stories: Profiles, Reflections,and Recipes from the Napa Valley

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