March 5, 1986 |
For anyone who dines out a lot, it's likely that a half-dozen memorable dishes are permanently etched in the mind. Often, these stellar foods were found when least expected. One memorable dish for us had an amazing triad of flavors: lobster, fennel and Calvados. The sweet richness of the lobster, the slight licorice flavor of the fennel and the intense apple flavor of the brandy blended to make a combination far better than the individual parts. A beautiful French Meursault further enhanced the meal, and the wine itself gained from the pairing.
April 27, 1992 |
At a wine tasting where only the choicest vintages are offered, the hero of Year of the Comet boorishly asks for a can of Budweiser. The request is a further instance of the shameless brand advertising that has crept into movies and an honest indicator of the modest quality of what is to follow. Peter Yates' romantic adventure strives for champagne effervescence, but most of it is flatter than yesterday's beer. Year of the Comet tries so hard to be lighthearted that it winds up being simply airheaded and the film marks a shallow trough in the career of a director who has given us such peaks as The Dresser and Breaking Away.
July 16, 1986 |
The flavors of the Southwest are making their way to both coasts. These interesting blends are bright, boisterous and spicy - and surprisingly compatible with delicate seafood. We've blended these regional flavors into a dish that can have nationwide appeal. To shrimp from the Gulf we've added an orange sauce from southern Texas. The sauce is spiked with tequila, a gift from our friends south of the border, and the dish is served with corn muffins, a staple of the Deep South. This creates a spectacular combination that is refined and sophisticated, but gutsy; delicate, yet bold.
July 8, 2012 |
As I drove down the winding country road in the Demone Valley of northeastern Sicily, passing through small towns and villages with old rustic farmhouses in the distance, there was a feeling of growing anticipation and excitement. Even though I had made this trip only once before almost 10 years earlier with my wife, everything looked very familiar. With Mount Etna, the active volcano known as a muntagna by the Sicilians, looming in the distance, Uncle Tony and I made our way along the last leg of our trip from Fiumafreddo to Linguaglossa.
September 28, 1986 |
The quality of wine is often judged by the type of closure that keeps it in the bottle. Those sealed with screw tops tend to be inexpensive and unappreciated by wine aficionados. On the other hand, wines bottled with a cork often get an automatic sense of legitimacy - regardless of whether the respect is deserved. Bad wine should not be attributed simply to the presence of a screw top, according to a presentation at the recent annual convention of the American Chemical Society, held in Anaheim, Calif.
March 19, 1987 |
This supposedly took place at a particularly fancy restaurant somewhere in the United States - the sort of restaurant I've always referred to as La Maison de la Casa House, Continental Cuisine. The wine waiter - or the sommelier, as the folks at La Maison de la Casa House would certainly have called him - arrived at the table with the expensive bottle of wine that had just been ordered. He displayed the label, opened the bottle, placed the cork on the table in front of the customer who had done the ordering, and poured an inch or so of wine to be tasted.
May 21, 2000 |
There's no need for Trumpets to toot its own horn, for I'll happily do it instead. The Kennett Square restaurant with lovely Victorian setting opened six weeks ago in what used to be Samantha's Cafe, offering splendid contemporary cuisine paired with the appropriate wines. The entire restaurant is non-smoking, even the attractive bar, which may mean that the beautiful decor will remain pristine for as long as I hope the restaurant survives. The menu is uncommonly appealing and dishes are prepared with considerable accomplishment.
June 6, 1986 |
One day in the fall of 1980 - shortly after Vartan Gregorian had been passed over for the presidency of the University of Pennsylvania, and shortly after I'd written a column on the subject - I was having lunch in a Center City restaurant when a waiter appeared at my table with a glass of white wine. "Compliments of a friend," he said, motioning across the room. I looked in the direction he indicated and saw Gregorian's goateed face grinning at me. Now, put yourself in my place: How would you react?
October 1, 2000 |
In the Technicolor glow of stained-glass poultry, Rose Parrotta is stomping her feet to Johnny Cash, reliving her wilder days in the apple orchards of New York and filling her Happy Rooster with an infectious energy boost. She welcomes friends to her little restaurant in a playful headlock, leading them around the thick brass bar pole. Even diners unknown to this diamond-studded dynamo get a blast of her charisma. She preens like Vanna White beside her ambitious chalkboard menu, discoursing on everything from her hand-scribbled boutique wine list ("people want forward fruit, but I won't give it to them!"
March 11, 1992 |
Robert M. Jacobs Sr., a wine and liquor sales representative who serviced a number of Philadelphia's top lounges and nightclubs, died Sunday. He was 67 and lived in West Philadelphia. "My father was a great sales representative, a natural who knew how to move a product. He was as comfortable with the owner of a corner tavern as he was with the operator of a top-flight lounge," said a son, Robert Jr. "He represented Calvert whiskey and the Bartolomeo Pio line of wines. " Jacobs grew up in the Haddington section of West Philadelphia, attended Overbrook High School, and served in the South Pacific with the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a Philadelphia police officer during the 1950s, working out of the 12th District station house at 65th Street and Woodland Avenue.