Tuesday, March 26, 2013

wine in the lotus position

if you don't know about lotus wares yet, yuh need to know about the spot. i knew about it a while now, but i really don't know what to call it. i just describe it as the spot you have to go to if you really want to trick out yuh pad. 

the items here are anything but ordinary. good quality. really impressive stuff. but even more impressive is the prices aren't what you would think. i eh sayin charlotte street kinda low prices, but good value for money. glasses you want to display long before you serve in them.

loads of wine stuff like the corkcicle. oh! what's a corkcicle? answer = click here.

dishes that look more like artwork than anything else.

scented candles in all sorts of interesting flavors.

and all sorts of different pieces.

things that could give you ideas.

but anyway, i went there the last time around for another thing that happens at lotus (part of why i can't explain what the place is in just a word or two), wine appreciation. why? because a man as spontaneous as myself can end up drinking anywhere from the neighborhood rum shop to a 5 star restaurant according to how the breeze blow. a little wine knowledge can help to make the vibes right sometimes. 

so lisa from aries services hosted a session with mucho wine info. types of wines, types of grapes, regions, how to read labels, we even went through some local restaurant wine lists. good stuff.

and for the practical part, lisa paired 5 wines with 5 flavors available at lotus wares (see? another thing you can find there. great food items like sauces and pastas).

so we had:
potel-aviron julianas with a spicy corn relish
chateau caronne st gemme with cherry berry jam
late harvest sauvignon blanc private reserve with an old farmhouse chutney
santa cristina toscana rosso with a mango peach jam
houge gewurztraminer with an apple jalapeno jelly

the gewurztraminer was my stand out. mainly because it's kinda dry but fruity. good to go with curry and geera and such. The spicy corn relish from stonewall kitchen was also outstanding for me. real nice.

long story short, lotus wares is a spot to check out. start by checkin their page on facebook (don't by shy to click like). then head down for the full experience.

Monday, March 25, 2013

big blate @ buzo

plain talk bad manners... i really do think i am a buzoholic. i mean, i've blogged about it about 3 times. and i make any excuse to go. so when chef grini invited the blogger's table for a lunch blate, nobody had to tell me twice. i was in like flynn. 

the buzo experience PLUS the company of sarina from trinigourmet, sharon from my chutney garden, the elusive trinichow and of course corey from learning patience... why would anybody say no to that?! 

we started out with a focaccia al rosmarino. a nice buttery flat bread seasoned with rosemary. tasty. i was wondering if i should keep some back to try it with a sauce from another dish or something... well, that failed.  i couldn't stop picking at it.that + talk = done!

but it was all good, because the next dish was fine as is. actually, it was my favorite thing on the menu. fried polenta with a cheese fondue. couple thin slices of radish in there for the eyes. the outside of the polenta was crispy, revealing a creamy inside. with that four cheese sauce and truffle oil... *head explodes*

next up came the focaccine farcite. mini pizzas more or less. not mini flavor though. this one was a zucchini and goat cheese. interesting combo.

but more interesting to me was the mushroom, truffle and arugula combo. yeah, i'm a mushroom fan.   

prosciutto crudo brought the meat. i lean more towards the pizzas without meat. i find they have more interesting flavors. but sometimes i dig the salt. especially when some nice wine is flowing. which is exactly what was going on here. 

the sausage and artichoke had the balance though. it was the first time i had artichokes on pizza and it was good. with the cheese, a tomato based sauce and tasty pork sausage, the flavor was off the chain. 

so this is what my pizza plate looked like. in other words, had no way for me to go wrong. 

i spoke about these before, and i will speak of them again. portobello fries. a must have at buzo. meaty strips of mushroom in a crispy tempura crust. they come with a tasty roasted garlic truffle mayo. always glad when corey ensures that these end up on the table. 

prosecco. what more is there to say about that? just prosecco. time to change the pace a bit.

correct. one of the things i love about buzo is that the pastas are all made fresh in house. yuh can't beat that with a bat... especially at these prices. anyway, lobster ravioli was up next. it was well done as usual, but i wasn't over the moon with it. i think at that point i realized i'm a-boil-the-lobster-and-serve-it-with-some-butter kinda guy. that said, my plate was empty. 

the next dish stopped the show with presentation. a brown paper bag and a rubber sealed glass jar. what kinda bizarre savannah-like fare is this? 

it all opened up to reveal a grilled shrimp on top of a prosecco risotto in the jar. which was a full six runs in my book. and a fritto misto, fried calamari and shrimp in the brown bag. it wasn't just a fun presentation. the risotto was off the chain. 

what i didn't mention before was that sarina has dietary restrictions which chef grini was skillfully handling. while we were doing the shell fish and so on, sarina was working on some choice salmon. i was satisfied with my dishes, but couldn't help but peep over at her plate.

as attractive as it looked, i didn't have the fragole. a strawberry salad. straight up, i was full at this point. and i'm not much of a salad lover either. it looked very appealing though.  

the dessert section started up with strawberries and cream with glazed nuts and a mint garnish. my kinda thing. not too sweet, but fruity all the same. i appreciated the simple treat right at that point.

but as most know, i'm also not a huge dessert guy. however, this tiramisu looked good enough to get me to taste a spoonful. rich... creamy... chocolate... delicious. i'd recommend it to any of my sweet tooth friends. 

as usual, the experience was beyond great. chef cristian's brilliant dishes, frances' stellar service, and this time (not exclusive to buzo) the excellent company of fellow bloggers. now lets see how long before my next buzo visit.