A slight chill in the evening air and the pending official start of Fall sends me in to the cellar with the desire to sip big, bold Napa Valley Cabs and Blends. Many wineries are releasing their 2008 vintages right now, some their 2009, some their 2007, depending on how they aged their wines. Here are a few favorites recently enjoyed, some were sent for editorial consideration, all are delicious.
I attended a wine dinner recently at Sevy’s Grill with Robin Lail. A Napa Valley icon, founder of Dominus with her sister, Merryvale with Bill Harlan, and of course, Lail Vineyards. Employing another icon, winemaker Philippe Melka, Lail makes two incredible Sauvignon Blancs and two stunning Cabernet Sauvignons. Her 2007 J. Daniel Cuvee blends 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from four different sites in Napa – Howell Mountain, Calistoga, Rutherford and Coombsville. A great food wine, especially with Strube Ranch Kobe Short Ribs from Chef Severson, filled with black cherry, black plums, licorice and leather with layers of spice and dried herbs. 96 points from Robert Parker, a vibrant wine to be enjoyed now or will age nicely for years to come.2 Comments »
Chef Gabriel DeLeon says October 3 is the target date for the opening of Mi Dia in Grapevine. DeLeon’s new menu is a combination of Tex-Mex, Mexican, and Santa Fe-style dishes. I peeked in a couple of weeks ago and, even under construction, the dining room looks lovely. DeLeon has been cooking around these parts for quite a while. He worked at his uncle’s restaurant Esparza’s in Grapevine before he opened La Margarita restaurant in Irving, Texas. Most recently, he was the driving force behind Masaryk, a modern Mexican kitchen and tequila lounge.
Down-home cooking with a twist is what led a full audience of weekday workers to attend Central Market’s cooking school session on Tuesday, featuring Lou Lambert, owner and chef of Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue, Jo’s, Lambert’s Steaks, Seafood, and Whiskey, and Dutch’s Burgers & Beer.
The experienced Fort Worth chef and author of the newly released Big Ranch, Big City cookbook is on a promotional tour of Central Markets in Texas. Not limited to recipes alone, Lambert’s book shares why he got into cooking on top of the stories behind the recipes.
“I never wanted to throw a bunch of recipes together to say I did a cookbook,” Lambert says. Even the photography in the book shows more than food alone—which let me say, is more than enough to hold the attention of most. It shows Lambert at home in classic, ranch-style Texas scenery where he found his love of cooking.
The end result is more than a compilation of ingredients and instructions, but an explanation of what food means to this local chef. Even the title tells readers where Lambert got his starts—“Big Ranch” from his childhood growing up in West Texas and “Big City” from his time at the Culinary Institute of America and other various cooking experiences including time working with Wolfgang Puck.
Monday night’s dinner at One Art brought forth some spirited discussion with John Tesar. During the course of the meal, he dropped these little bits of news.