On this Halloween Thursday, yours truly is thinking of drinking red.
No, we’re not vampires at Trev’s Bistro drinking blood (or are we?…) as dusk turns to dark. There is no better time to consider the excellent red wine being produced in Sicily. When you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, there is no better place to sample these Sicilian wines (or for that matter, any Italians), than amidst the excellent burrata with sea salt and olive oil, maccaronara with ragu Napoletana, and Shelly Lindgren’s magnificent almost entirely Italian wine list at the now decade-old A16 in San Francisco’s Marina district.
It’s the type of wine list that makes you forget about your date for 15 minutes as you’re immersed in the fascinating world of varietals and regions you’ve never heard of. I’m sorry, did you say something?
Yet all will be well because the excellent service staff provides exactly the nurturing insight to help you find that perfect decision. They could even make calculus seem simple. Don’t be surprised if after perusing the list for 15 minutes, you receive a 15 minute story about the wine you should choose.
That was the case when I was pointed towards the 2010 Etna Rosso from Alberto Graci. (more…)
On this late April Monday, it’s snowing in Denver and still crisp Autumn weather in the Northeast. Spring hasn’t quite got the message yet that it was supposed to start a month ago (meanwhile it’s summer already in California).
Which of course then makes us think of Mai Tais and beaches in the tropics. Honolulu’s high today was a cool 82.
For this Monday’s neighborhood of the week, we say a very warm “Aloha!” to beautiful Kapalua, a resort area in the northwest corner of Maui.
Kapalua almost always is spoken in terms of golf with its 22,000 acres of luxury condos spread between the coast, two eighteen hole world-class golf courses, a golf academy, a Ritz-Carlton, and Highway 30 at the top of a steep incline to the east. Golf is in the air everywhere, you can’t escape it. Fortunately, you can be rest assured the courses are far enough from the beaches to not hear “Fore!” when sunbathing.
The PGA golf season’s first event, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, occurs the first week of January each year on Kapalua’s Plantation Course (Dustin Johnson won this year). While the rest of the country is marching back to work through snow after New Years, the golf world is savoring the Kapalua sunshine and splendid views west towards Molokai.
On Maui’s West Coast traveling north towards Kapalua you have the New Orleans-evoking charm of the area’s “town,” Lahaina, then the decidedly un- Hawaiian skyscraper hotel-resorts of Ka’anapali, followed by the more subdued communities of Kahana and Napili Kai (for our readers’ interest, the Maui Brewing Company’s brewpub is in Kahana). Then you reach our destination, beginning with Kapalua’s Bay Course, full of Cook pine trees everywhere, with views over Napili Bay. (more…)
On this spring Tuesday afternoon, we’ll give you an espresso jolt with this excellent and very thorough comparison of “Third Wave” espresso with the classic Italian espresso, courtesy of Erin Meister at Serious Eats.
Yours truly is a classic “Third Wave” coffee drinker, consuming one of these types of espressos each afternoon (or many more than one if away from San Francisco on assignment). Interestingly, my “local” cafe is really an Italian caffé of the sort where if you order an espresso, it’s meant to be a quick one minute shot and you’re out. I often describe this Italian espresso as “watery” and “meager,” so it greatly benefits from a dollop of steamed milk foam as a macchiato. Is the espresso on its really that bland and liquidy? Well, yes it is. It’s not meant to be swirled, sniffed, and examined from all angles like the “Third Wave” espressos.
Is one of the espresso types better?
Absolutely. There is no debate that the “Third Wave” style is the superior product. The depth, the wood, citrus, and herbal notes, complete with its silky structure compared to the Italian’s water– this isn’t even a contest.
However, as the article so beautifully explains, there is a complete difference in the barista’s process, the beans used, and often even the machines that pull the shots and grind the beans. The most glaring reason for the “Third Wave” espresso’s superior body and complete flavor profile is usually because more of the beans are used, creating a much denser shot with a smoother, thicker texture.
It’s an art and a science to pulling espresso shots. For me, there really isn’t a question here of which I prefer, but I know many advocates for both sides. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. If you’re an espresso drinker, you already have a clear preference. (more…)
Plat du Jour Monday April 8, 2013: Remembering Two Icons, MLB Dining, and Louisville vs Ann Arbor, In Basketball and Dining
Happy NCAA Basketball National Championship Monday, always one of the most “un-Monday feeling” Mondays of the year. Hopefully tomorrow doesn’t deliver a delayed case of the Mondays.
In just a few moments, the Louisville Cardinals and the Michigan Wolverines will tip-off the Championship Game from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. With the 2013 baseball season also just under way, Trev’s Bistro is in a particularly sporting mood today. For this edition of the Plat du Jour, we’ll look at some of the most impressive dining options across Major League Baseball, in addition to our usual city vs city Championship Dining match-up, with Ann Arbor taking on Louisville, Big Blue vs Big Red.
But first, a few food world notes. (more…)
It’s almost gameday in the Crescent City, where on Super Sunday, February 3rd, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will face off in Super Bowl XLVII. It’s annually the biggest spectacle in the country and an unofficial national holiday. This year, even more media and fans will be descending upon the host city than ever before. With New Orleans being the sight of the event and the parties included, food is naturally one of the important components of a visit for the out of towners this week, along with the game.
Here now, we’ll march down the SuperDome field as the visitors march into the Big Easy, with helpful advice on where to dine over the next few days when avoiding the bland banquet food at team and media hotel gatherings. Yours truly actually has been giving insight to members of the San Francisco 49ers traveling party, as they hope to get a sense of the city’s culinary scene amidst the hectic chaos that is New Orleans at any time of year, especially Super Bowl Week.
Keep in mind that with so many visitors this week vying for tables and special events occurring too, many of these destinations, if not all of them, will either be swamped with customers or enormously crowded.
And, you don’t need a dining critic to tell you to avoid the food and drink of Bourbon Street (except Galatoire’s). It’s common sense. Don’t do it. You know better than to dine at the fish and chips carts on the sidewalks.
Many articles here at Trev’s Bistro have extensively covered the city’s dining and drinking scene, so make sure to pay a visit to the New Orleans page when conducting research.
Ravens Goal Line: Breakfast and Coffee
The perfect day in New Orleans will commence with an espresso at the impossibly charming café Velvet on Magazine Street in Uptown, using beans roasted by the masters at Portland, Oregon’s Stumptown. Just don’t have the portrait of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter be the first alarm clock for your day, or you’ll be jaded for hours to come.
Breakfast, if not at Café du Monde (see below), should be at chef Scott Boswell’s (also of Stella!) morning power meal and all day dining French Quarter stalwart Stanley. They’re the only two restaurants worth your time around Jackson Square (very much worth a visit itself). Consider the Eggs Benedict Poor Boy or the Bananas Foster French Toast, New Orleans standards re-imagined. At lunch, the burger will be ordered or poor boys sporting Korean BBQ beef or a pepperoni pizza caesar salad. It is what it is. Don’t ask why they aren’t called “Po-Boys,” or why a pizza-salad needs to be a sandwich also. (more…)