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Alexander van Dülmen

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Alexander van Dülmen

Panama, Restaurant, Berlin

Panama, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6,5 points

6 points by Alexander van Dülmen

IMG-20170509-WA0001I am pleased that my friend and acclaimed script-writer Elisabeth Bartel accepted my invitation not only for a dinner at Panama but also to write her first review on my blog. 

Working on a screenplay with the word “Panama” in the title, it was kind of obvious that “Panama”, a fairly new restaurant in Berlin’s center, would be the ideal fit for dinner. Already when you enter the enchanted back yard, off a busy stretch of Potsdamer Straße, you feel you have come to a special place. We were lead to the second floor, which houses the main part of the mid-size restaurant with the half-open kitchen behind large glass windows. The atmosphere is bright and easy going but also quite loud, catering to a younger, international crowd.

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Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006

Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006, Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Red wine from France

4,5 points

This wine is much nicer than I expected! Spicy, dark berries, very dry, with strong tannins, but still very enjoyable. There is tobacco and even a note of bitter chocolate. The wine is full-bodied and quite potent. However, somehow it’s like a volcano that just can’t explode due to being covered by a huge layer of stones. You’re always expecting that something might still happen with this wine, but it doesn’t. For what it is: it’s good wine! A Bordeaux blend which is affordable, made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and little bit of Petit Verdot. In other appellations, the winemaker would add Cabernet Franc, which of course could make the wine a bit more elegant. This certainly wasn’t the intention of this maker; therefore it’s a rather bulky if not a fat wine. If I were asked what’s missing, I would say: some elegance. Continue reading “Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006”

Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin

Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

5,5 points

It is astonishing to see how many restaurants have opened during the last few years in Berlin. Einsunternull is another modern and perhaps trendsetting restaurant in the same vein as Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Einsunternull means one below zero, a reference to the floor level of the restaurant rather the level of quality. In Germany, zero is the ground floor, so the restaurant is actually in the cellar.

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Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013

Freakshow, A „Michael David Joint“, The Strongest Man on Earth, Lodi, California, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Red-wine from USA

3,5 points

I began my last review of “The Seven Deadly Zins” with this note: “Art and design are certainly a question of taste.” (The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel) I certainly didn’t expect anyone to top that last label!  And it’s the same winemakers who have created this – let me say – impressive label. You can call them courageous or perhaps just possessing a strong instinct for kitsch. In any case: another remarkable wine label, it’s unforgettable!

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Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei

PlDolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei, Kauai, USA

5,5 points

Housed in one of the few older buildings in Hanalei, Dolphin is a combination of restaurant, tavern and sushi bar. Fame and legend – both expressions are connected to this fish restaurant — which feels like it’s almost at the end of the world. If all ends of the earth are as beautiful as Hanalei Bay, I would travel more. Jonathan Deckter, who strongly encouraged me to go to Dolphin, was completely right about it. It is a great place: rather easy, half open-air, since it’s never cold at Kauai – and a half-open kitchen, plus some outside seating on the surrounding grass. Continue reading “Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei”

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

7 points

Simply put: this is the best restaurant I’ve encountered so far in Los Angeles. How many years have I been coming to Los Angeles and eating bad or what I’d call just decent food? Even when friends have invited me out somewhere – and of course they always mean very well – they’ve brought me to loud either show-offy event places or simply to uninspiring restaurants.

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Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg

Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg, White wine from Germany

7,5 points

Some time ago I posted two reviews about Johannes Peter’s Scharzhofberger Riesling. You can find a lot of information about the winery at: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/05/11/peters-schwarzhofberger-riesling-spatlese-2007/ and https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/08/01/peters-scharzhofberger-riesling-spatlese-2012/.

This particular wine, Martha’s Weinberg, actually does not appear on Peter’s website. Johannes Peters writes: Continue reading “Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg”

Yabby Lake Vineyard, Chardonnay 2005

Yabby Lake Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula, Chardonnay 2005, White wine from Australia

7 points

Having never been to Australia, and not knowing very much about wines from there, it is always a real pleasure to be introduced to special or unique Australian wines. My Australian friend Grant Hill  recently presented me with a 2005 Chardonnay from Yabby Lake Vineyard, which is on the Mornington Peninsula. This is more or less 40 km north of Melbourne. If you like, you can find detailed information about the climate, soil and other wine-making factors of this area on Yabby Lake Vineyard’s website: http://www.yabbylake.com/

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Minuty Prestige Rose, 2014, Cotes de Provence

Minuty Prestige Rose, 2014, Cotes de Provence, Rosé from France

2 points

According to online advertising, this wine should be one of best rosé wines from  Provence. The bottle’s appearance – its silver label with gold lettering on a transparent bottle – certainly fits the image and lifestyle of the Cote d’Azur. The whole image projects lightness, freshness, youth and also coolness, chicness and elitism. Continue reading “Minuty Prestige Rose, 2014, Cotes de Provence”

No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi

No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

6,5 points

Isn’t it true that many times we eat easy – unfortunately often unhealthy – food (or shall I say grub) which is prepared quickly and is also inexpensive, or, let’s be honest: it’s cheap. We either don’t have time or we just don’t take the time for a real lunch. And of course most of us can’t pay tens of euros or dollars for a midday meal every day –  which shows that the quality of what and how we eat is also a social question.

I admire people who cook at home and bring their own lunch to work, since this is probably the most inexpensive and reliable solution – you know exactly what kind of ingredients were used, where you bought your meat, and so on. But perhaps many of us don’t even have time to prepare any meals at all. And let’s be honest: it’s also convenient just to make a last minute decision about what you feel like eating for lunch.

Continue reading “No Name Phở Kitchen at Thụy Khuê Street, Hanoi”

Clos Saint Joseph, Blanc de Blancs, 2014, Villars-sur-Var

Clos Saint Joseph, Blanc de Blancs, 2014, Villars-sur-Var, white wine from France

6 points

Another really special wine from Roch Zassi of vinery Clos Saint Joseph is a classical Blanc de Blancs. Please find more about the winery at https://avdwineandfood.net/2016/05/29/clos-saint-joseph-syrah-2013-villars-sur-var/#more-3729

This white blend has a very rare taste – it is pretty ambitious, considering its amazing array of flavors and aromas. It reminds one a bit of a Sancerre, with its slightly salty ground. In contrast to this, the wine is more acidic than any Chardonnay or comparable French blend. Aside from the saltiness, the wine is fresh and carries a very enjoyable minerality. There are all flavors of summer grass as chrysanthemum, chamomile and even dandelion. Elderberry, gooseberry and kiwi – a very exciting mixture: almost exotic but still grounded due to the stony tone of the soil. You would think this wine would need some time in the barrel, but this one didn’t mature in barrique – it’s only steel.

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La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse

La Bastide Saint Antoine, Restaurant, Grasse, France

6,5 points

This isn’t only a restaurant but a very beautiful residence, comprising a few buildings which are used as hotel, spa and relaxation zones. Surrounded by a park of olive trees, sculptures and a botanic garden, you feel yourself calming down from the first moment, and you really feel a kind of spirit of Provence – although it is on the Cote de Azur.

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