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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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USA

Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens

Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens, New York, USA

6,5 points

When we talk about New York, most of us are actually just talking about Manhattan. In reality, New York is much more: Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx. I recently stood for the first time not in Manhattan but in Queens. Not too far away from the end of Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge —  at the Z NYC Hotel (I don’t think I will go back). From the roof, you have an amazing panoramic view of Manhattan.

The area around the hotel is – let me just say – special. Taxi garages, bakeries, craftsmen’s workshops, stores for work clothes like uniforms and safety wear – but then also design studios, exhibition halls and cool working spaces, hotels and hostels called “The Local NYC”…it is an area in transition.

In particular, on the banks of the East River there are many new real estate developments. Those faceless glass modern sleeping towers that dominate Toronto’s waterfront as well. Although I guess it isn’t bad to have a flat there.

Continue reading “Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens”

Mayacamas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979

Mayacama, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979, Red wine from USA

7,5 points

The first thing my friend Grant said was that he doesn’t really like Cabernet Sauvignon and, in particular, the ones from California. The second thing he did was to put a bottle of a Cabernet Sauvignon of Mayacamas on the table. When I saw the vintage, I piped down for a moment: 1979. He had opened the bottle some hours before, so it had enough time to breathe.

I have never had such an old American wine. I also think that Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is vastly overestimated and certainly much too expensive. Most of the time, these wines are too heavy, too fruity, too oaky – plump and show-off wines. Continue reading “Mayacamas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979”

Sushi Girl, Street Food, Hanalei

Sushi Girl, Hanalei, Kauai, USA

5 points

This Sushi place really represents the attitude toward life in the northern part of Hawaii’s greenest island Kauai. Chilled, relaxed, stress-free and unbelievably friendly. The real Sushi Girl is Taylor Lowe who runs this very tiny place, which is listed in many guides and has an impressive internet presence. Actually, there aren’t even many restaurants, food shops, or fast food places between Hanalei and Wainiha, the last housing estate before the Hanea State Park and the start of famous Kalalau Trail. You either own or rent a house in this area – most  people are there on vacation – or else you pass the place on your way along the northern coast of Kauai.

DSC_0479.JPG Continue reading “Sushi Girl, Street Food, Hanalei”

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica, USA

7 points

Let me begin with perhaps an unfair quote: This restaurant is cursedly expensive. This is quite a controversial statement since passionate chefs, engaged restaurant entrepreneurs, and audacious sommeliers all have to calculate very carefully: top quality, super fresh, preferably organic vegetables, fish, seafood, meat and other ingredients, and exotic or rare fruits. Regional does not automatically mean less expensive, since the work and desire of farmers, fishermen, and cultivators is the same almost everywhere on the planet. Raising organic shrimp in Vietnam is probably cheaper than in Louisiana – but causes pollution due to long transport distances. And how many hours does a chef spend just on thinking, testing, and creating a new dish? And to what end? Isn’t it well known that salaries in the field of gastronomy are rather low? In the US, tips are a crucial part of the income of any server.

Continue reading “Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica”

Michael’s Restaurant, New York

Michael’s Restaurant, New York, USA

5 points

If you like to see expensive, ugly outfits and dresses, go to “Michael’s” in New York. Tasteless but certainly posh combinations of grey and light blue, unsuitable suits, tight rose sport coats with beige trousers…  and most of the guests aren’t young and beautiful either – wealthy bankers, elder show hosts and politicians – a sophisticated New York cosmos which, as an outsider, you might not experience very often. “Look, there’s the former Secretary of the Treasury! And he’s having lunch with …” Michael’s restaurant is a sort of institution in New York, which most inhabitants have heard of but perhaps have never been to. As a foreigner, you wouldn’t even know about it. It is located in a midtown business district. Continue reading “Michael’s Restaurant, New York”

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!

Continue reading “Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013”

The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel

The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel, Lodi, California, Red-wine from USA

5 points

Art and design are certainly a question of taste. Once you’ve seen the label of this wine, you’ll definitely be able to find it again. Personally, I find it really ugly. From a marketing point of view, it’s quite successful — since you can be sure that everyone will recognize it the second time around. This should also apply to the name of the wine also, shouldn’t it? Isn’t it funny? No! It is not! You can read the back label about the wine and its motto. Perhaps it’s only to sell more bottles, or whatever they think encourages people to drink. In any case, the only comment I can make is this: even in America (or: particularly in America) the Catholic Church and good wine seem to have a close connection.
Continue reading “The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel”

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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Continue reading “Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles”

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