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Wine news from Wine Spectator
November 12th, 2018

At one point in Carla Hall's life, she was afraid to be labeled as a certain type of chef. Growing up in Tennessee, the Emmy-winning TV co-host, two-time Top Chef competitor and former model developed a love of soul food, which embodies "the stories of her heritage." But Hall strayed from being associated with the cooking style. "I just didn't want to be typecast," she says.

Competing on Bravo's Top Chef in 2008 changed things. "I started to just embrace it," she recalled. "Now I want to show that soul food is much broader than people think it is."

That's the aim of her newest cookbook, Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration. Hall wants her recipes—ranging from ideas for a holiday spread to a quick Monday-night meal—to be relatable to home cooks of any background, even if they feel the need to tweak the directions or substitute a spice they're more used to cooking with. "Even though it’s a dish that might be from another culture, [it's about finding] what makes it unique to your culture."

For a celebration like Thanksgiving, however, the desire for simplicity is universal. "When I think about Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving), people want to take something that travels well, something that is super-easy," Hall says.

She falls back on her tomato pie as a good side for this reason, as tomatoes are easily accessible year-round. For this recipe, use whatever variety of medium-sized tomatoes you can find, whether hothouse-grown or sun-ripened on the vine, or swap in a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes.

A staple in the South, tomato pie has many variations. Hall chooses a lighter style, incorporating a simple garlic-bread crust so that "the tomatoes really get to shine." It makes for a welcome companion to a classic Thanksgiving turkey, which Hall elects to break down into eight parts like a chicken, cooking the white and dark meat two separate ways.

Melissa Hom
Carla Hall's cookbook looks back to her Nashville roots, but aims to speak to everyone with a blend of modern and traditional recipes.

For dessert, pecan pie is a no-brainer. "There's nothing like those toasted pecans with the perfect crust," she says.

One of the most important additions to Hall's pie might come as a surprise to some, but it prevents the dish from being "cloyingly sweet," a trait she dislikes in many pecan pies. The secret ingredient? Vinegar.

"Even if it isn’t in the recipe, just take the recipe that you have and then pour a little bit of vinegar," Hall says. "Start with a little bit, then taste it. That acid sort of balances the sweet, and it becomes more interesting."

While Hall takes the lead on most of the family cooking decisions, her husband, Matthew, who describes himself as "an enthusiastic enophile," handles the wine pairings. For the tomato pie, he suggests a creamy white that backs lush fruit with the vibrant acidity of the Roussanne grape variety, such as the 2014 Eric Texier Brézème Cotês du Rhône. For the rest of the meal, he chooses a versatile cru Beaujolais, the 2009 Jean-Paul Domaine de Terres Dorees Morgan. With its light tannins, juicy fruit and touch of spice, he says, it can carry all the way through the meal to the pie. It’s a perfect fit for people who prefer dry reds to sweet wines, as it won't exaggerate the tannins of the nuts and the richness of the filling. (However, he also enjoys the pie with Madeira.)

Below, Wine Spectator suggests 11 similar recently rated wines that should hold up well to the full spectrum of flavors and textures on the holiday table. The mix includes additional Rhône white blends and cru Beaujolais, as well as alternatives: bright Chardonnays from Burgundy and Tempranillo-based reds from Spain's Rioja region, which balance moderate tannins with fresh acidity.

Hall emphasizes that sharing her traditions doesn't mean she's implying they are for everyone. Instead, she hopes they might inspire "the curiosity of finding your own personal terroir."


Recipes reprinted by permission from Carla Hall’s Soul Food by Carla Hall and Genevieve Ko. Copyright 2018 by Carla Hall. Published Oct. 23, 2018 by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Tomato Pie and Garlic Bread Crust

Gabriele Stabile
The beauty of tomatoes is that "you can get them anywhere, anytime," says Hall.

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more forbrushing
  • 1/2 loaf country bread
  • 5 ripe medium-sized tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Brush a 9-inch square metal cake pan with oil.

2. Cut four 1-inch-thick slices from the loaf. Arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of the pan. They should cover the bottom. If they don't, cut more slices to fit. Brush the bread all over with oil. Bake until the bread is golden brown and well-toasted, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, core the tomatoes. Trim the very tops and bottoms, then peel the tomatoes. Cut each in half through its equator. Mix the garlic and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl.

4. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the bread. Gently smash them into the bread, then brush with the garlic oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Tear the remaining bread into 1-inch chunks and toss in the garlic oil until evenly coated. Scatter the torn bread and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme leaves over the tomatoes.

5. Bake until the top is golden-brown and crisp and the tomatoes are juicy, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve. Serves 6


Pecan Pie

  • 1 disk Carla's Classic Pie Dough (see recipe below), fitted into a deep-dish pie plate and frozen
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Line the frozen dough with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until dry and set, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil with the weights and bake the dough until golden-brown, about 5 minutes longer. Let cool completely, then place on a half-sheet pan.

3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.

4. Cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or by hand with a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy. While beating, add the eggs in a steady stream, then beat in the corn syrup, vinegar, salt, Bourbon and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the pecans and pour into the cooled pie shell.

5. Bake until golden-brown and mostly set but still a bit jiggly, about 45 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes one 9-inch pie


Carla's Classic Pie Dough

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. Dissolve the sugar and salt in 1/3 cup water and chill until cold.

2. Pulse the flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture looks like coarse meal with some pea-size pieces. Add the 1/3 cup water all at once and pulse until the dough almost forms a ball. Divide the dough in half and flatten into two disks.

3. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Makes two 9-inch crusts

Note: You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.


11 Recommended Thanksgiving Wines

French Whites

DELAS Crozes-Hermitage White Les Launes 2017 Score: 91 | $21
Creamy in feel, with alluring melon, pear and brioche flavors laced with a light verbena thread on the finish. Flash of macadamia nut adds a flattering hint. Drink now through 2019. 1,000 cases imported.—James Molesworth

CHÂTEAU DE LA GREFFIÈRE Mâcon-La Roche Vineuse Vieilles Vignes2016 Score: 90 | $18
A lush, ripe expression of apricot, golden apple, pastry and mineral flavors come together, focused by the bright structure. It's tangy and lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 1,250 cases imported.—Bruce Sanderson

JOSEPH DROUHIN Pouilly-Fuissé 2016 Score: 90 | $29
Bordering on creamy in texture, here is a vibrant white that exhibits peach, apple and pastry flavors. It converges on the finish with a mouthwatering sensation. Drink now through 2022. 3,500 cases imported.—B.S.

M. CHAPOUTIER Côtes du Roussillon White Les Vignes de Bila-Haut2016 Score: 90 | $15
A creamy, broad white with fresh peach and melon notes woven together with lanolin and blanched almond details backed by a solid acidity. Spice notes linger into the finish flanked herb and mineral accents. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Macabeu and Marsanne. Drink now through 2020. 10,000 cases imported.—Gillian Sciaretta

Reds

BODEGAS ONTAÑON Tempranillo-Graciano Rioja Reserva 2010 Score: 91 | $28
This red is fresh and lively, with a core of black cherry and plum accented by licorice, tobacco and mineral notes. The tannins are light but firm, the balsamic acidity bright, focusing the polished texture through the smoky finish. Drink now through 2022. 6,000 cases imported.—Thomas Matthews

BODEGAS RODA Rioja Sela 2015 Score: 90 | $35
This firm red shows black cherry, plum, licorice, smoky and underbrush flavors, supported by well-integrated tannins and orange peel acidity. Has depth and focus. Drink now through 2027. 8,000 cases imported.—T.M.

MAISON L'ENVOYÉ Morgon Côte du Py 2016 Score: 90 | $20
Plush tannins hug the cherry tart, red plum and spice box flavors of this medium bodied red with a fresh acidity highlights details of licorice, herb and mulberry on the finish. Drink now through 2023. 1,200 cases imported.—Gillian Sciaretta

BODEGAS PALACIO Rioja Glorioso Crianza 2015 Score: 89 | $14
Smoky and cedar notes wreathe black cherry, mint and mineral flavors in this sinuous red. Firm tannins give it structure and lively acidity gives it energy. Drink now through 2025. 150,000 cases imported.—T.M.

VIGNOBLES BULLIAT Morgon Cuvée du Colombier 2016 Score: 89 | $20
Light-to-medium bodied with woodsy undertones to the cherry and boysenberry fruit, this red offers spice box and floral aromas with lavender and mulberry flavors on the lightly tannic finish. Drink now through 2023. 5,000 cases imported.—G.S.

CHÂTEAU DE PONCIÉ Fleurie Le Pré Roi 2016 Score: 88 | $20
Fresh and focused with a nice stream of cherry, black raspberry and anise flavors that are lined with floral and mineral details. Clean, with light-to-moderate tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 1,000 cases imported.—G.S.

VIGNOBLES DES ROCHES Morgon 2016 Score: 88 | $18
Nicely focused with cherry, apricot and red currant fruit detailed with woodsy spice and zesty accents. A juicy acidity and light, fleshy tannins offer support on the clean finish. Drink now through 2021. 2,600 cases imported.—G.S.

Posted: November 9, 2018, 10:30 pm

In Malmö, Sweden, people are lining up to peep at bull testicles, get a whiff of Thailand's notoriously stinky durian fruit and even try a bite of surströmming, the local fermented herring. No, it's not an audition for Fear Factor: Chef's Table; it's part of a new (and straightforwardly named) pop-up exhibition, the Disgusting Food Museum.

Featuring 80 repulsive so-called foods and drinks from around the world—many of which can be smelled and some of which can be sampled by guests—the museum aims to make visitors question commonly held beliefs about what they think is "gross." On display are real foods that are either eaten today or have historical significance somewhere in the world: casu marzu, maggot-infested cheese from Sardinia; cuy, roasted guinea pigs from Peru; hákarl, fermented shark from Iceland; and root beer, the sassafras soft drink from the U.S. that apparently is widely hated elsewhere!

Anja Barte Telin
"O come, all ye queso, joyful and quite pungent …"

There's truly something to disgust everyone—enophiles will be particularly intrigued to find a Chinese delicacy mysteriously billed as "mouse wine" among the displays, while libations thrillseekers on the trail of the next winebeer shouldn't miss kumis, a Central Asian horse-milk-… beer(?). Pair with a selection offered at the Altar of Stinky Cheese.

The idea for the project came from psychologist and the museum's "chief disgustologist," Samuel West, whose earlier curatorial efforts resulted in the internationally traveling Museum of Failure. West teamed up with Andreas Ahrens, a tech investor and economist, to make the latest collection a reality.

Anja Barte Telin
Once you surströmming, you just keep going!

"The research was extensive and we involved Lund University," Ahrens, who serves as the museum's director, told Unfiltered. "Sourcing the unusual foods was and still is a huge challenge. You should see my credit card bill—I’ve ordered stuff from all over the world!"

But the museum isn't just a freak show of food for fun's sake: "Our current meat production is terribly environmentally unsustainable, and we urgently need to start considering alternatives. But many people are disgusted by the idea of eating insects and skeptical about lab-grown meat, and it all boils down to disgust," West said. "If we can change our notions of what food is disgusting or not, it could potentially help us transition to more sustainable protein sources."

Anja Barte Telin
Note: Some editors felt this placement deserved.

The museum opened on Halloween and runs until Jan. 27, 2019, but may soon come to befoul a city near you, considering its success in Mälmo. "We have triple the expected number of visitors!" West said. "Two have vomited."


Château de Beaucastel Unveils Sharp Plans for New Cellar Powered by the Winds and Rains

Château de Beaucastel, elite estate of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and anchor of a Rhône mini-empire, is getting an $11.4 million cellar renovation and reimagination, a project that attracted bids from 400 architects around the world. Ultimately, the owners, the Perrin family, chose a design presented by Studio Mumbai with an emphasis on earth materials, a natural landscape and sustainability as the guiding ethos.

Perrin Family, Château de Beaucastel
Beaucoup Beaucastel: The new cellar plans

"I think whatever we do in architecture, we shouldn't compromise the environment of our children and grandchildren," said architect Louis-Antoine Grego of Studio Mumbai, in a recent presentation unveiling the design.

Described as more green than just tech-y, the design will rely on capturing the mistral—the fierce wind blowing two out of every three days in the Rhône—to provide natural air-cooling. "This is a system that's been used in Iran for 500 years, probably much more, and it still functions in those old buildings," said Grego. "Today it's used all over the world. We will adapt it to the conditions in the Rhône at Beaucastel."

And all the facility's water needs will be met by a roof catchment and filtering system, with the water stored below the underground cellar. The building material for the above-ground structure—compacted clay—will come from the 49-foot-deep hole dug to make room for the new cellar, as will the sand mixture used for the underground construction.

Vintner Charles Perrin reflected on the admiration he and his family felt when they opened a bottle of Beaucastel made by previous generations. They hope to inspire the same respect farther down the line. "We're building to impress our grandchildren."


Artist-Label, Porcelain-Bottled Champagne Is the, Uh, 'Champagne' of Amphora Wine Movement

Humans have been storing wine in pottery since they learned how to make wine, and pottery, at least 8,000 years ago. Winemakers have lately brought back paleo-retro-trendy "natural" vinification in clay amphora and qvevri, and the latest region to run with the kilnware movement is none other than Champagne.

But the jars and ditches and funky bacterial effluvia stuff they dig on in the Caucasus don't quite translate to Champenoise. Instead, Cuvée Sensorium presents the first-ever porcelain-packaged Champagne, a 70/30 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay non-vintage wine from grands and premiers crus vinified by the house Edouard Brun and bottled in vessels crafted by the historic German porzellanmanufaktur Reichenbach, an esteemed name (as you know) in Thuringian porcelain. But … why?

Cuvée Sensorium
The James Rizzi Experience

"The material porcelain brings optimal conditions for Champagne," Joi Regestein, Sensorium CCO and partner, told Unfiltered via email. "Porcelain offers optimal cooling conditions. The Champagne stays longer [at] the optimal temperature." The feldspar, quartz sand and kaolin used to make the porcelain, Regenstein noted, are "very environmentally friendly raw materials." Each bottle must be cast in a mold from the raw clay stuff that becomes china, to a specific thickness, then dried, fired to 1740 F, hand-glazed, fired again to 2550 F, painted, and then fired a third time. It's a lot of stress, all that getting fired, which makes the porcelain strong enough to contain Champagne.

For an even headier experience, Sensorium is releasing "Art Edition" 6-liter bottles to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Brun house, each wearing a fanciful illustration of "Champagne Dreams" from the late American pop artist James Rizzi.

"James Rizzi was a very cheerful and positive artist," explained Regenstein of the choice. More artists will adorn future bottles, but archaeologists of 4018 should have plenty to chew on when they turn up Rizzi's anthropomorphic technicolor houses and grinning cartoon sun-moon-bird creatures.


Vintner-Restaurateur-Hotelier Gavin Newsom Is Headed to the California Governor's Mansion

We're always pleased to hear when a local wine boy or girl makes good, so congratulations to Gavin Newsom. The owner of San Francisco wine shop PlumpJack became a Napa vintner in the mid-'90s with the purchase of an Oakville winery, and soon would become a restaurateur, hotelier, sustainability champion, 2006 Wine Spectator Distinguished Service Award winner, San Francisco mayor, lieutenant governor of his state, and as of Nov. 6, the governor-elect of California.

"If I'm correct, I think he's the first governor-vintner-restaurateur to run one of the largest economies in the world!" Newsom's business partner John Conover told Unfiltered; the general manager of PlumpJack and sister wineries Cade, Odette and the recently acquired Ladera property had attended Newsom's celebratory fête on Tuesday, but by Thursday, we reached him up in the crosswinds on Howell Mountain on the final day of harvest for the season.

"It's a great American story, a California wine story, in that a young man—he was in his mid-20s when he started the wine shop—went from being a small entrepreneur and wine shop owner to being the governor," Conover said of his partner.

Newsom won the Distinguished Service Award in part for his early championship of progressive practices like using screwcaps on premium wine and, later, achieving the LEED Gold sustainability certifications for two wineries. He will be sworn in on Jan. 7, 2019.


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Posted: November 8, 2018, 10:00 pm

Al Frediani was known for his love for his old vines, his meticulous farming and his sharp sense of humor. Born on his family's Napa Valley farm, he spent his life working on the property. Frediani died Oct. 18, 2018, a month shy of his 97th birthday.

The 20-acre Frediani vineyard, tucked away in the northeast corner of the valley on a quiet road near Calistoga, is planted to prized Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Valdiguié (a French variety locally dubbed "Napa Gamay") and Petite Sirah, which Frediani called by its old winegrowers' nickname, "Petty Sarah." Producers including Relic, Conn Creek and Stags' Leap Winery have purchased his grapes. The nearest neighbor is the famed Eisele Vineyard, which was purchased in July 2013 by the owners of Bordeaux first-growth Château Latour.

"Al was in love with his vines and loved spending time in the vineyard," Relic winemaker Mike Hirby told Wine Spectator. "He farmed the old way, which meant dry-farming and organic farming of the simplest kind. He let the vines do the rest, which is what it is all about."

Frediani's father bought and planted the site after emigrating from Italy in the early 1900s. Frediani was born there Nov. 23, 1921, and was raised on the land, helping his father in the vineyards as a child and then returning to the property after serving in the Army during World War II. Since then, not much has changed in the way the land has been farmed, except that tractors have replaced horses, much to Frediani's dismay.

Hirby says Frediani liked to talk about those horses. "He got his first tractor in 1953, and how he missed working the horses, although they kicked him and ran away often. He was a gentle spirit with a lot of heart and a great sense of humor, always happy."

Frediani did not irrigate and he didn't believe in spraying pesticides in his vineyard. If he saw a weed, he would simply pull it out with his bare hands. Even when his age slowed him down, he continued to do as much in the vineyard as possible, with help from his son Steve, who lives in his own house on the property.

Winemaker Jeff Cohn says he will remember Frediani as a "true character." Cohn said, "The first time I met him was in the front of his home. He was skinning a jackrabbit to use [as bait] to attract the yellow jackets [away] from his house. It was a good-sized knife."

"Grape sampling with Al was always interesting," added Cohn. Frediani had an old Coke can with the top cut off. "He would take a bunch of berries, crush them up [in the can] and use an old refractometer to see the Brix. I have a feeling this refractometer had not been calibrated since John F. Kennedy was in office. It used to amuse me, how close his numbers were to what I would get at the lab."

The vineyard's old, gnarled vines were scattered among piles of wood, old cars, washboards and buckets of walnuts from a handful of trees Frediani planted years ago. "That was a mistake," Frediani told Wine Spectator about the walnuts in an interview in 2014. "They don't pay much."

Frediani's hard work and commitment to his vineyard was as legendary as his grapes. "I feel so lucky to have been able to work with him over the last decade," said Hirby. "He taught me so much about what is important in vineyard work, wine, and in life."

Frediani is survived by six children, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.


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Posted: November 8, 2018, 3:50 pm

Overlooking Australia's Willow Creek Vineyard in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula wine region, Doot Doot Doot celebrates terroir through seasonal cuisine and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence–winning wine program. The restaurant is housed in the Jackalope Hotel, a sleek, contemporary destination with dramatic art pieces including a glass-enclosed working cellar at the center of the lobby. Doot Doot Doot’s 250-selection wine list highlights Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, showcasing plenty of local examples from the property's vineyard and beyond. When it comes to sourcing global selections, head sommelier Marcus Radny generally restricts himself to vineyards that are the same size or smaller than Willow Creek Vineyard, which is 27 acres, though he does make exceptions for rare labels. Like the wines, the five-course tasting menu for $80 celebrates the region, offering an array of local specialties. Chef Martin Webster changes the menu every two weeks, and the wine pairings—which cost an additional $146—change with it, creating a hyper-seasonal experience.

Posted: November 8, 2018, 3:00 pm

The Restaurant at NoMad Las Vegas Opens Next Week

After its hotel and bar opened last month, NoMad Las Vegas will debut its restaurant Nov. 14. The NoMad Hotel, a collaboration between restaurateur Will Guidara, chef Daniel Humm's Make It Nice Hospitality Group and the Sydell Group, has two other locations with Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurants in New York and Los Angeles. Make It Nice also includes Grand Award winner Eleven Madison Park.

"We're trying to keep the DNA of what we did in New York and L.A. as a common thread, but also really embracing the fact that we're in Las Vegas and people want to go a little bit bigger," wine director Thomas Pastuszak told Wine Spectator.

The wine list will have a core focus on cool-climate, mineral-driven and high-acid wines from regions such as Champagne, Burgundy, Piedmont, the Finger Lakes and the Northern Rhône. Pastuszak will also showcase California wines, playing off the menu's roasted meats with plenty of spicy, robust reds. The restaurant will open with about 700 wine selections, but NoMad Vegas' storage space will allow for substantial growth, with the potential to exceed the 1,900 and 1,700 selections offered in New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

Overseen by chef de cuisine Mike Rellergert, the menu will highlight luxury ingredients like foie gras and truffles. Vegas exclusives include tuna and steak tartares made tableside, and a raw seafood platter to share. Pastuszak wants to cater to locals as well as visitors. "What we're really passionate about, and we try to really do it in New York and in Los Angeles, is embrace the neighborhood," he said. "And I think that Las Vegas is an amazing community of people who really want to eat and drink well."

The bar, which opened with the 239-room hotel Oct. 12, offers a more casual dining experience, with a wine list of about 50 selections all under $200, and more than 20 wines by the glass.—J.H.

D.C.'s Fiola Opens Second Location in Miami

Courtesy of Fiola
Red King prawn bucatini at Fiola Miami

A second location of the Washington, D.C., Best of Award of Excellence winner Fiola opened its doors in Miami Nov. 1. It's the first venture outside of the capital for restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi. "I guess it's a challenge, but it's a fun challenge," wine director Casper Rice told Wine Spectator. "I think our product attracts people everywhere."

The new restaurant will offer more seafood than the flagship D.C. location, but its 850-selection wine list will maintain Fiola's focus on Italy, Bordeaux and California. "The cellar space in Miami is in my favor, with very big storage space for wine," Rice said. "We have a great opportunity in Miami in that we have big shoes to fill, and we'll slowly fill them in."—B.G.

David Grutman and Pharrell Williams Open Two New Concepts in Miami

Morelli Brothers
Swan's space was conceived by designer Ken Fulk.

On Nov. 7, Miami entertainment mogul David Grutman and musician Pharrell Williams opened dual dining concepts in Miami's Design District. Grutman's Groot Hospitality Group includes Award of Excellence winner Komodo.

On the first floor of the new two-story space is Swan, a restaurant and bar with a garden and a D.J. booth. Upstairs, Bar Bevy has lounge-style seating with another D.J. booth and an outdoor terrace, and serves small bites and shareable plates. Chef Jean Imbert executes the menus for both concepts.

Wine director Collin Bleess told Wine Spectator that both Swan and Bar Bevy will have an abbreviated version of Komodo's 360-label wine progam, similarly geared to Miami's high-end clientele, with 120 selections. The list emphasizes American, French and Italian wines while also representing other major regions around the world such as Spain, South America, Australia and New Zealand. Expect several first-growth Bordeauxs and other premium wines. There are currently 15 by-the-glass options, and Bleess hopes to add eight to 10 more in the next month or two with the rollout of their Coravin program.—J.H.

Il Fornaio's San Francisco Location Closes

The San Francisco outpost of Il Fornaio Cucina Italiana closed Oct. 28 after 30 years in business. A press release cited a challenging economy and the neighborhood's "overall declining business occupancy" as reasons for the closure. The restaurant was known for chef Francesco Gazzana's Italian cuisine and its 90-selection wine list with strengths in Italy and California. Il Fornaio still has 19 Restaurant Award–winning outposts across California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington.—J.H.


Keep up with the latest restaurant news from our award winners: Subscribe to our free Private Guide to Dining newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at WSRestoAwards and on Instagram at wsrestaurantawards.

Posted: November 8, 2018, 2:30 pm
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