Thursday, October 16, 2014

High Cotton Uber-Dining in Gotham City

Posting from the road. In NY, the rain followed me from flyover country. Fortunately that wasn’t the only wet thing in my path.

A quick lunch meeting at Marea and two stunning white wines from Liguria, which is also suffering the travails of rain, but with much more dramatic and dangerous results.

The food at Marea, at the edge of Central Park, was presented simply, minimalistic, wholesome and not filled with vacuous calories, and delicious. Our table had the always reliable Bisson Pigato. It reminded me of the time I slurped those tiny piquant sausages in a fiery broth at Ristorante Bar Sport in Cisano Sul Neva in Savona. Different styles of food – Marea is high cotton, while Bar Sport is stick to your ribs comfort food. But it shows the versatility of Ligurian wine, able to traverse easily from plebian to patrician at moment’s notice.

The other white, a Cinqueterre DOC from Campogrande, a blend of Bosco 90% and Albarola 10%, produced under the baton of Elio Altare. The Campogrande, a 2010, was a deeper yellow, slightly oxidative style, with a stretch towards the edges of the style of wine many young wine drinkers are getting into to. It was pleasant, great with the food.

Uber-ing to another dinner meeting later in lower Manhattan something totally different. With two locations, one in Gangnamgu, Seoul and the latest on Harrison Street in Tribeca, Jungsik (great info and food photos on their fabulous web site) was an unexpected revelation. Haute-Korean. High level cooking (like Marea) on small plates with the top ingredients in the world. Definitely a place for the .01%ers (I don’t know how I got invited to that table). Hey, what can’t be cured must be endured.

It was French wine night, starting with a sip of Billecart-Salmon and a bottle (or two) of Jacquart (Note: Jacquart needs a new website- a friendlier one that actually works?). Thankfully Cellar Tracker has fast reliable, easily accessible info on Jacquart

The table opted for a five course small plate evening. Some of the Midwest boys were in the mood for Chardonnay. So Chardonnay it was.

The 2010 Puligny-Montrachet “Les Demoiselles” from Domaine Colin-Deleger, when first opened, seemed like it had a slight touch of botrytis. With air and time, that morphed into a more earthy, herbal, piney raciness. A very pretty and stylish wine and one that went very well with the first seafood courses.

The second wine was poured blind by the sommelier. Decanted and appearing darker yellow (not quite orange) the wine was a little more rustic in that the flavors were rubbing against each other. Alcohol was a little hotter, oak was rougher. One at our table, a French wine expert, thought to be a 2006. It was, from Domaine des Lambrays, Puligny Montrachet “Clos du Cailleret.” Yep, once again we landed in some high cotton. When in Rome.

The food was unexpectedly way up there too. I didn’t take too many pictures. We ate well, but didn’t overeat.

My eyes popped when I spied the check as it was presented. New York prices ain’t for the meek or the weak. More like high cashmere.

In other news… Jameson Fink profiled yours truly in his Speakeasy series on the Grape Collective. If you’re not already sick of me and my life, shuffle on over for a quick read (and congrats to Jameson, who just landed a cool and groovy gig as an editor/producer for Microsoft's wine page).

And were just getting started in Gotham City. More to come.

Where to find these wines:
2013 Bisson Pigato
2010 Campogrande Cinquetererre
Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve NV
Jacquart Brut Mosaique NV
2010 Domaine Colin-Deleger, Puligny-Montrachet “Les Demoiselles”
2006 Domaine des Lambrays, Puligny Montrachet “Clos du Cailleret”

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