EDIT: Yes, any best of list is, by definition, a troll. In this case, I question the conceptual foundation of this list.
The Eaters shared a list of the 50 best bars in the world. The Cod has an ally at Drink, so not mad at that, but otherwise, WTF? Given the makeup of the panelists, it's a list of 50 citadels of neo cocktail nerddom. Nothing wrong w/ that, but not the same as a, you know, good bar. Will the Skyview Bar in Dubai cash your paycheck? Will Milk & Honey comp your drinks when you go there the day you find out your dad died, and you can't stand the thought of being in your house? Does the High Five Bar in Tokyo usually have your usual waiting on the bar by the time you make your hellos on the way in? Does Bramble in Edinburgh have a coin-operated photo booth? Will City Space in Moscow give you control over the TV remote, even if it's to put on a hockey game?
What I am trying to say is that this list reads like if you asked Ferran Adria for his favorite brunch spots.
Hello Kitty is a pretty strong brand. Beyond the usual toys and accessories, one could enjoy a piece of toast, and then a personal reverie, without leaving the Sanrio brand cocoon. But what if after toast and quiet time, one wanted a refreshing glass of wine? I am late to the party on this, but now there is Hello Kitty wine. It is never too early to have a late childhood, and, evidently never too late in the day to learn that it is just another Guiteau Monday.
*"Badtz-maru panties" comes up in the autocomplete, but they appear to be apocryphal. Thanks, Google! And definitely do not look for them on the internet at work.
That is to say that Tony Maws, proprietor of Craigie on Main, has shared a tasty sounding rack of lamb receipt. And speaking of places I'd rather be having dinner tonight, Mr. Dargis is ignoring the relative abstraction of weather in Southern California, and laying out a hardcore midwinter repast at Lou:
Citrus, avocado, and bacon salad Pere Ventura Cava Rosé NV
Braised Niman beef short ribs, creamy polenta,
roasted Romanesco cauliflower, red carrots Flight of stick-to-your-ribs reds
Antoine Arena Patrimonio Corsica ‘06
Morgon Chamonard ‘08
And if that makes you thirsty, they will be serving beverages, and some edumacation:
"Jules Chauvet was a French
microbiologist, life long student of yeast, wineglass designer, and a
vigneron. I never met Chauvet (he died in 1989) and never tasted the
Beaujolais wine he made, and know his work only through the sparse
translations that are available in English. Nevertheless, by tasting
the wines made by a generation of vignerons who have followed Chauvet’s
example, I feel that I know him well.
Chauvet argued that if you (a) farm
responsibly, you (b) create conditions within your vineyard that will
naturally sustain natural yeasts that (c) will create the most
delicious and complex wines. Traditionally, vignerons will use sulfur
to combat “bad” yeasts: Chauvet argued that if you start with clean
fruit, you could dispense with sulfur, at least during the fermentation
process. Without the mask of sulfur, Chauvet felt that a wine could
better speak for itself. This is a somewhat controversial position both
in France and elsewhere, where most winemakers continue to use sulfur,
sometimes a great deal, because that’s the way they’ve been trained to
make wine. No doubt, it is challenging to make a wine with little
sulfur, and such wines are, sometimes, not microbiologically stable,
but when a low sulfur regime works, it works very well.
We often offer Chauvet style wines at
Lou: last year, we poured quite a bit of Jean Foillard’s Morgon, and
the Morgon of his colleague and fellow traveler, Jean-Paul Thevenet. We
are now pouring yet another Chauvet-style Morgon, this one made by
Joseph Chamonard (or more accurately, by Chamonard’s daughter), again a
colleague of Foillard and Thevenet. I find that wild yeast fermented
Morgon like Chamonard’s, made with little or no sulfur, can be a
paradoxical wine. It is a wine that sits very lightly on the tongue—not
quite a gluggy wine, but one that you would nevertheless be glad to
serve cool at a picnic on a warm summer afternoon. It is a wine that is
light to medium bodied, but one with great concentration of flavor.
I am pairing Chamonard’s Morgon with a
big hunk of Niman short ribs, a classic food and wine paring that, if
you are a red meat eater, would have to be dead if you do not like."
Bay Area shenanigans have been on the Cod radar recently, and that keeps up today: Via IHE, news that Berkeley residents are not happy about having fraternity houses as neighbors. Can't blame 'em, and glad that my 'Fessering self does not have to live next to my Studenting self of some years ago at #5 Fraternity Row. But it being Berkeley, I figured there would be a wrinkle, so I clicked through to the local story, which featured the picture at right. The red Solo cup will be familiar to anyone who has attended an instiution of higher education in the United States, but the caption reveals that this is definitely not a Nashville, (or a Knoxville, or Fayettville, or Madison, or Austin) party:
Champagne? The lads are just making it easy for us. For those of you who are hazy on undergraduate lifestyles, I'll remind you that the two directives governing the average college alcohol purchase are 1) as much as possible 2) as cheap as possible. As in, say, whole pallets of Busch Light. Not sure if the boys in Berkeley are insisting on grower Champagne, or even senttling for nonvintage, but it's amusing to imagine the lads ordering their pledges down to Kermit's for another bottle.
A swing into Thirst, AKA the Other Music of wine stores,* yielded a couple of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau, sans the familiar LeRoy Neimanesque DuBoeuf livery, and avec the name of Kermit Lynch** as importer. I asked if there would be a difference, and the Thirst merchant informed me that what distinguished this BN from others is that it is made with grapes and yeast. Oh, snap. But the Gamay minus Giorgio, or whatever they add to the supermarket Beaujolais made for a tasty Thanksgiving beverage.
*My first visit to the supermarket wine aisle post-Thirst made me feel like I was shopping for Garanimals. Do we want the wine with the monkey, or the wine with the giraffe?
**Holding on to the #3 spot in the Kermit Power Rankings: behind the frog, and Ruffins, ahead of Washington.