January 24, 2006

Chateau Plagnac (Medoc) 2000

This is a hard Bordeaux. It starts off with a hint of spice, but quickly turns tart and vegetal. Very short finish. It does soften a bit after it airs for a while, but not enough to salvage the experience. This wine may be at the end of its maturity; Parker suggests drinking wine from this chateau within the first 6 years of the vintage. That may explain why this vintage now appears on the PLCB store shelves. If it was reasonably priced, I might be more forgiving. But with the PLCB's 30% mark up, the 18% Johnstown Flood Tax and 7% sales tax imposed in Philadelphia, this wine tops out at over $18.00 a bottle. Sorry. At that price, this wine is not worth it.

Rating: C-

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January 22, 2006

Caribou Café

Last night I visited Caribou Cafe, a French bistro located on Walnut Street between 11th and 12th. Caribou Cafe is pure, basic French. Chef-Owner Oliver de Saint Martin has a talent for combining flavors while staying true to this premise, and the courses I enjoyed are good examples of that talent.

My first course was one of the nightly specials; mixed greens with prosciutto, nuts, roquefort and a blackberry vinaigrette. The salad came out without the prosciutto, but the server quickly corrected the error—no biggie. The prosciutto, nuts and roquefort married elegantly, and the blackberry vinaigrette was light and subtle. The only quirk was the sliced, grilled pear that topped the salad, which did not add much to the course.

My main course, also one of the specials, was the pan-seared salmon over petite brussels sprouts with a béarnaise sauce. The salmon was well prepared and melted in my mouth. Chef Saint Martin’s béarnaise sauce was brilliant. Its reduction included bacon, which helped to draw out the nutty flavor of the sprouts.

For me, there’s only one dessert at Caribou—the chocolate mousse. Dense, creamy, almost pure cocoa. It’s served with a warm wafer. Simple and perfect. I recommend enjoying it with Frangelico.

Caribou Café
1126 Walnut St.

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January 14, 2006


Welcome to my blog. I enjoy fine cuisine and good wine. Many people do. These days we're called foodies. I thought it would be fun to keep track of the restaurants I've visited, the enjoyable meals I've had in these restaurants, the wine I've tasted and my opinions about these experiences. And what beter place to do that than a blog.

Specificially, I plan to do a variety of things with this blog. I live in Philadelphia, so, of course, I will be reviewing the food served in Philadelphia restaurants. Because I am an avid wine drinker, I also will be posting my opinions and recommendations on wine. You also will see the occasional review of a restaurant in another city, including cities such as Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh (yes, there are a handful of decent places to eat in da 'Burgh). I may also get up on a soap-box or two--who knows? At least that's where we'll start.

The features on this blog are skeletal right now. I'm new to this blogging thing, so please bear with me.

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