May 03, 2007

Bathrooms, Basque and Bistros

If I told you that my posting has been sparse lately because I’ve been hanging out in women’s restrooms across Center City, would that sound weird? Well, weird or not, it’s partially true.

I wrote a Top 5 for the City Paper, which appears in this week’s issue—Top 5 Brilliant Bathrooms. There will be disagreement over the selections, no doubt. But each entry is principled. Plus, I put a lot of work into the project, and I somehow managed to do so without getting arrested.

I also worked with City Paper to come up with a semi-regular feature called Pocket Sommelier. The one thing you give up at a BYOB is the wine service. So we thought it would be cool to take some of the guesswork out of your BYOB experience by pairing a wine with a dish or two from an area BYOB. The first installment of Pocket Sommelier features two dishes from Bisto 7 and the Franciscan Chardonnay Napa Valley 2005 (PLCB No. 16506, $11.99), which is a Chairman’s Selection. For example, this Chardonnay works well with that gnocchi dish because the Royal Trumpet mushrooms are rich and delicate. Earthier mushrooms, though, may not work as well.

I also signed on to do the Wine Chow column over at In this week’s column I talk about how the small plates phenomenon has changed how we drink wine. To illustrate this point, I discuss Tinto’s Basque cuisine and its regionally-focused wine list.

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