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Last Friday's get-together?

  • d

So, how was the get-together at Hayes & Vine? I couldn't make it, but was there in spirit. Tell us about it so that we can have vicarious fun!

Best,
Deb H.

P.S. If there's another local Chowhound outing (say, to a restaurant), I'd be up for it providing schedules work out.

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  1. b
    Brandon Nelson

    Sorry

    No text!

    1. Deb H., so you were there in spirit - maybe that's what was holding me up after Friday night's whirlwind! My dinner companions begged off with early bedtimes leaving me unescorted.

      Anne Emry and her husband Steve weren't shy about spotting me. We had the "padded" room in the back to ourselves - the silver lining in my being a half hour late. It was lovely to be able to connect in person with a kindred chowhound spirit and kibbitz about our last meals. And, I liked seeing the expression of wonder and delight on her face on tasting the Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer for the first time. A few other friends dropped in to have a glass of wine and visit. Unfortunately the zin auction dinner ran late keeping several pals away.

      The best way to make sure that schedules work out is to plan the next outing yourself. Let us know where and when to meet, Deb!

      24 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        "The best way to make sure that schedules work out is to plan the next outing yourself. Let us know where and when to meet, Deb!"

        You're on! I'd love to meet up with Simon Majumdar when he's in town in April as well, but let's get together before then if people are interested. Late February? With the Manhattan board get-together, it seems that the restaurant choice came about naturally from recent discussions about Grand Sichuan International. I'm picturing a crowd of happy Chowhounds around a big, round table or two sharing lots of different dishes. Will do some reading of past posts & come up with some specific suggestions, but I'd be up for Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, dim sum, etc. Thoughts?

        Deb H.

        1. re: Deb H.
          a
          Alexandra Eisler

          R&G Lounge for the legendary deep fried chicken with sticky rice and sausage?...

          1. re: Alexandra Eisler

            R&G sounds good to me.....

            I was planning to stop by Hayes and Vine, but ran late and found myself at Chaz (again!) supping on a lobster, hedgehog mushroom and fingerling potato tart (mushrooms and lobster were a fantastic match) and a lighter than air sole with soy beans and a subtle sauce that was made from seafood or fish stock. Had a satisfying apple pastry for dessert. Melanie - have you been there yet?

            1. re: Limster

              And I thought for sure I'd see you! Nope, haven't been to Chaz yet - new menu?

              I had dinner in the Marina too with some visiting out of towners. Was about to suggest Chaz to them when I learned that they'd booked ISA. Didn't try to talk 'em out of it.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Yes - the menu at Chaz has changed since I was there in early Dec. The venison and pheasant are not on the menu any more, but there was a steak and kidney pie, scallops and a few other things. The lobster tart I got was also new, and the crab dishes I mentioned previously are also no longer served.

                1. re: Limster

                  Great idea! I'm up for getting to know fellow hounds... Feb would be great. I'm new to the site. How about if one of you veterans (Melanie?) picks a time and place....

                  1. re: Kara Elise
                    m
                    Melanie Wong

                    Glad you're in, Kara! We're lucky that veteran chowhound and Asian food maven, Deb H., has stepped up to the plate.

                    I'm being evaluated on Feb. 21, and between now and then I've got my nose buried in books or a wine glass. Last weekend was my last hurrah on the social scene until after the test.

                    But after that, I'll be ready for anything!

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Add one more to the table...I'd love to "break bread" with other chowhounds. Will look forward to the details as they emerge.

                      1. re: gordon wing

                        Deb, I enjoyed Singapore-Malaysian as well. I'm up for either wkend or wkday. Though lately I've had success planning outings on Fridays, as people don't have to worry about random meetings being called as you might have during the week. And those who commute to the city don't have to schlep on back for a Sat outing. But again, with me, any night is good (except Tuesdays).

                        And after 2/21 sounds great so we can help Melanie celebrate. Are you studying oenology, Melanie? What fun work that would be!

                        1. re: Kara Elise
                          m
                          Melanie Wong

                          I'm not studying oenology (wine chemistry), but am working on my blind tasting analytical skills.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Melanie,
                            Have you ever met Darrell Corti - Corti Bros. of Sacramento? He is supposed to be legendary with regard to his wine tasting abilities. A very interesting gentleman in many respects. I believe he was knighted by the Italian government for his contributions to the Italian wine industry.

                            1. re: gordon wing
                              m
                              Melanie Wong

                              I have been introduced to Corti but do not know him well. Yes, his taste memory is legendary. He is also credited with developing market interest in Zinfandel as a varietal-labeled wine. Corti is one of the few merchants who is still interested in old Madeiras which have a long American tradition. Recently I was tasting an aged Terrantez Madeira which was not labeled with a vintage date as the bottler did not have the necessary documentation to satisfy the Portuguese labeling laws. the supplier said that Corti had tasted it and felt that it was the same as the '54 Blandy's and probably purchased from the same grower stocks. I would not doubt at all that he's correct in judging its provenance.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                Several years ago I was at a Christmas dinner that Darrell Corti also was a guest at....his contribution was a madeira that was 90 years old ( can't remember the label ). My grandmother had just turned 90 and I mentioned that to him .... several days later a bottle of this madeira arrived at my house. What a nice gesture....don't you think?

                                1. re: gordon wing
                                  m
                                  Melanie Wong

                                  Corti is both a scholar and a gentleman. A very nice gift. How did you like the wine? How did your grandmother like it?

                                  Besides the complex and delicate flavors, the wonder of tasting old Madeiras is the connection it creates with times gone by. In Oct. 99 I hosted my wine group for a farewell to the millenium (yep, a year early for purists). We pitched in for a bottle of 1834 Barbeito Malvazia Madeira (aka Malmsey) which set us back about $275 split among 12 people. This was produced before phylloxera wiped out Europe's vineyards and was grown on its own roots. Weighty and thick from more than a 150 years of evaporation and concentration, very dark brown verging on black, it was hard to imagine that this was made from white grape juice! We enjoyed thinking about the state of the world in 1834 - no telephones, pre-Civil War, my family was establishing its first encampment in Monterey. A glass was dessert in itself, accompanied only with toasted pecans, a Southern tradition. A fitting good-bye to the last millenium with a toast from an earlier century.

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                    Melanie,
                                    I remember being surprised at how smooth it was. There was a depth and smoky overtones, if I remember correctly. I found the name of the gift....
                                    Sercial Abudarham Madeira Portugal it was from 1905
                                    I enjoyed reading your description of your end of the millenium beverage...money well spent. Time well spent.

                                    1. re: gordon wing
                                      m
                                      Melanie Wong

                                      The finest Madeira wines have exquisite balance. You can't feel the 16 to 19% alcohol at all. They're incredibly smooth and light on their feet.

                                      Today that bottle would be worth something on the order of $400 to $600. Madeira prices jumped considerably at the end of 1999 - I'd been lucky to acquire our bottle ahead of time as the price jumped 50% on the world market by Nov. 99.

                                      Even so, in the world of wine, old and rare Madeiras are considerably underpriced for the quality received. Give me two bottles of Madeira for one of Shrieking Beagle any day. :-)

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                        "Smooth and light on their feet" Melanie, besides having an impressive breadth of knowledge about wines, I appreciate your turn of a phrase. Makes for interesting reading and educational, too! Thanks.

                                        1. re: gordon wing
                                          m
                                          Melanie Wong

                                          Gee, thanks, Gordon. What a nice thing to say! I'm really looking forward to meeting you at the dinner Deb's organizing.

                                          Btw, the sercial grape is also known as esgana cao or "dog strangler". Portuguese is such a colorful language, no? I imagine that it's probably a pretty apt name in its natural state. The drying acidity in a Sercial wine is still very high even after being heated, then matured for many years to soften the acids.

                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                            Hi

                                            Nice to read your experiences. I am a Norwegian madeira collctor and loves the drink. Just was in San Fransisco.
                                            Will soon be back in Madeira and collect more.

                                            Reidar

                                            1. re: Reidar
                                              m
                                              Melanie Wong

                                              Well, I'm glad you found us, Reidar. I hope you'll post on some of your experiences. As I mentioned above, old Madeiras are often less expensive in the US than on the island.

                      2. re: Melanie Wong

                        So we've got one suggestion for R&G Lounge (deep fried chicken, sticky rice & sausage) -- I've got no objections if that's what people prefer.

                        I'd also like to throw Singapore Malaysian Restaurant out there for consideration. Non-touristy, Chowhound type of place on Clement around 9th where we could order a number of different dishes family style. I'm really fond of Singapore Malaysian -- authentic, reasonable food with elements of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian & Nonya cuisine. I'm a fan of their dry pan long beans, Hainan chicken, and roti. Other restaurant suggestions welcome!

                        Let's definitely choose a day when Melanie's free to join after 2/21. Feelings about week nights vs. weekends? If we do a weeknight, let's have drinks somewhere nearby for people who can break loose from work, and have a later dinner. Weekends wouldn't pose as much problem for timing, but more people may have other plans.

                        Best,
                        Deb

                        1. re: Deb H.
                          m
                          Melanie Wong

                          Singapore Malaysian sounds great to me. Haven't been to this one before and I'm up for trying something new. If this is the group's choice, could you please check on the corkage charge? I'd like to bring a selection of bottles from my cellar. One of my missions in life is to demonstrate what wines go with spicy Asian foods. This is strictly optional for each individual, no need to fear that I'll turn this into a formal wine tasting.

                          I appreciate very much your considering my schedule. Weeknights are best for me. After 2/21, I don't have another free weekend until April. Also, I think with weeknights, we won't be under as much pressure to turn the table.

              2. re: Alexandra Eisler

                I attended a banquet at R&G Lounge on Saturday night. Some serious eaters among the 10 - the first time I'd witnessed every morsel of the sticky rice chicken consumed on the spot.

              3. re: Deb H.

                You're on! From experience with organizing other off-line gatherings for people meeting for the first time, things go smoother if you have either prix fixe or family style so that everyone feel they've been treated fairly when it comes time to pay the bill.