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Where would you go if you had an 1982 chateau lafite rothschild?

I'm lucky enough to say that I have a friend who wants to spend dinner with me and a very special bottle of wine. Now, where should we go to enjoy it? Looking to be in Fairfax District, Beverly Hills, or Hollywood. Open to all kinds of ideas -- doesn't have to be over-the-top or romantic. Just good food and a good crowd.

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  1. You certainly want to have some red meat to get the best of the wine. I'd opt for Morton's or Pacific Dining Car but they aren't in your area. Plenty of place abound that are either steakhouses (Mastro's, Palm) or just as good any quality place where you can get some meat. Campanile, La Terza have nice meat. I'd also look for somewhere with good stems and a decanter, which the latter two will do. Even though that wine is 24 years old, it is/was huge. It would benefit from a decant.

    1. i would opt for arnie morton's over the palm or mastro's, they're too noisy.

      1. I wouldn't go to one of those steakhouses. They're good, but I don't think they have the quality of chef that will do justice to a wine like that. I would go to a restaurant that would design a menu around the wine. Valentino may not be as great as it once was, but Piero Selvaggio is one of the restauranteurs in Los Angeles who is most knowledgeable about wine. I've seen him fawning over tables that have brought in wines to be paired. I suspect he would be very excited about planning a menu an 82 Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jwsel

          I know that Pierro has some other restaurants aside from this location... how often is he actually at the Santa Monica location?
          I think that you have a *great* idea though!!

        2. For the last ten years or more, we and two other couples have celebrated birthdays at Lawry's with vintage bottles of French and California wines and the prime ribs have done those wines justice. We have drunk 1982, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990 Pichon Lalande, 1990 Montrose, Haut Marbuzet, Beaujesour Duffau, Lynch Bages from 1982 through 1989;1986, 1990 Pichon Baron, 1982, 1989 Ducru Beaucaulliou and Beycheville; 1986 L'Arroset and Clerc Milon, and 1990 through 1994 Chateau Montelena.

          You really want something that will propel that type of wine forward and not try to compete with it.

          1. An outside table at Il Cielo might be nice.

            1. I think I'd be tempted to try Wolfgang's new steak house, Cut, in Beverly Hills.

              1. This is a very good wine and, at least as of 6 months ago, not yet at its prime. It will provide an great evening's entertainment all on its own if you let it develop and taste it over a period of an hour or two.
                You should let it stand upright for 24 hours beforehand, which most restaurants will do for you (at another additional charge). I would open it an hour before trying it (well, ok, who can resist a small preview). It will start out a little thin and angular but about 90 minutes later will provide an extraordinarily intense, deep, and complex experience. It's like watching an interesting play unfold.
                There is really no restaurant where you can let that happen at the necessary leisurely pace (waiters seem to have less tolerance for patrons sipping without continually ordering for two hours than they used to).
                Here is my suggestion: buy a porterhouse steak at Harvey Guss, or if that is not possible, a prime rib eye steak at How's. Open the wine, try it and 30 minutes later start the grill. Play it by ear from there. If you're bigger drinkers, have a Sancerre of Chablis ready first.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Griller141

                  I think there are some restaurants that will allow this. The OP just needs a restaurant that really respects wine. That is why I mentioned Valentino. I've personally seen Pierro oversee tables that have spent hours doing private wine pairings. I seriously doubt there would be a problem in a meal lasting 3-4 hours at a fine restaurant. It just needs to be the right place and the right time. Going to a restaurant like Mastro's or Cut, where the servers are likely to try to turn over tables, is not going to allow for the right atmosphere.

                  1. re: Griller141

                    Griller141... that is an impressively informative post. WOW!
                    I really love your idea of doing the wine justice at home. It seems like whenever we go out with an impressive bottle of wine, the waiter just dumps way too much into a glass, even when I ask for "just a little to taste."

                  2. I personally would go to Mistral in Sherman Oaks. Great food, excellent service (can get a bit noisy) but is certain to have dishes that will pair up against your 1982 Lafite

                    1. I would stay in and make a meal. I haven't been to a restaurant in this town that
                      would warrant that bottle, sorry to say. One can do much better at home.

                      There are great restaurants, many of which are Asian, but I think none would be a match for the bottle.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: epop

                        i agree re: avoiding cut, mastros, boa et al-- UNLESS you clearly win the sommelier over by palming him or her a bennie franklin. even then, there is risk that they won't give you the attention you fully deserve, for you are essentially publicly eroding confidence in the wine list they get paid to put together (and get a commission on the sales therefrom-- yes, it's true). so this is risky. the comment re: valentino is interesting and i would give it appropriate weight.

                        personally, i can't think of anywhere in LA to properly do this...some will let you bring the bottle, but there's a lot more than that which this wine requires. you don't want a disgruntled actor/actress waiter/waitress popping the cork and dumping it into a basically a dirty water goblet.

                        i still say fly up to Gary Danko in SF.

                      2. thanks so much for all of your advice! so, after mentioning valentinos, campanile, arnie morton's, and gary danko, we decided to hold off, and go up to the bay area in august. but, as it turned out, my friend had a crap week, and i had a crap week, and it was friday, so we decided there wouldn't be a better time to crack it. anyhow, because my friend knows the sommelier at norman's, and because neither one of us has a grill, we decided to give it a go there. and it all turned out to be a great end to the week. though we didn't see the sommelier, the manager and our server were both very respectful and seemed actually appreciative that we decided to spend our time and the bottle there. and the 82 lafite . . . wow. i don't know what i had expected, but i didn't anticipate that. it was so many things in one sip, and lingered, and changed. i don't even want to describe it because i hate putting adjectives to experiences, but it definitely lived up to the hype and then some.

                        but thanks again everyone for all of your ideas. i will make sure to keep them in mind in the future.