Finding more wine labels with notes on the back, until Lent ends or I find myself having a glass of wine without tempting my Bride. The restaurant that I am going to mention had a rather long run in Birmingham, Michigan, but it always had mixed reviews. Birmingham is a tough city for a restaurant as there has always been some die-hards that only frequent their favorite haunts and then there are others that have to be the latest and greatest, and we are somewhere in between. We usually like to wait for the dust to settle and hopefully for the kitchen and the wait staff to get their rhythm, before we venture to a new location, not to mention that it is easier to get a reservation.
Forte was a restaurant that I think really fell into the trap of being a “Birmingham” establishment and there was a bit of snootiness that I felt that we encountered, and for all of the great restaurants that we have dined in, thankfully only a few have given me that feel. Everything was ala carte, and the waitress didn’t seem thrilled that we were not ordering soup to nuts, as we used to say. When all else fails, and nothing sounds spectacular, we fall back and order tried and true dishes that we have a modicum of expectations. My Bride order grilled salmon which came with the slightest of pretty side vegetables to make the plate look pretty, as the restaurant was promoting side dishes. I went with braised short ribs, because it is a dish that I totally enjoy and only recently did we attempt to make the dish, and while ours was great, it is a lot of work and I guess it is better to leave it to the professionals. I am also fond of the dish, because I enjoy the root vegetables that are usually prepared with the dish for added flavor.
The wine we had that evening I am sorry to say will be a mystery to me. I mean I have the label, but it is no longer being made and there was no information that I could glean even searching the web for. The wine was Chateau Julien Aleatico 1995. We had this wine before we ever visited Chateau Julien in Carmel, California and this wine carries the California designation, so if any of the fruit was from Carmel or the Monterey area, it was also blended with fruit from other districts as well. I can also surmise since it had the fancy name of Aleatico that it must have been a blend of a couple of different varietals. This problem seldom occurs, but from looking at how hard the label came off of the bottle, I must also presume that the back label was lost as it was not in the box that held this label, so if there was any additional information it is now lost forever, at least for me. It was another night out with wine, and wine always tends to make the evening better. Forte has closed and one of the chain restaurants Hyde Park Steakhouse now has the address and as of yet, we have not tried it.