We were going to meet our one son and his wife at Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro in Birmingham, Michigan, and it is a place that we have mentioned often and never gotten there, that is how life works, sometimes. Well anyways, my mind often runs in several different directions. When I hear Tallulah, I immediately think of Tallulah Bankhead, more famous on the Great White Way, because for one generation she is more known for being in the movie “Lifeboat” and it was always rumored that she made the film without wearing underwear, to another generation she was known as the Black Widow on the Batman television show. She might have been one of the reasons that the term “camp” was created, because she was so theatrical privately and publicly. We once saw Kathleen Turner in a one-woman play “Tallulah” and it was basically her classic lines recorded by the press. And in the opening scene of “A Pocketful of Miracles” it is Bette Davis as Apple Annie who roars out “Tallulah” as they had a rivalry for decades. Her lifestyle probably did not help her memory, but she was able to remember lines for the stage, but not for names, so everyone was “dah-ling.”
So, as you can tell, I had a lot excess baggage with me, just because we were going to Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro, but it was all good. When we arrived, we had booked a reservation through their requested service and our reservation was before they were actually opening up, what with the turmoil of what has happened to the restaurant business, they never changed the protocol. It was fine, and they let us come in and have a table and we began the evening. Rather, then have throw away menus, they had the information in a square emblem, I have no idea what the proper name for it is, and you took your phone and photographed the square and the menu appeared on your smart phone. I guess if your phone was not smart enough, they did have some throw away menus. We got a couple of appetizers to share for the table. One was a platter of Artisanal Cheese, and I cut a small chunk of Manchego and some fresh honey and left the rest for the others. We also had Sardines with fennel, beets and Remoulade Sauce, we were expecting small sardines, but these were so big that they were fileted tableside, but still concerns about bones, and unfortunately not much flavor to this dish. My Bride had the Sea Scallops with corn pudding, honey crisp apples, crispy bacon and Campari tomato and cooked to perfection. I had the Rohan Farms Duck Breast prepared three ways, with carrot puree and black beans and it was great, it also made me realize how long it has been since I have had a duck dinner. The other plates were a Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto with Shiitake, Portobello, Shallots and Thyme Butter and an order of Lamb Ragu Pappardelle with house-made pasta, poached egg and Parmigiano Reggiano. Then there was a couple of orders of desserts, but I refrained from having sweets.
It was a hot day, and we continued our quest for something chilled for dinner. We had a bottle from Famille Moutard, their Moutard-Diligent Bourgogne Chardonnay 2018. They own a little over thirteen hectares of land deemed for Chardonnay. The Moutard-Diligent label represents their Negocient range, as there are approximately three-hundred communes in Burgundy that can be used for this designation. The firm did not offer any production notes on their wines, but it was a good basic Chardonnay with a flinty finish and a great bottle for having with dinner. While everyone was enjoying dessert, I decided to have my own dessert. I had a glass of Les Vignerons du Terrassous Rivesaltes Ambre Hors d’Age 6 Ans Languedoc-Roussillon NV. Rivesaltes is a famed wine with its own appellation for this dessert wine from the Roussillon and this wine was made from only Grenache Blanc. This legendary wine that has been made from at least the Fourteenth Century and is termed Vin Doux Naturel is produced by settling of the must, pressing, partial fermentation in oak barrels with temperature control and then mutage, which is stopping the fermentation by adding wine alcohol. Rivesaltes wines are made from all three Grenache grapes; blanc, noir and gris. Rivesaltes wines are offered in several forms, distinguished by their color, depending on the grape and the ageing process. These are Rosé, Grenat, Ambre and Tuilé, and fifth category Hors d’Age which is only applicable to Ambre and Tuilé wines that are aged for at least five years before being released. This wine was a beautiful deep amber color, sweet and viscous, and offered nuts and caramelized fruit in the finish. I think, that I had the best desert of the group. We had a wonderful dinner, though we were getting razzed that we had a very early dinner from the kids. And before I leave, I will offer two great and often repeated quotes of Tallulah, that can be used in proper society. “Cocaine isn’t habit-forming. I should know – I’ve been using it for years.” “Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it.”