We are still getting used to eating out again, indoors. We are in one of the states where restaurants really took it on the chin. For the longest time, restaurants could only do carry-out, which eliminated more jobs. We really did not avail ourselves of many carry-out dinners, because, it is such a drive from our house to our favorite restaurants, that the food would have to be reheated, and that can become pretty expensive leftovers that aren’t recooked the same way. I mean we have been having lots of leftovers, because most of the dinners we have had at home were big enough to make at least another night of food from the preparation. It was miraculous that three major states that had major gubernatorial impeachments going on, all basically overnight said that the lockdowns could be eased up. Restaurants were originally allowed to have indoor seating at twenty-five percent, and it just was raised to fifty percent. The other night, we felt like going out and the first place, we drove to, has not opened yet, which is the case for many eateries, because they have to find and/or replace help. Many restaurants had announced that until there was at least fifty percent seating, that it was not economically feasible to reopen.
We had several other options in the direction that we were driving and we went to a restaurant that we have gone to, a few times and always enjoyed the food and the ambience. We went to Nico & Vali, which is just on the outer-ring of downtown Plymouth, so we thought we would have a fair chance of getting in, and I might add that we were going out at “senior dining” hour. The tables were all booked, but they did have two at the bar, and it was not the first time that we had dinner at the bar, so we said yes. The bartender was a very attentive and she was also the perfect waitress. My Bride had the special, which was a Seafood Medley; Chilean Sea Bass topped with sauteed shrimp and clams in a white pesto sauce, served over butternut squash risotto tossed with arugula and shallots. I had the Piedmontese Filet medallions with a Porcini demi-glace, over risotto tossed with wild mushrooms, asparagus and black truffle shavings. Prior to the entrée plates we both had salads and even had seconds on the house made bread. We both had great choices.
My Bride had Varvaglione 12 e Mezzo Fashion Edition Malvasia Bianca del Salento IGT 2018. Varvaglione 1921 will be celebrating their hundredth anniversary this year, spanning four generations of the same family and is now one of the largest companies in Puglia. The winery makes red and white wines, and they have one-hundred-fifty hectares of vineyards, plus numerous long-term contracts with other vineyards in the area. Salento IGT is probably the largest sub-region of Puglia IGT and it covers Red, Rosé, White, Dessert, Still and Sparkling wine. It also allows for about fifty different varietals to be used from local indigenous grapes, to the famous International stars. A named variety must contain at least eighty-five percent of the grape to be listed. The terroir is hot, flat and dry. Malvasia Bianca is used to produce many styles of wine in the Salento IGT. The vines are controlled to produce medium to high productivity and noted for low to medium acidity. The grapes get soft pressing, with twenty-four hours of maceration, and cold fermentation, then the juice is aged in Stainless Steel. The wine was a nice golden yellow, with soft fruit aromas, a nice balanced with notes of pears and honey (without being cloying).
I had The Cult Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Lodi 2017 of Middletown, California. A very curios modern winery with no history to track. They use the same label artwork for their three wines, a photo circa 1950’s of a well-dressed audience with the cardboard 3D glasses from the early trial films. The sepia toned label is used both for the Cabernet Sauvignon and for their Sauvignon Blanc, which are both carrying a Napa Valley appellation. The black and white version label is used for their Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi. All the wines carry the tag line “Do you see what we see?” The wine is a blend of eighty-six percent Cabernet Sauvignon, eight percent Petit Verdot, four percent Petite Sirah and two percent Merlot. The wine was aged for fifteen months in French Oak, of which twenty-five percent was new. It was a very nice wine and what I expected from Lodi, as I have been enjoying every wine that I have discovered from there. It was rather a big, fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon, medium tannins and a nice finish. It was a nice night and it felt good to be in a restaurant again.