There were the four of us continuing a birthday celebration, that I tagged along on, as we know that I have no shame. We were going to Louis, but not Louis in the Bronx. We were going to an old-fashioned chop house or steak house, to me, they are both interchangeable. Growing up for me, as a kid, this was the type of restaurant that I frequented the most, and hence the most comfortable of places to be. Nothing frou-frou or “new age” or any other contemporary wording.
We had a classic dinner for the four of us, since we just had a lobster roll about an hour before dinner, we had a lighter appetizer to share, and that was Crab Stuffed Mushrooms in a Lobster Cream Sauce. You know, something light. Since the restaurant was fifty years in the making and kept evolving from the original, but not a major evolves, just some elegant fine tuning and tweaks. We had a bottle of Barone Fini Pinot Grigio Valdadige DOC 2020, a wine that is under the corporate umbrella of The Deutsch Family of Wine & Spirits. The Bonmartini-Fini family began making wine in 1497 when the two noble families merged in a wedding up in Northern Italy. It is still family owned. This wine is their flagship showcasing the grapes of the Valdadige DOC. The fruit is hand-harvested and I will go out on a limb, though not a long limb and presume that the wine was fermented and aged in Stainless Steel, though it is not revealed by the winery. It was a great way to start the meal, as the wine had a nice floral nose of citrus and lemon, with a palate of melon and apples in a balanced acidity with a touch of mineral terroir at the finish. It just made it easy to enjoy another sip of wine.
For our entrées we went with some classic dishes, my Bride did Surf & Turf, which was really nostalgic, as it seems to have disappeared from most menus or they have tried to update and modify a simple combination of a Filet Mignon and a Lobster Tail. I also went with another classic nostalgic dish of Veal Oscar, medallions of sautéed veal topped with crab, asparagus and Sauce Bearnaise (and you know that I am on a diet). I actually had to go through five choices from a rather large wine list to select the two wines that we had, and the red wine, they came out with was an up-sale, but that was fine, by that time. My complaint is that wine lists are computer printed lists, so there is not a need to have that many wines listed that they can’t supply, and they blamed it on what is going on in the world, though my wine shop doesn’t seem to have problems getting great wines, but I digress and I was a bit agitated and forgot to take a photo of the bottle, until I got home. We had a bottle of Chateau Teyssier Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2014 part of the JCP Maltus group. It was a charming classic interpretation of a Saint-Emilion wine that is eighty-five percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and fifteen percent Cabernet Franc. Aged in French Oak, of which a third is new, the wine was delicious with a nose of dark fruits, and it had soft tannins with great black cherry, smoke, spices and a nice medium finish of terroir. What we called in the old days, a nice Saint-Emilion.
The other problem and it is rampant in our state, is that there are plenty of jobs, but no takers, so with a dearth of employees there was no tableside offerings of salads, steaks or desserts. We all shared a classic Detroit dessert of a Hot Fudge Cream Puff and I had a taste, but I went with a glass of Dow’s 10-Year-Old Tawny Porto, a Port Wine from Oporto in Portugal and from one of the great Port makers there. Instead of a cordial glass of Port, I was given a six ounce pour, and it took a little longer to nurse it. The wine must spend a minimum of six years in casks and it is blended with other wines and that is how they get the 10 Years on the label. The Port Wineries have casks of wines that are of many different years and they blend the different casks to maintain the taste that they are known for. The grapes that are used and there is no way of knowing the percentages of each, because of the process of making Port wines are: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cao and perhaps Souzao, Tinta Amarela and Mourisco Tinto. It was just a beautiful glass of Port, as I think a Tawny is the easiest drinking and understandable for most people, and a great nightcap. It was an excellent way to end the day with a fellow birthday honoree.