Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fun at FLAMINGO GRILL in Myrtle Beach, SC

Samuel actually enjoyed last night's dinner at FLAMINGO SEAFOOD GRILL (71st Ave. North at Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, SC 843-449-5388), and to top that he behaved like a gem. We stepped into the deco style family restaurant which had black tiles, lots of black enamel-style furniture, cozy black booths and some odd decorations from a giant silver tuna (which was real) to a motorcycle, ceramic giant fish and more.

Our patient and excellent server hailed from near back home in Northern Virginia and made Samuel completely happy and at home. While we sipped on a GROTH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2004 and ordered our appetizers Samuel enjoyed a tasty lemonade. His appetizer of BEEF KABOB turned into his entree since it was quite large and beautifully tender and medium rare as requested. The SAUTEED MUSHROOM CAPS in Wine Butter were unexciting, but the FRIED LOBSTER in BEARNAISE DIP won the prize for the evening. Succulent chunks of lobster were lightly battered and tempura fried and served with a fairly lighter style Bernaise that worked wonderfully.

we moved on to a bottle of 1999 DRY CREEK CHARDONNAY (we were surprised to find an older vintage in this town which does not tend to sport older wines, especially in the family-style places!) and it was yummy, oakey, vanilla-y and just right with our big fish entrees: My GROUPER with CRAB in a RED PEPPER HOLLANDAISE was again an excellent piece of fish with tasty chunks of crab piled high; it was so large I decided to take most of it back to our condo for dinner tomorrow! Each entree was preceded with a decent, but unexciting salad, but each was accompanied by a bowl of delicious SUGAR SNAP PEAS that were sauteed just right and GARLIC MASHED POTATOES as well!

The SALMON was another hit as well also piled high with CRAB and topped with the ever-present BERNAISE Sauce, but the CRABCAKES FLAMINGO with Red Pepper Remoulade was on the dry side and lacked that chunky tasty lump crab we love so much at home (yet they did use this excellent crab in the fish dishes--maybe it just got too mushed and dried out?). We did not even consider dessert as the options were minimal and unexciting.

Indeed, we have been very proud of Sam's excellent dining out behavior on this trip as again today at lunch at the forgettable pancake house downtown he ate most of his fried flounder and gobbled up the fries as well along with a whole glass of milk--without a whine or complaint! Tonight, our final meal out in Myrtle Beach--the top rated COLLECTOR's CAFE.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The LIBRARY, Myrtle Beach memories of pre-nouvelle

I must make a slight correction on the posting the other day for NY Prime, as the Merlot we had was PINE RIDGE "Crimson Creek." not "Carneros Creek."

Do you remember those wonderful old fashioned French restaurants where the portions were the antithesis of nouvelle cuisine, because it just didn't even exist? Where the urinals in the men's rooms are full of shaved ice to dissipate any bad odors? Where they serve the salad with a chilled fork?

Maybe, at 50 years old, I'm just reminiscing about what used to be real fun when I was younger, but THE LIBRARY (1212 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC) brings back these memories to life with some wonderful, if old fashioned food. The clapboard bookshelves all over the dining room are filled with books many up to a hundred years old or more. It was fun to read the inscriptions and see who they belonged to. The comfy leather chairs, linens, crystal (even if not Riedel), china and silver all tell the story of a dining location that prides itself on its history.

Chef Chad and his hostess wife Misty have owned this local stalwart four the last four years of its 32 year existence, and believe it or not, they claim the menu has never changed. While this might be a bore for locals (even though it is a fairly large menu), there are always the specials where Chef Chad experiments with different styles from Asia and the Caribbean. To start with his SHE CRAB SOUP is truly the richest and best we have ever tasted. Truly a thick bisque it is poured over a bowl of blanched almonds and oozes Asian spices such as coriander, not to mention a lot of sherry. We were all totally impressed with this Carolina standard gone luxe.

Our superb waiter Remzi, who hailed from Turkey but has lived locally for over twenty years, and worked at the Library for more than half that time, tried to sell us on the tableside preparation of the Caesar Salad, but since every meal comes with a ROMAINE SALAD with Creamy Romano we declined. Indeed this small salad so resembled a Caesar that we were quite happy with our decision, although we did get to watch the preparation at the next table!

Our first wine was a yummy okay rich RODNEY STRONG 2004 Chalk Hill Chardonnay. With the salad we tried a glass of the house MERLOT which comes from LEAPING LIZARD and was pretty decent. It was our entree's super-Tuscan that bowled us over, a 2001 CASTELLO del TERRICCIO TASSINAIA that comes from that excellent vintage and still might need a bit of aging but is starting to be drinkable now. We aired ours for over an hour, and it drank just wonderfully smooth with our rich "old" French entrees: GROUPER with CRAB in BRANDY ALMONDINE SAUCE was a slight twist on the traditional "Oscar" preparation but moving the wonderful brandy-almond in for the bearnaise. PLUME de VEAU "MANON" were excellent veal scallopini medallions so soft and tender with ARTICHOKES & MUSHROOMS in a BRANDY-RED WINE SAUCE, and my PLUME de VEAU "PRINCESSE" was fir for a king (or queen) with JUMBO SHRIMP & tender WHITE ASPARAGUS over those same excellent veal slices with a rich creamy Bearnaise sauce.

All the dishes are presented with a selection of four vegetables served elegantly on the side by Remzi: Green Beans, Broccoli, Potatoes Lyonnaise (which he said are known locally as "home fries") with onions, and the most superb CANDIED CARROTS you ever tasted made with Grand Marnier and Orange!

All of these brought back memories of where we used to dine when I was a child and teen. My parents would take us to NY City on special occasions and A LA FOURCHETTE, alas now gone, on Restaurant Row (W 46th St), was our destination for Lobster Bisque and Duck. The Library has all these dishes from filets to duck to lobster to fish and more, and one will always go home extremely full, no doubt. We wanted to try one of the fun tableside dessert preparations such as Bananas Foster, Crepes Suzettes or Cherries Jubilee (remember all those), but we were so full, the three of us spilt a scoop of vanilla ice cream with Wild Blueberries and Blueberry Sauce that was nice and refreshing, but nothing that special.

Tonight, we attempt dinner out with SAMUEL at FLAMINGO GRILL.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Steaks on the Grand Strand -NY Prime in Myrtle Beach, SC

We arrived here in Myrtle Beach, SC for a week's vacation on the beach last Saturday, and our first meal out was Sunday. It was a tough decision between the half dozen or so HOOTER's locations up and down the Grand Strand, the many miles stretch of beach island that goes 1/3 of the way along the South Carolina coast, and the dozens of WAFFLE HOUSES (where we stopped for lunch in Virginia on the drive down and almost got asphyxiated from the smokers filling up the place--down here they have NO SMOKING zones which cover three tables if you are lucky!).

Ultimately, our host for the evening, my ex-brother in law, who lives here, chose one of the few places open on a Sunday, NEW YORK PRIME ( at 405 28th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. It's a nice place, with an open kitchen and a casual feel, as everyplace IS casual here. The menu is simple and we all opted for the PETITE FILETs as we knew every other choice would be daunting (think 3 to 18 pound lobsters!).

We started with a refreshing ADELSHEIM PINOT GRIS 2004 to go with our appetizers. It was a good choice with the wide varieties of salads (which several of us split) and my delicious if monstrous-sized OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER. I never thought four huge oysters could be smothered with so much spinach, cheese and bacon to make them nearly an entree--and they were delicious!

The red wine I chose was a superb PINE RIDGE Carneros Creek 2002 MERLOT that we all just oohed and aahed over while it tasted; a great wine with the tender and superb filets that were offered up with bearnaise, barbecue, horseradish or any other sauce you could desire. The sides were huge (what a surprise) and satisfying with the excellent CREAMED SPINACH (though not as good as OLD HOMESTEAD's in Bethesda, or even SMITH & WOLLENSKY's), yummy LYONNAISE POTATOES, and in first place the crunchy gargantuan sized ONION RINGS.

Dessert can be considered if one has ANY space left, so I simply tasted the creamy NY CHEESECAKE which is flown in from CARNEGIE DELI, and the decent APPLE CRUMBLE.

I was quite shocked that a $20-something dessert could exist and simply be called CHOCOLATE CAKE, but we were warned it was quite huge and can feed an entire table; alas, we never found out.

Tonight, we will see what one of Myrtle Beach's finest offers at the LIBRARY.

Friday, May 19, 2006

the big 5-0 at 2941 Restaurant (12courses/12 wines!)

I think I'm still recovering, but last Friday, May 19th was my half century mark, and we decided to celebrate with a bang.

Our evening started with 1996 LOUIS ROEDERE BLANC de BLANCS Vintage Champagne for a toast and continued with the yeastiest ever 1995 LA GRANDE DAME Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin that I have ever tasted! These were accompanied by exquisite STEAK TARTARE and TEMPURA FRIED ANCHOVIES w/Sage.

We sat down in the gorgeous private dining room to CURED & MARINATED TROUT and YELLOW FIN TUNA with Avocado & Blood Orange, with Mango and Coriander for added spice. Each of these courses was really TWO as each plate had a yin and yang as you shall see. It created great conversation over who liked which side of which plate! The exquisite RIESLING GRAND CRU 2001 from Domaine Paul Blanck in Alsace was a perfect foil to the mild fish and slight spice.

POTAGES of PETITS POIS & MORELS with Lemon Creme Fraiche and OSSETRA CAVIAR was again two soups, and they were both perfect, although I think we adored the novelty of the morels and its intensity. A mild ALBARINO ADEGAS GRANZABAN, Ambar from Rias Baixas 2004 in Spain was again a perfectly light accompaniment so as not to overpower the subtlety of the soups.

CARAMELIZED SCALLOP & SAUTEED CHESAPEAKE SOFT SHELL CRAB with COCONUT TAPIOCA, CARROT & GINGER was one of the highlights, even though every dish was superb. The scallop has a Lobster Citrus Emulsion, but I'm always pulled to my favorite soft shells. The ANJOU SEC from DOMAINE JO PITHON, Les Bergeres 2002 from the Loire tates like "pears in oak sauce" to quote one guest. A true treat and again brilliant pairing.

LIGHTLY BRAISED WEST COAST HALIBUT LOIN with Smoked Sable Brandade, Slowly Roasted Tomato Relish & Nicoises Olives was served with a Syrah based ROSE from JEAN LUC COLIMBO, Cote Bleue, 2005 from Coteaux d'Aix en Provence. The fish was superb and I am a fool for brandade, so who wouldn't have been happy.

the DUO of SONOMA ARTISAN FOIE GRAS was again really two courses with a TORCHON of Foie Gras with VANILLA POACHED QUINCE and a SAUTEED FOIE GRAS with GLAZED PLUMS & Black Pepper. This was truly one of the best creations Chef Jonathan KRINN has ever conceived in the Foie Gras realm, and we luckily were able to pair it with a Magnum of ALOIS KRACHER Nouvelle Vague Nummer 6 TockenbeerenAuslese Grand Cuvee from 1999 that I had brought back from Austria several years back. This huge bottle lasted the fgoie gras and dessert courses both, and there was plenty to share with the excellent staff as well. If I am not mistaken,
this is one of those amazing dessert wines that receivbed a high 90's rating from the Wine Spectator, making it even more of a treat.

ROASTED LAMB RIB EYE was served with a GATEAUX PROVENCAL of Anchovy, Sage & Chive Blossoms and we opened a very young subtle, yet delicious 1997 BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO CastelGiocondo from Frescobaldi. The meat was just past rare at the center and we were now up to 15-20 minute breaks between courses. What time was it?

SPICE CRUSTED MILLBROOK VENISON and TARO CRUSTED HUDSON VALLEY SQUAB BREAST with Fiddlehead Ferns, Creamed Parsley and Vintage Port Reduction was another stroke of genius. I loved the ferns and parsley and the both meats were cooked to perfection. We brought along a truly exciting 1983 CABERNET SAUVIGNON from ROBERT KEENAN in Napa that was a double magnum. We kept drinking this for some time, although I felt it was not as truly magnificent as we were hoping for.

The CHEESE TASTING of Roccolo, Azeitao, Gubbeen and Reina was served with Fig ALmond Rye Bread which reminded us about the spectacular breads we were noshing all night long, and a Vintage Port was served as well.

If you thought one dessert was enough, you would be wrong, for as we resumed the Karcher first came the WHITE & MILK CHOCOLATE TASTING with White Chocolate Cheesecake, Oregon Huckleberries and Milk Chocolate Mousse Napoleon with Strawberry, Vanilla and Rhubarb with Crispy Meringue. Just as we were ready to depart at just after 1AM, a huge birthday cake arrived, which we quickly packed up along with our breads and cotton candy bags and headed home.

It was a birthday I shall always remember so well.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thos 2003 beautiful BORDEAUX wines..a tasting survey

Last Saturday night at the Heart's Delight Benefit for The American Heart Association about 30 chefs prepared many different dishes as we bid on various auction items and sipped many wines. It is always a great event, but this year I attended the late afternoon two hour BORDEAUX 2003 Tasting, which served up 31 wines (including one white and three Sauternes) for us to judge and rate ourselves in anticipation of drinking these wines in the way off future.

Indeed, I had pruchased numeorus cases of 2003 futures over two years ago in anticpiation of this great vintage and hoping we can serve it at Samuel's Bar Mitzvah in 2016 (as it is his birth year!).

Our first flight was quite lackluster and the highlight was the CHATEAU TERTE DAUGAY from St. Emilion which oddly enought got an 85 from Wine Spectator. I thought this wine was much better than that and even beat out the higher rated CHATEAU CHASSE-SPLEEN from Moulis en Medoc. There were almost 30 winemakers or vingerons on the panel describing their own wines which was also a great treat.

The second flight of five wines had the highly rated CHATEAU ANGELUS from St. Emilion (Wine Spectator #94) at the top of my list, but at over $165 a bottle, it's way too pricey. Save this wine for at least 5-10 years if you come across it. I also liked the CHATEAU CANON from St. Emilion (rated 91), but it also rings in quite high at $75.

The third flight of five wines was only okay, and I began to think that many of the big Bordeaux would be duds including the CHATEAU SMITH-HAUT-LAFITTE which I had ordered a case of. This wine was rated 93 and cost about $55 now, but at the $40 I paid two years ago, hopefully it will improve.

Flight #4 was a big improvement and I was thrilled that the CHATEAU GISCOURS from Margaux (rated 91) was my top pick as I have a case of that coming. The Giscours at $45/bottle easily beat the lower rated (#91) CHATEAU PALMER which runs over $130!

Flight #5 was the highlight of the afternoon and I felt the CHATEAU BRANAIRE-DUCRU from St. Julien took top honors all day (too bad it's almost impossible to get). This was an intense and terrific wine and will easily last 10-20 years. No wonder it got a 93 from Wine Spectator! My 2nd favorite in the flight was the CHATEAU PONTET-CANET from Pauillac which I DO have a case of coming soon. This was so jammy and excellent was rated 94! All the wines in this flight were rated from 91-97 and were truly magnificent and will deserve aging, so don't drink them too soon: CHATEAU LAGRANGE, CHATEAU TALBOT and the over $150 CHATEAU COS d'ESTOURNEL were all truly exciting.

Finally came the three Sauternes of which I liked the CHATEAU COUTET the best, but nobody who likes sweet wines would turn down the GUIRAUD or SUDUIRAUT either, which we drank after dinner as well that evening. These Sauternes will easily benefit from 10-20 years aging as well as they turn that gorgeous amber color!


Monday, May 15, 2006

Wondrous WILLOW will whet your apetite

Monday night we returned to WILLOW Restaurant in Arlington ( N. Fairfax) where we had a wonderful experience when they first opened last fall marred only by the crowds. Willow was a pleasure on Monday, though the place was still quite crowded. Things have settled in and Chef Tracy O'Grady (prev. of Kinkead's) has got everything under control with her husband/manager/partner Brian Wolken.

My only complaint this trip was that some of the white wines are still served too cold for my taste, as was our first WHITEHALL LANE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2005 from Napa which was refreshing and citrusy and a treat with my ENGLISH PEA & FRESH SHEEP MILK RICOTTA RAVIOLI with Sauteed Shrimp, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and English Pea Emulsion. This was a pasta dish to devour, rich and decadent with a delicious crunch from those wonderful little funghi! The SMOKED SALMON with Potato Latkes, Avocado Lime Creme Fraiche and Baby Pea Greens is probably the lightest starter, and while the salmon is nice, don't expect those big potato latkes like on Hannukah; these are silver dollar size crunchy ones. The Grilled Flatbreads of Pastry Chef Kate Jensen should not be missed. The MUSE had Artichoke, Basil Pesto, Fontina Cheese and Preserved Lemon and can so easily be shared by four or more as a treat. The TEMPURA FRIED SPRING VEGETABLES are made up of Asparagus, Fennel, Artichokes, Onion & Mushroom with a magnificent LIME GINGER VINAIGRETTE DIPPING Sauce. The Onion itself far surpassed any fried onion or onion ring anywhere! Looking for crabcake, then try the POTATO CRUSTED JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKE with Buttery Savoy Cabbage, Julienne Zucchini and Mustard Beurre Blanc where the potato crust is actually like a crusty little lattice hat on top!

We had a second white that came from a different fridge and was a perfect temperature and Rhone blend: ST PERAY Domaine du Tunnel 2004 Cuvee Prestige. It was 80% Marsanne and 20% Rousanne and was simply orgasmic with the HERB CRUSTED SKATE WING with Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, Cauliflower Puree, Broccoli Rabe, Oyster Mushrooms and Warm Truffle Vinaigrette. This was so enticing that THREE of us ordered it and we were all ecstatic about the entire dish, combination, presentation and TASTE! The MUSTARD CRUSTED RACK of PORK "Milanese" is recommended medium/well done, but I still urge you to go medium at the most as it is a wonderful schnitzel-like preparation but needs not be overcooked.

Desserts can't be missed at WILLOW and we enjoyed three, all of which were superb:
All are spectacular and make the decisions very difficult. No matter, we will return for more of all!

Friday, May 12, 2006

David MYERS of SONA soars into DC for a private benefit dinner

The long weekend starts with a series of private dinners and I attended a magnificent one last night at the cliff-hanging over the Potomac mansion of Dr. & Mrs. Pierre Asmar. About twenty of us starting the evening noshing on the likes of SHORT RIB WONTON with LIME PICKLE on AOILI HERB CROSTINI, TOMATO CONFIT, NASTURTIUM (which I had to look up in a BIG dictionary and it is an herb flower). There was a wild SALMON EGG and SAKE SHOOTER with SPECK BURRATA and FENNEL POLLEN. These were like a cross between mini-sushi shooters and a Bloody Mary! A real treat was the French goat cheese mixed with Brie and slightly melted on
a simple toasted bread with herbs!!

All this with an excellent POL ROGER BRUT CHAMPAGNE N/V which flowed easily as we gazed over the Great Falls below and the sky darkened ominously.

We were ushered into the dining room and I was seated next to the three vignerons (wine guys) from France who introduced their wines, bantered hysterically throughout the meal about the "left" and "right" banks in Bordeaux, and were just such nice guys!

Marcel DUCASSE from the largest of the three vineyards, Chateau LAGRANGE (in Saint Julien) spoke about his first wine, CHATEAU LES ARUMS de LAGRANGE 2004 a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon and 10% Muscadet more of as a sideline,as these are BIG red producers. The wine was superb and paired nicely with the SPICED TUNA LOIN, CELERY ROOT PUREE, HAZELNUTS and CRISPY LOMO. The dish could easily have worked with a red wine, but a white was nice and refreshing as well. Second at bat was the owner of CHATEAU CORBIN from across the river in St. Emilion. Sebastien BARDINET had left his wife in charge as well as a one month old Henri, who we all toasted with his excellent CHATEAU CORBIN 2001. Our next course arrived and was a marvelous RISOTTO with FOIE GRAS, MUSHROOMS and RED WINE EMULSION. Two more Bordeaux were poured with this course, and the flow never seemed to stop all evening. The eloquent EMMANUEL CRUSE of the smallest CHATEAU d'ISSAN (in Margaux) introduced his 1999 which was simply elegant, and then we had the 1995 Chateaux Lagrange, all three side by side was a great way to compare wines, vintages and so much more. It was completely mind boggling. So much so that even Washington Post wine critic Ben Gilberti across the table seemed overwhelmed.

The GRILLED PRIME BEEF with RED QUINOA and SHORT RIB JUS was as simple and rare as a dish can be. It allowed us to enjoy the excellent meat without overwhelming the excellent wines. Our final two reds with this course were the 1998 Issan and Lagrange, both of which reigned supreme, although I insisted on an extra glass of the Lagrange, which I enjoyed into my dessert:

TIRAMISU TRUFFLE with PRESERVED LEMON ICES was a wonderful dish, but really begged for the red wine as the elegant CHATEAU COUTET 1989 SAUTERNES that was served was just wrong with the rich chocolatey dish. I had my Lagrange with the dessert, and then enjoyed a second sweet rich dessert in the glass of old Sauternes, so beautifully amber and soft.

After getting lost twice trying to find the house, I was able to find my way home much more easily, and would love to return to another Private Dinner again next year, and intend to get to Chef Myer's SONA in LA soon as well. In the meantime, we can know that he will cook, along with 28 other chefs, and also 29 different Bordeaux vintners will serve their wines at the main auction and benefit this Saturday night!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

NORA, a study of one of the oldest fine dining establishments in DC

Saturday night we returned to Restaurant Nora (2132 Florida Ave, NW Tel. 202-462-5143) after more than four years. I have found that the attention to the food is as fine as ever, each dish being carefully described and prepared with love. I also still find that NORA excels in many things, and falls flat in a few places.

We had a coupon for dinner purchased at a charity auction last year and had quite some difficulty clearing up the dining arrangements in advance. I must admit that once we arrived, Jack, the manager, took the most supreme care of us and did make sure we were happy every second of the evening. In that vein, we were most happy and truly pleased with his concern. He served us a glass of CHATEAU de FERE Brut Reserve Blanc de Blanc just as we were seated, and told us not to worry that everything was taken care of. He was right. We ordered as much as we could possibly, knowing that the salads here reign supreme, as Nora Pouillon prides herself on her organic cooking and preparations. I started with the MAINE JONAH CRAB SALAD with AVOCADO, ANCHO CHILI VINAIGRETTE, Crispy Tortillas, Fresh Citrus and Harissa. It was a crab salad to beat all others, a beautiful timbale loaded with chunks of crab and some tangy sauces to make them tingle. Will opted for the excellent ROASTED RED & GOLDEN BEET SALAD with Oranges, Grapefruit, Lazy Lady Goat Cheese, Beet Tuille and Microgreens. An amazing presentation with only the finest of quality vegetables. Our first wine was a CROZES HERMITAGES Blanc 2003 from ALBERT BELLE which had lots of mineral (esp limestone) aftertastes and really was so intense it called for food. These tangy vegetable and crab dishes went just fabulously with the wine as did our next set of appetizers (we couldn't resist). Will ordered what I started with, the JONAH CRAB SALAD and I went on to a magnificent MOREL MUSHTOOM & LEEK TART with GOAT CHEESE, Fresh Herbs Vinaigrette on Crunchy Cucumber Pea Shoot Salad. Again, the excellence of the ingredients and the care to prepare them made this a big hit.

For our red wine Jack suggested a FILI di SETA 2003 from Pertamali. I was not familiar with this Sangiovese Tuscan wine nor its maker, but like its name "Path of Silk" it was a silky smooth and easy going wine, despite its youth. An excellent choice for both my fish and Will's duck. The CIRSPY AMISH DUCK BREAST with Ginger Sweet Potato Puree (Will substituted plain since he doesn't like ginger), Snap Peas, Broccoli, Baby Carrots and Madeira Sauce was the one dish all night that did not even come close to the quality of the others. My ALASKAN WILD SABLEFISH with Fennel, White Beans, Spinach, Artichokes, Olives, Tomatoes, Romescu Sauce & Lemon Jus integrated all the wonderful organic veggies that Nora uses so well and peppered the superb fish up with that Romescu sauce which I only wish there were a bit more of. Despite this, I must say it is with the entrees, and particularly some of the meat ones we have had here and in the past, that Nora does not live up to its almost 30 year reputation.

For dessert, Nora was back on top again with excellent preparations of Will's RHUBARB PIE with Strawberry Ice Cream and Aged Balsamic and my KIWI LIME TART with VANILLA CREAM & MANGO SAUCE. We tried two different glasses of dessert wine and my DOMAINE DUMAZET "La Myriade" 2002 Condrieu from the Rhone was less sweet and hence for me, less exciting, than Will's GYSTER SPATBURGUNDER ROSE 2003 BEERENAUSLESE from Rheinhessen, Germany, a truly wonderful new find, if we can even find it!

So, go to Nora, enjoy, and order those fabulous salads, the appetizers and desserts, perhaps even the veggie tasting menu, or the fish, but shy away from the meat entrees unless you are sure of yourself.