Amoureuses & Chateaubriand…On a Tuesday Night???

April 17th, 2014

This night cloistered inside my home was inspired by and for the love of beauty and refinement in the art of food and wine.  To have Amoureuses, which means “Lovers” in French and Chateaubriand, named after François-René de Chateaubriand, who was considered to be the founder of Romanticism in French literature, made this special meal at home simply fantastic and worthy of a repeat.

My career started in a gourmet food and wine establishment, which developed and enhanced my appreciation for excellence in haute cuisine and refined wine.   This educational process engendered a certain appreciation for refined taste that I’ve grown to love and somehow managed to maintain.  This could be viewed cynically as “decadent” or “down right aristocratic gluttony”, but this labor of love educated a spirit of discernment, and I must at every possible moment seek meaningful pleasure – - even if it’s not the weekend.

So with a little help from a delicious homemade brown sugar and balsamic vinegar glaze and ravioli stuffed with goat cheese and pesto, this Tuesday evening in was truly inspired by love.  The silky, elegant yet firm 2004 Amoureuses and a heavenly cut of Chateaubriand reminded me of the necessary labor one must endure to truly appreciate “The Good Life.”


2004 Joseph Drouhin 1er Cru Chambolle-Musigny “Amoureuses”


Chateaubriand with Brown Sugar & Balsamic Vinegar Glaze and Ravioli stuffed with Goat Cheese


Match Made In Heaven….



So, if it’s love you seek, consider the food you eat!!!!


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Pascal Doquet – - My Kind of Brut Rosé!

April 8th, 2014

NV Pascal Doquet

This grower Champagne is a must try – Finesse, Elegance, Refinement and a long lingering finish that makes you wonder how has one lived without this sumptuous offering.  A wonderful blend of Chardonnay (68%) and Pinot Noir (32%), this delicate yet firm rosé has something to offer every palate under the sun but, you must be open to instant gratification.  The complexity displayed in this bottling comes from blending vintages ’03, ’04, and ’05.  With an aging process that includes tanks and cask, as well as three months sur-lies, your palate will forever be delighted by the depth of fruit, judicious minerals and perfectly balanced dryness.  So while one takes in the “season of rosés,” make room for those coming from Champagne!!!

NV Pascal Doquet with Italian Flatbread


The perfect Monday night in – - and yes, I’m enjoying this amazing bottle with a lovely Italian flatbread.

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Back at The Grill Room – - A Palate Pleaser Unlike No Other!!!!

March 31st, 2014

After a much needed hiatus of penning my wonderful encounters with amazing food and wine, I felt my return was most appropriate by posting last weekend’s dining experience.  The mind blowing, palate pleasing experience of Chef Esko’s cuisine at the Grill Room, is by far one of the most exciting and surreal gastronomic experience one can hope to sink their teeth into.  As one of DC’s most amazing and talented chef’s, who is also a great friend, Esko made this eight course dining experience one I shall never forget.  This dinner had all the trappings of a Michelin starred “Must Have Experience.”  From the moment I entered, to the very last bite of chocolate and goodbyes, a perfect evening was had by all.

The evening’s festivities kicked off with an elegant Manhattan from the super popular Rye Bar – - standing room only which forced me to consumed mine in “The Living Room” ahhh…. what pain one has to endure.  Noted as one of DC’s most expensive cocktails, this harmonious concoctions was by far one of the most exquisite Manhattans I’ve had the opportunity to consume.   This delicate blend of Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye, Dolin rouge vermouth, Byrrh Quinquina and homemade orange bitters created a complex yet balanced Manhattan where having one did not suffice.

Your presence is requested as I’ve only had repeats of outstanding cuisine and moments of sheer food bliss at The Grill Room.


The “Living Room”


Manhattan Cocktail


And now that much awaited eight courses that had me contemplating a life of wining and dining as my “Eternal Recurrence!!!!!”


Norwegian Salmon


Norwegian Salmon

Thinly sliced Norwegian salmon with yuzu and soy sauce, seaweed salad.


Magrae Tartar

 Diced Margrae tossed with: chives, shallots, cantaloupe & Taittinger Brut Champagne.

Finished with blood orange segment, lime foam and Kalix caviar (Northern Sweden) on a

Himalayan salt block


Maine Scallop

Diver scallop served with yuzu and fennel foam over applewood smoked mussels and finished with wasabi caviar


Mushroom Bisque

 Shiitake, Maittake, Royal Trumpet and Portobello with garlic and caramelized onions.

Garnished with wild Nordic Cod, parmesan foam and truffle oil.

(The Soup: Sherry wine, cream, bay leaf, thyme and smoked Nueske bacon)


Artichoke Soup

 Artichoke puree with garlic and Thyme, garnished with razor clams and lime zest


Dover Sole

 Danish Dover Sole served over green summer squash, lobster and potato gnocchi with tomato and rock shrimp, topped with lobster bisque.


Chef Esko


Chef Esko with Rotisserie Lamb


Rotisserie Lamb


Rotisserie Lamb

 Stuffed with Moroccan spiced spinach and eggplant. Served with Israeli couscous with lamb sausage and dried fruit.


Rotisserie Lamb Plated with Wine


 By the way, the Flaccinello 2007 was superb – - this is a benchmark in refined and balanced wine where elegance and complexity is not spared.


Ahhh…Sweet Dessert!!!!!

Study of Chocolate

Chocolate moltan lava cake

White and milk chocolate tart with raspberry mousse foam

Black Forest chocolate cake with gold leaf

Chocolate and Dulce de leche cake


For those of you who continue to deny yourselves a moment of nirvana brought on by the very skillful and talented Chef Esko, I personally and strongly suggest you make time to dine at the Grill Room, where your palate will be forever grateful.

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Birthday Celebration – Chef Mattie

January 12th, 2014

When is too much of a good thing, too much???  Never – - when passion, flourishing and setting fire to food culminates into an all out celebration of “La Dolce Vita.”  Back at Angle for another amazing meal by one of my new best friends and insanely talented chefs, I over-indulged in what turned out to be one of those, “Damn, is this for real” meals.  I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again – - not if, but when you are in Palm Beach don’t miss the opportunity to dive into whatever Chef Mattie sets fire to.

Now, the request for the evening went something like this:

Chef, we love escargot and pasta.  How about combining the two.  Fish, we need fish and there’s nothing more decadent than a great piece of Dover Sole, are you up to it?  Oh, and by the way – - pig, suckling that is.  The last time we were in, those killer ribs we had the pleasure of consuming were euphoric and we’re totally up for a bit of nirvana.  What can you do with the rest of the pig???  Surprise us!!!! And that was all I needed to say as Chef Mattie delivered what turned out to be a fantastic start to the new year – - Great Food, Great Wine and Great Friends.

The evening started with a gracious greeting by none other than the talented and passionate Chef Mattie, followed by Champagne, wine and palate pleasing cuisine fit for yes – - “Kings.”


Chef Mattie Welcoming Us to Angle


Veuve Clicqout


’99 Fleurie





Amuse-bouche: Wagyu Tartare with beef chicharron, Siberian Osetra Caviar Taco & Foie Gras Cotton Candy


Escargot Ravioli – Bacon, ricotta, miso-tamarind emulsion


Escargot Ravioli – Bacon, ricotta, miso-tamarind emulsion


Domaine Leroy 2012 – Savigny-les-Beaune


Don pouring 2012 Dom. Leroy Savigny-les-Beaune and Chef Mattie explaining the Dover Sole dish


Dover Sole – Fennel and golden raisin silk, capers, brown butter


Chef Mattie passionately explaining our next dish – The Suckling Pig


Suckling Pig – Roast loin, cornbread, smoked banana, puffed skin – – Belly, black chickpea, dandelions, mango ketchup


Dessert – Chocolate and Strawberries


A Very “Happy” & “Pleased” Chef


Chef Mattie and his Amazing team


Simply Awesome - – Chef Mattie to you and your team, thank you again for your unbelievable generosity and passion. We look forward to the return!!!!


Up Next: ???


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The Solar Return – January 4th

January 10th, 2014

Last week, I celebrated what I consider to be one of those milestone “Solar Returns” (birthdays.)  I deemed it such, not only because of the number but, the learning that has come with totally embracing that which I personally chose and that which was given.  Several years ago I made a promise and commitment to live the “Buddha Death Meditation,” which a dear friend described to me as living life backwards.  This is accomplished by determining how you wish your life to end up and live to fulfill that wish. Having this flashback approach verses foreshadowing, allows one to avoid being a prisoner of wishes and thrust you into action as not to end up empty and full of regret.  This approach has and continues to serve me well.

So with a “Solar Return” to celebrate and the embracing of a twenty year relationship life became sweeter and my desire to flourish multiplied.  This was totally about “Having my cake and eating it too.” I send a very special thank you to our dear friends in Palm Beach at Angle, Café Boulud and La Sirena for their passion and love in celebrating this amazing start to 2014!!!!

Angle – Strawberries & Chocolate


Strawberries & Chocolate



Café Boulud – Outstanding Carrot Cake with white chocolate


La Sirena – Lemon Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream



Up Next: Solar Return Celebration – Chef Mattie


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