The justifiably famous cauliflower at Bar Bolonat, paired with the 2014 viognier and rosé from Israel’s Galil Mountain Winery. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
Happy International Women’s Day, or Festa della Donna, as I affectionately remember it from when I lived in Italy. (If you’re looking to celebrate tonight, see if there’s room at A16 or Piccino—give ‘em a call for any openings, they are both hosting fun events).
Meanwhile, I got to attend a very fascinating dinner last week, with the innovative and sustainably minded chief winemaker of Israel’s Galil Mountain Winery, Micha Vaadia, who has quite the interesting background (he was a paratrooper, for starters). Galil’s portfolio has 15 wines—we tasted the 2014 viognier (whose floral notes Micha described as “Turkish delight,” love it!) and rosé, plus two red blends that he blind tastes when making them: their 2011 Alon and 2012 Yiron (which I preferred, with cab, merlot, petite verdot, and syrah). The rosé is definitely going to be in my fridge this summer, an easy drinker (glou glou!) with a nice touch of acidity, made with 74 percent sangiovese, pinot noir, and grenache, and just $12, yes please and thanks.
The backdrop for all these wines was the fantastic New Israeli/Mediterranean-inspired food at Bar Bolonat in the West Village (the chef-owner is Einat Admony, known for Taïm and Balaboosta, and her book by the same name). So many unique touches and bright flavors: favorites included the “everyday cauliflower” (which was everything but—and read about the surprise ingredient here!), tender shrimp in Yemenite curry, Hudson Street kibbeh with bright yellow yogurt from preserved lemon. The menu is killer, it’s the kind that makes you want to order everything. Oh yeah, and halva crème brûlée? Halva crème brûlée!
So, speaking of awesome wine dinners, guess what? I’m coming home for a visit to SF next month to host a special Vietnamese feast with the wines of Vinho Verde on Feastly! Consider this your save the date: Friday April 15th. Stand by for tickets and details in next week’s tablehopper! I’d love to see you!
In the meantime, my quest to eat everything in New York (ha) is going to get quite a boost at this Friday’s Village Voice Ninth Annual Choice Eats tasting event! With 65 restaurants there, covering 5 boroughs and cuisines from 35 nations, including Socarrat Paella Bar, Loi Estiatorio, The Meatball Shop, Raclette, Genuine Superette, Veselka, Spicy Bampa, and more, I will definitely be making a dent on discovering lots of delicious things to share with you. Unfortunately tickets just sold out, but if any of you tablehopping types in NYC will be there, let me know!
Lastly, yay to this: Chef’s Table is back on Netflix on May 27th, and check out the lineup of the next three seasons! Happy to see Dominique Crenn and Nancy Silverton in the mix.