Capital Grille's Most Generous Pour

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Captial_Grille_logyojpgThe Capital Grille is in the midst of its “Generous Pour” promotion, a summer event (through September 4) that offers diners a chance to pair some of the steakhouse’s popular dishes with some well-thought-out wine selections.

Generous is the appropriate word here. For just $25 with your dinner purchase -- and there is no minimum food purchase required -- you may sample as many of the promotional wines as you wish. The wines, which were chosen by Darden’s resident master sommelier, George Miliotes, include: La Cana albarino (2010), a light Spanish wine; a fuller bodied 2008 Chateau St. Jean chardonnay; an Italian merlot from Conte Brandolini (2006); a Spanish red, 2009 Tarima Hill monastrell, also known as Mouvedre; Freemark Abbey’s Cabernet Bosche (2003); a 2006 cabernet sauvignon from Chalk Hill Estate; Byron pinot noir (2009); and a French sparkling wine, Marquis de la Tour (nv) from the Loire Valley (and so technically not a Champagne). There is also a port style wine for dessert called The Portly Gentleman from RL Buller in Australia, about as far from Portugal as you can get.

What's My Wine? An Oregon King Estate Pinot Noir

Written by Scott Joseph on .

King_EstateShine Neighborhood Kitchen, the little cafe in the Colonialtown South district, oozes with charm. The building -- which was built in 1947 and probably started out as a mom-and-pop grocery -- is the only commercial enterprise among the old frame houses in the neighborhood east of downtown Orlando. Dinner here is enjoyed leisurely, preferably with a bottle of wine to share.

Consider having the pappardelle farnese bisteca, a dish of wide noodles with Portabello mushrooms and radicchio tossed with a butter-garlic sauce. Fanned over the top is Shine’s New York strip steak, cooked to order and sliced. The effect is almost like a garlic steak, says Shine’s Rick Miller, but it’s a softer, butterier flavor.

So if pappardelle farnese bisteca is my dish, What’s My Wine?

Miller recommends the 2009 Oregon King Estate Pinot Noir. It’s more of a medium bodied wine, says Miller, which allows the meatiness of the steak to come through. There are notes of cherry, raspberry, blueberry and toasted vanilla in the wine. “The vanilla,” says Miller, “isn’t quite an aftertaste but it mellows down to that.” The cherry and raspberry flavors play well against the peppery notes of the steak, he says.


What's My Wine? Sancerre with Ahi Tuna

Written by Scott Joseph on .

James Slattery approaches cooking a little more scientifically than most chefs. When he tastes the food he’s cooking, he pictures a gas chromatogram, a readout of chemical components shown as a spectrum of light with peaks and dips on a chart. That’s because before he decided to follow his passion to be a cook, Slattery was an analytical chemist. Slattery changed course in the late ‘90s, obtaining a spot in the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse, no less, eventually becoming executive sou chef at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop before taking on the executive chef position at A Land Remembered and Circa in Winter Park. He now leads the culinary crew at Big Fin Seafood Kitchen.

One of Slattery’s favorite dishes is his preparation of an ahi tuna steak packed with sesame seeds on the outside and pan-seared rare, which he serves with wakame seaweed. “It has sort of the air of the ocean,” says Slattery, “but depending on how you cook it it gives off a nutty aroma.” Slattery sautes the seaweed then deglazes the pan with sake, then adds pear pasta. “You can smell the ocean and there’s a citrus note,” he says.

Next he sautes pickled ginger with garlic and shallots, then adds that to a blender with edible orchids. Then it’s added to heavy cream and reduced for the sauce. “You look at it and you think it’s going to be a heavy dish,” he says, “but it’s light, it’s fresh.”

So if that’s my dish, What’s My Wine?

Champagne or Riesling Pairs Well With Foie Gras

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Mouthfeel is one of the buzzwords that it bounced around whenever someone is talking about pairing food and wine. Usually that term, which refers to the physical sensation one feels in the mouth, is attached to a wine and used to describe tannins or acidity. But it can be used to describe a food you’re eating, as well. For my money -- and we’re usually talking a pretty good bit of money for it --Hugel_Riesling there is no food with a more luxuriant mouthfeel than foie gras, the fatted liver of a duck.

It’s one of several indulgences on the menu at the Venetian Room, one of only two remaining restaurants in Central Florida that still features old school elegant fine dining (Victoria & Albert’s being the other). Maitre d’ Todd Skaggs says the restaurant, whose food is under the direction of chef Khalid Benghallem, features Hudson Valley foie gras that is quickly pan seared to lock in the moisture. It’s placed on a bed of smoked corn polenta with grilled mango and drizzled with a thick balsamic syrup. The plate is garnished with prosciutto di Parma that has been flash fried to give it a salty crispness.

So if the Venetian Room’s foie gras appetizer is my dish, What’s My Wine?

Wine on the Way

Written by Scott Joseph on .

wineonthewayUsually we reserve this space for a column called “What’s My Wine,” but today we’re asking “Where’s My Wine?” It’s a question Adam Chilvers can answer with his startup company, Wine on the Way. Chilvers, who started the Web-based business with his wife, Gigi, had previously owned brick-and-mortar wine shops, which is not to say the wines were thick but rather he had conventional retail outlets, including Vino on Winter Park’s Park Avenue.