harvey steiman

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Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Memories of Charlie Trotter

Chicago's legendary chef showed the way for many others

Posted: November 7, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

The news Tuesday stunned the food and wine world. Charlie Trotter, the legendary Chicago chef who, as much as anyone, defined modern fine dining in America, was dead. At 54, how could this be?

It turns out he had a secret. He had been diagnosed with an aneurysm deep inside his brain, according to friend and sommelier Larry Stone in Chicago Tribune's obituary. It was inoperable. But he refused to use his illness to play for sympathy. Instead, he announced just after midnight on New Year's 2012 that he would be closing his restaurant after a 25-year run to pursue an advanced degree in philosophy and travel with his wife.

Oct. 31, 2013 Issue  :  Dining Out

Tickets and Pakta

The Adrià brothers of Spain's El Bulli branch out with hot spots in the Catalonian capital

Posted: October 31, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

When Did Clean Become a Dirty Word?

A spin through the Wine Experience proves good wine doesn't need funk for character

Posted: October 29, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Am I the only person dismayed at how the discourse about wine seems to have devolved into posturing about whether this particular wine is "natural" enough, or that one has enough "authenticity"?

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Oregon Pinot Noir 2011

A meditation on finesse and transparency

Posted: October 18, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

The 2011 Pinot Noirs from Oregon are going to polarize wine drinkers. Vintners will tell you how much they love their 2011s. They expect that those who value deftness, lightness and delicacy will too. But if you want consistency, clearly delineated flavors and a sense of presence, you might be disappointed.

Oct. 15, 2013 Issue  :  People

Tom Colicchio

A serious cook juggles fine restaurants and reality TV

Posted: October 15, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Lessons in Opening Mature Wines

Be prepared—you never know what you might find

Posted: October 14, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Whenever I plan to serve older bottles of wine, I always pull an extra bottle or two from the cellar, even if they aren't the same wine, to be ready in case the first disappoints. Individual wines often don't age as well as expected, or hoped. And inevitably, cork taint or maderization from some percentage of bad corks will force you to pour away some bottles.

All this is part of the fun of opening older wines you've saved for a while. And that's why, when my Welsh friend Mr. Jones finally accepted my longstanding invitation to raid my wine cellar on one of his visits to San Francisco, I opened four bottles for the four of us to drink over dinner (not counting the sparkling wine aperitif): Gaja Barbaresco 1986, Quintarelli Valpolicella 1982, Louis Latour Chambertin 2003 and Beaux Frères Pinot Noir 2002.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Bass With a Taste for Power

Exploring wine bar offerings with opera star Ildar Abdrazakov

Posted: October 1, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Ildar Abdrazakov is a Russia-born bass currently singing the title role in Boito's lavish Mephistopheles at San Francisco Opera. He makes a dashing devil, all muscle and menace on the surface, his singing sonorously suave. And, as an opera lover, I could not forgo an opportunity to add him to my singer friends, most of whom I have gotten to know because of our mutual interest in each other's fields of work.

Shortly before opening night, my wife and I met him and our mutual friend for drinks and snacks at St. Vincent, a terrific wine bar about midway between our home and the opera house. We settled in and left it up to the savvy staff to pick some interesting wines for us. Partly, I wanted get a handle on Ildar's palate, especially which kinds of wines he likes.

Sept. 30, 2013 Issue  :  News

In Memoriam: Peter Lehmann, “Baron of Barossa,” Dies

Posted: September 30, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Lardière Giddy to Be in Oregon

Burgundian winemaker enjoying his first vintage

Posted: September 24, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Rain is falling outside. Jacques Lardière's first grape crop in Oregon is still only about half picked. But he can't help smiling. He looks like he's having the time of his life.

Only a month ago Lardière and his longtime employer, Maison Louis Jadot in Burgundy, announced that they had purchased Resonance Vineyard in the Oregon's Yamhill-Carlton AVA and would start making their own estate wine from it.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Serious Cuisine, Isolated Location

Young chef Michael Warring goes it alone

Posted: September 17, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

The plates look like casual perfection at Michael Warring, the secret eponymous restaurant of Solano County. Pale green pressed cucumber soup, dolloped with creamy sabayon and topped with a salad of vivid baby greens, comes in a square-bottomed jar, looking like a terrarium. A softly poached egg enriches already creamy risotto, made to order and generously flecked with black truffle shavings. Sautéed slices of giant squid share space with lobes of golden sea urchin atop beautifully browned pain perdu, nestled in an ecru puddle of apple cream.

Everyone in the small dining room gets a ringside view as Warring cooks five-course dinners one by one.

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