Before I arrived here in Aspen for my annual summer stay in Colorado, I asked everyone I knew in town what new restaurants I should try. Virtually everyone I asked said, "D19." Dena Moreno, who had pleased so many taste buds with her soulful Italian food (and white truffle fries) at Ajax Tavern, has joined up with the owners of The Wild Fig and the Popcorn Wagon to take over one of the prime corners in Aspen.
Envious at the commercial success of Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex and Southwestern cuisines, the folks in one part of our country are testing the waters for a new one. It's called Cascadian Cuisine. OK, I'll give you a few minutes to figure out where that might be.
It's always nice to hear from readers who discover a terrific wine because I recommended it. Recently, a blog reader exclaimed over Two Hands Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella's Garden 2004, a $50 wine that I had rated 95 points.
Earlier this month, the Yamhill County Commission approved an application for a hilltop hotel in the Dundee Hills next door to Domaine Drouhin. It would be Willamette Valley's first luxury hotel, something the wine region has long needed.
It has been several years since Willamette Valley vintners finally agreed on a set of six sub-appellations that would give the region's Pinot Noir producers a framework not too unlike that of Burgundy.
The name on the door says Guy Savoy, a chef ranked among France's elite. The raw prawns on the plate, prepared and presented with jewel-like precision, couldn't be more French. Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Premier Cru Montmains 2002 sparkles in a balloon glass.
When your wine business takes off, you might think all the news would be good. After all, cash is rolling in, people like what you're doing, you like what you're doing. Life is good. That would seem to apply to the Hatchers and the Tannahills, partners in A to Z Wineworks in Oregon.
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