LOS ANGELES – This is a city where many restaurants do not seem to mind if you bring your own bottle to dinner or lunch as long as it’s something serious. I have been to dozens of places with friends who pack serious bottles in leather cases to take to restaurants in La La.
Last night, I went to a very good Italian restaurant called Angelini Osteria, and the food was excellent. It was just like being at home in a top osteria in Tuscany. This is a Real Food place – straightforward, good cooking, from succulent grilled sausages and white beans for a starter to rich roasted lamb as a main course. It’s a casual and fun place (though a bit cramped for space) and worth the visit.
Anyway, my buddy brought a bottle of Grange Hermitage South Australia Bin 95 1982 for the dinner. The restaurant was very gracious and decanted the bottle and laid out some good glasses. This was done almost immediately upon our arrival.
I ordered a bottle of wine from their wine list, which has some very good selections, and reasonable prices. It was a 2000 Vietti Barolo Castiglione for $60. This is a wine that I gave 90 points when it was reviewed in a blind tasting for the magazine. And I thought it showed even better last night, but maybe I was influenced by the excellent food. It was drinking beautifully, with wonderful floral aromas and ripe fruit and round tannins. What lovely balance.
In any case, I often feel ordering a bottle is the right thing to do if you bring one of your own to a restaurant – especially if they don’t charge you a corkage fee. In addition, I usually also offer a taste to the wine waiter or chef if I bring a bottle from home to try. And I leave at least a 15 percent tip for the service on the entire bill.
What do you do?
By the way the Grange 1982 was the bomb! It was full-bodied, fresh and silky, with beautiful raspberry and blackberry character. It had a solid core of fruit and an endless finish. The wine had its typical jammy side but maintained an elegance and refinement. I gave it 94 points, and I see that the magazine has similar scores in its database: 96, 94 and 92. My friend called the Grange “a Port without the sugar” and a wine that has “no finish to the finish.” He obviously liked his bottle.
7313 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90036
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