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Pool Boy

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Everything posted by Pool Boy

  1. We were here in Novemberish for a game dinner - skipped the wine pairings that were special to the night. It was very good but not mind blowing. Wild Pheasant Dashi withmatsutake, golden ossetra and clotted cream Pheasant egg scramble with dungeness crab, white truffle and alliumDry aged squab with brioche, foie gras and quince Red deer with koji, squash, black truffle and apple. Very good service and, since it was mid-week, it was not crazy noisy in there. Honestly, I would have preferred the preparations to be more simple as I think that can best highlight the game itself. But upscaling it did not harm the experience. I would have also preferred to pick and choose things, perhaps from a larger game-centric menu but I totally understand it is difficult to gauge what diners will and will not like and order, and a safer way is to do a set menu where all you have to do is guess how many people you think are going to order the set menu. Went again in February of this year with friends and enjoyed it again. One highlight was that the person who used to do cocktails at Macon Bistro is now here doing her thing. The cocktail options, while not a problem area before, I think will enjoy her talented contributions here in the coming months.
  2. Hit up the izakaya recently. Enjoyed most of it. Stand outs were the beef tongue and the chicken kara-age, but enjoyed everything else too. Except the cacio e pepe udon - that was bland, boring and mushy and even on first taste. Very weak dish. Interesting and extensive selections of Japanese beer, whiskys and so on. Rather uninspired cocktail choices overall so I passed. Acceptable by the glass selections of wine though, which is a plus. I'll be back.
  3. There are many Crowded House songs (from this album alone even, mind you), but this is a pretty darn good one.
  4. Another favorite, one of the best, I got to see them do in their current form just a week ago - they did a great job - especially Mr. Ehart. FUcking brilliant!
  5. I remember going there once or twice years ago and finding the selection interesting.
  6. I find it interesting that Silver Diner departed their Laurel, MD location (since converted to a Double T diner) and then opened one up the road in Columbia just off of the 95/175 exit. It's a great location for travel traffic and I often joked with my wife that Jessup (on the other side of said interchange) would be a great location for a Waffle House (which has never materialized - there is a diner over there somewhere called Frank's diner - no idea if it is any good)... I guess they think they'll make a lot more money at this new location than maintaining the Laurel location (they are probably right).
  7. Correct. Jon was one of the duo that did all of the buying at I.M. Wine in Fulton, MD. That shop changed hands maybe 5 years ago and he left to go to Old Line. Most of the initial inventory was already locked in. He was there maybe 6-9 months and did his best to improve the selection (his palate was exceptional). But he left to move to Oregon. I really miss him. Since then, it's been ok, but not great. Mitchell Pressman is a recent hire there and he's been very helpful in my trips there and has chased down two wines I have been looking for - nice. I do not know what his precise position is or what role he plays in purchasing, but he'll go above and beyond to help you find what you are looking for for sure - I'd seek him out. Interesting - I did not know the back story there for Laurel Liquors. The independent operator that runs the shop is nice, but overall service is more or less perfunctory. They do have some nicer wines in locked cases to ogle over too. I remember finding it quite interesting when, maybe 6-9 months after it opened, I saw the now-owner of I.M.Wine in there chatting with the Laurel Liquors owner for quite a long time. Not sure if they are somehow related business-wise.
  8. Went here a couple of times over the past several years but honestly had not been in....two or three years? Too focused on other places and since I don't live in DC proper, making it there (often in conjunction for otherwise being nearby for other things - it was not really a destination IMO) was not a priority. Still, the thing I remember most about the place was really excellent potato chips the first time went there.
  9. Still searching for the basic silver label or Jual Gil, a Monastrell blend from the Jumilla region of Spain. Seems to be out of stock. <blegh>

  10. The hardest part of a home bar is finding the bottle you are looking for. The second hardest thing about a home bar is making sure you never run out of your preferred base liquors at the spine of all of your favorite cocktails.
  11. This one is very, very similar to the one we have - I think it is missing the upside down glasses hanging stuff. Then again, maybe I just never noticed that feature. You can easily fit 40-50 bottles of various sizes is you use all 3 of the shelves for storage.
  12. This place has its ups and downs. Generally, I see few shoppers but the restaurant is generally busy regularly so there's that. I was there today and met a new employee (wine buyer? new manager? not sure). He was very approachable and engaging and ready to help track things down after apologizing in case I had any issues finding anything as he's been starting to slowly reorganize the store. I'm looking forward to better selection and service there with this new guy.
  13. It was maybe 2-3 years ago we dove in to set up and maintain a proper set of bar tools and cocktail library. Prior to that, it was mas maybe 5-7 years of just having cocktails when out for dinner, usually ordered quickly so we could sip them while perusing menus and wine lists. A bartender at Dino's Grotto suggested the cart he used to store his home liquors when we were chatting about how and where to store this stuff. Amazon FTW. Anyway, it holds easily 50 bottles of stuff on 3 levels and has storage for bar type implements and so on. It's great. The main problem I have with making cocktails at home is, well, that every time you read about an interesting cocktail, you want to make it and yup, you guessed it, it requires at least one alcoholic beverage that you do not yet have. That's how you get to 50 bottles of stuff. haha.
  14. I often think of times I have been in Europe where you drink the wine there, and the sulphur seems to be far lower than wines here in the states. I know you need stability in wines for shipping extended distances and temperature changes, but it sure would be nice to figure out a way to do t with less sulphur required. I am not affected by it as much as my wife is, but still.
  15. I used to subscribe to The Wine Spectator. I spent large amounts of time on their forums in the early 2000s before I shifted to a split off group or two that had forums. I was fortunate to connect with some local folks that are good friends through to this day. Further, I have lots of online wino buddies that I consider online friends currently as well. Snyway.....I have never looked back after cancelling the subscription and moving on. I figured the best way to figure out what I really like in a wine is to not worry about what I was supposed to like (a la Wine Spectator ratings (or Wine Enthusiast)), but rather what I did like about a wine after tasting it. Sure, they taste and rate a lot of wines and it is a good place to start, or for me to even briefly refer to when I am discovering a region, varietal or producer I am unfamiliar with, but these days I trust my own palate and those of friends I trust (or know what their palate is like and where we differ). I even take note of folks on Cellartracker.com where there are a bazillion of tasting notes (another site I gave up on, spent too much time there) and you find people that have similar preferences on a given wine and then you can explore their tasting notes of wines you are unfamiliar with to look for new things to excite you about a vintage or producer you have never tried. I wish the wine press well, I just do not need them nearly as much as I did when I started out learning about wine.
  16. No worries about the hijack - this is what's great about dr.com. And I never quite realize that people actually read these posts I make and notice stuff like my wine temperature preferences being a bit out of the norm. I'll keep an eye out for the CUNE. Thanks as always for your reccommendations, @Mark Slater -
  17. I loved Proof back in the day. I still liked it in the last couple of years. It's sad to see it go no matter that it may not have been what it was a number of years ago. Damn.
  18. Can you recommend a rioja to try? I've always been....not interested in the ones I have tried in the past. I stopped trying.
  19. Interesting article - thanks for the link. I really appreciate it when, discussing a few bottles I have it narrow down to with the somm., I ask 'Which one is drinking better right now (and would work best with our food elections)?', that I get a response that is unexpected to me. Try this one because <insert example why it will work with the fish dish *and* the guinea fowl> and hey, it's the cheaper one. Threading the needle of price, deliciousness and how it will work with the food *and still be in my chosen wheelhouse I as the diner am feeling that night* is almost impossible - but getting close to it is super and that is what the somm. is there to help you do. I think the best thing you can do to help the somm. is to briefly communicate preferences, budget, and a smidge of your own wine knowledge - it helps everyone. Now I see. I think a microlist could work and work really well, but I think that in practice that most attempts at this will be average at best and likely sub-par. In the article starting this all, there were a couple of quotes about how hard it is to get a microlist right because there is no place to hide and mistakes will be glaring (too heavy in one area, too pricey, too heavy in this region or that - you get the idea).
  20. Likely yes and possibly yes. But then, what exactly is the definition of a wine 'microlist'? Is it what you indicate (4-6 wine selections per menu item)? To me, a list of 100 wines is not a microlist. Is it an expansive or trophy wine list? No. I'd call is a small wine list. To me, a microlist is when you go to a place that has 20 to 40 choices and that's it. There are places I will go to that are in that situation (or close to it), but that I tolerate because I like the list and the choices. But in general, I find such super-short lists pretty limiting. 100 selection list should be acceptable for most - even if I'd prefer a more medium to large list personally. I like lager lists it is true, because I like choices. But to Mark's point that a well chosen (and ideally well priced) shorter wine list that is interesting, pairs well with the food coming from the kitchen and so on is a beautiful thing. But places have to remember people have different tastes and if you have an ultra-short list, it limits choices and things reasonably familiar to patrons of the restaurant. I'd prefer to not go in examples of deficient lists for the time being, but one shorter list I like, generally speaking, is Macon Bistro's. It's not perfect, and it is arguably not so reasonably priced at times, but it is of a size that provides to my palate and preferences enough choices. Others might disagree since it tends to be French-heavy, but with wine as always preferences differ and your mileage may vary. Totally agree on bolded section #1. Ditto for the second bolded section. And the second part is the one that drives me nuts when you are dining at a place that you have never dined before (or even infrequently) - you have no idea sometimes what's on the wine list and they present you their possibly quite short list and you are left wanting. Tome, wine is a requirement when dining out. To be left wanting on a wine list is a disappointment that can really detract from the experience for me. Totally agree!
  21. I love and truly despise microlists. I know regions I like. I know producers I like. I know how to look for easter eggs on a wine list. But I also love a surprise. Often.....microlists miss on all marks. What to do? I'd much rather have a short discussion about what I have narrowed it down to than an expansive discussion about what I am clueless about the microlist presented before me.
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