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Smith & Wollensky Wine Week -- Sept 19, Noon

Smith & Wollensky Wine Week -- Sept 19, Noon
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  • Post #61 - September 18th, 2007, 6:49 pm
    Post #61 - September 18th, 2007, 6:49 pm Post #61 - September 18th, 2007, 6:49 pm
    Looking forward to it. Still trying to decide whether to drive or take the South Shore. I do have a meeting Thursday at 8:30 am (EDT) so I can't drink enough to justify getting a room. :(
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #62 - September 18th, 2007, 11:42 pm
    Post #62 - September 18th, 2007, 11:42 pm Post #62 - September 18th, 2007, 11:42 pm
    Checking S&W's web site, here's a list of the producersthey'll be pouring on Wednesday . . .

    Gloria Ferrer
    Heitz
    Hendry
    Maysara
    Chalk Hill
    Whitehall Lane
    Alexander Valley Vineyards
    Joesph Phelps
    Mount Veeder
    Woodward Canyon
    Ironstone
    Domaine Carneros
    Franciscan
    Nickel & Nickel
    Wild Horse
    Dutton-Goldfield

    Looking forward to it :)

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #63 - September 19th, 2007, 9:37 pm
    Post #63 - September 19th, 2007, 9:37 pm Post #63 - September 19th, 2007, 9:37 pm
    I just got home to South Bend about a half an hour ago. I guess the rest of the group is still in the bar. :lol:

    I must say we had feast with great company. I tool a long way home and stopped off at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo. Ended up winning enough to pay for lunch, gas, and tolls. All in all a great day even without the bonus on the way home.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #64 - September 19th, 2007, 11:02 pm
    Post #64 - September 19th, 2007, 11:02 pm Post #64 - September 19th, 2007, 11:02 pm
    Great fun, great food, great company. Still full.
  • Post #65 - September 19th, 2007, 11:04 pm
    Post #65 - September 19th, 2007, 11:04 pm Post #65 - September 19th, 2007, 11:04 pm
    The 3rd Annual outing to S & W Wine Week was spectacular as usual. Despite a couple of steaks having to be sent back for being cooked to an improper temperature, a spendid time was had by all. The company was great, as is always the case at an LTH outing. The women in our party comported themselves well and did not cause any embarrassment. :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #66 - September 19th, 2007, 11:13 pm
    Post #66 - September 19th, 2007, 11:13 pm Post #66 - September 19th, 2007, 11:13 pm
    Image
    It started out innocently enough with some oysters . . .


    Image
    . . . and U-8 shrimp


    Image
    Next, onto the mixed plates of onion rings and fried zucchini . . .


    Image
    stevez shows us all what happens when the women-folk are invited -- salad appears. :shock: :wink:


    Image
    Although, we did our best to remedy it.


    Image
    A glorious cart of meat. Yes, those steaks were all for us.


    Image
    Pepper-encrusted, bone-in ribeyes


    Image
    Don't forget the sauteed garlic.


    Image
    Creamed spinach


    Image
    Corn


    Image
    Baked, truffled macaroni and cheese, which didn't suck. :wink:


    Image
    Crispy hash browns


    Image
    We drank so much wine, the ship on the wall began to sink.


    Image
    The wine made some of us very friendly . . .


    Image
    . . . and others, not so much. :wink:


    Image
    leek gets busted for sneaking in extra food.


    Image
    The staff at S&W realized that it was Gary's 'birthday' and served him a beautiful piece of cake. Hammond and stevez applaud Gary's 4th birthday of 2007.


    Image
    The damage :cry:

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #67 - September 19th, 2007, 11:53 pm
    Post #67 - September 19th, 2007, 11:53 pm Post #67 - September 19th, 2007, 11:53 pm
    Great post, Ron.

    As you mentioned, some of the women did get rather friendly, which was fun for a guy like me to watch.

    Image
    from top left, counter clockwise - Josephine, Leek, Trixie-Pea, and Wine Server

    Less fun to watch was the guys getting extra-friendly.

    Image

    Dicksond and Hammond
    Last edited by nr706 on September 19th, 2007, 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #68 - September 19th, 2007, 11:54 pm
    Post #68 - September 19th, 2007, 11:54 pm Post #68 - September 19th, 2007, 11:54 pm
    The damage - not so bad!

    Looked like fun and the everything looked wonderful - wish I could see the interior of the steaks - looked a little overcooked but probably the searing and the spicing...

    How were the wines?

    How fun, did Chef Hans say hi?
  • Post #69 - September 20th, 2007, 12:17 am
    Post #69 - September 20th, 2007, 12:17 am Post #69 - September 20th, 2007, 12:17 am
    Snark wrote:The damage - not so bad!

    I agree, especially for 14 people and that quality/amount of food.

    Snark wrote:Looked like fun and the everything looked wonderful - wish I could see the interior of the steaks - looked a little overcooked but probably the searing and the spicing...

    I think the few steaks that were sent back were actually underdone, but I'm not 100% sure. Others can probably fill in the blanks here.

    Snark wrote:How were the wines?

    Wines were definitely a mixed bag. They poured from lightest to heaviest and the wines at the end were my favorites. I especially liked the Nickel & Nickel.

    Snark wrote:How fun, did Chef Hans say hi?

    I didn't. Anyone?

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #70 - September 20th, 2007, 12:43 am
    Post #70 - September 20th, 2007, 12:43 am Post #70 - September 20th, 2007, 12:43 am
    edited
    Last edited by Snark on September 21st, 2007, 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #71 - September 20th, 2007, 5:20 am
    Post #71 - September 20th, 2007, 5:20 am Post #71 - September 20th, 2007, 5:20 am
    I think the few steaks that were sent back were actually underdone, but I'm not 100% sure. Others can probably fill in the blanks here.


    Yes they were underdone and sent back. I talked to our waiter outside during a quick break. He said they do tend to undercook steaks particularly the rare/medium rare ones and its no big deal for them to take some back for a touch up. This has happened to me 2/3 steaks I've had at this event. I'm not aware that medium/medium-rare is my order next time.


    Looked like fun and the everything looked wonderful - wish I could see the interior of the steaks - looked a little overcooked but probably the searing and the spicing...

    Josephine did get a picture of my steak cut open. She might be able to post the picture.

    Great pictures Ronnie.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #72 - September 20th, 2007, 6:07 am
    Post #72 - September 20th, 2007, 6:07 am Post #72 - September 20th, 2007, 6:07 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I think the few steaks that were sent back were actually underdone, but I'm not 100% sure. Others can probably fill in the blanks here.


    Yes. That's correct my steak and Pigmon's steak were ordered medium rare, but came out very rare; having evidently been cooked by being put next to a candle for a minute or two. Ms. Wiv would have loved them, but mine needed just a bit more fire. When the steak was returned, it was perfectly medium rare.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #73 - September 20th, 2007, 6:23 am
    Post #73 - September 20th, 2007, 6:23 am Post #73 - September 20th, 2007, 6:23 am
    Dear Sweet Carol Channing Ghost, what an Extravaganza, I might not eat or drink for a week.

    Terrific time, thanks Hammond for organizing and thanks to Ronnie for the pictorial reminder of our debauchery. ;)

    I should note the addition of women, sometimes referred to as 'the gentler sex' by old non PC guys such as myself, added a much appreciated note of refinement to our Man vs Meat* meal.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *Coined by Mr. Peter Daane
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #74 - September 20th, 2007, 8:03 am
    Post #74 - September 20th, 2007, 8:03 am Post #74 - September 20th, 2007, 8:03 am
    G Wiv wrote:Man vs Meat* meal.
    *Coined by Mr. Peter Daane




    I think meat has now won 2-1.

    A delicious time was had by all.
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #75 - September 20th, 2007, 11:23 am
    Post #75 - September 20th, 2007, 11:23 am Post #75 - September 20th, 2007, 11:23 am
    P.s.

    I was a little disappointed in the wine service yesterday. Although I need to mention that in three years running we always get more bang for our buck than the 10 pours for $10 advertised.

    Our wine server, her second year serving our table, seemed to rush out the heavy reds before the meat arrived and then left us on our own when the steaks finally showed up.

    One of the highpoints of this day- for me at least- is to enjoy the wines with the foods they are meant to be drunk with (and people I am meant to be drunk with :wink: ).

    A few at our table noticed they served a nice tight Merlot, as opposed to the big flabby merlot you might order in an airport lounge waiting for a flight to Seattle, before the meat arrived. On the upside, I found the Hitching Post Pinot Noir to be quite quaffable on its own...where I generally need some heavier foodstuff to take the edge off of Pinot Noirs.


    pd
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #76 - September 21st, 2007, 4:36 pm
    Post #76 - September 21st, 2007, 4:36 pm Post #76 - September 21st, 2007, 4:36 pm
    pdaane wrote:One of the highpoints of this day- for me at least- is to enjoy the wines with the foods they are meant to be drunk with (and people I am meant to be drunk with :wink: ).


    One powerful argument for getting the little pocket video recorder would be to record events like you smacking your hands together and smiling in preparation for lunch -- I don't think I've ever seen a person happier to sit down to eat. Wish I could have "immortalized" the moment digitally.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #77 - September 21st, 2007, 7:51 pm
    Post #77 - September 21st, 2007, 7:51 pm Post #77 - September 21st, 2007, 7:51 pm
    does someone have a list as to what was actually poured? curious if it was good or the typical wine week plonk
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #78 - September 21st, 2007, 7:53 pm
    Post #78 - September 21st, 2007, 7:53 pm Post #78 - September 21st, 2007, 7:53 pm
    jpschust wrote:does someone have a list as to what was actually poured? curious if it was good or the typical wine week plonk


    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... 450#150450
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #79 - September 22nd, 2007, 6:35 am
    Post #79 - September 22nd, 2007, 6:35 am Post #79 - September 22nd, 2007, 6:35 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    jpschust wrote:does someone have a list as to what was actually poured? curious if it was good or the typical wine week plonk


    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... 450#150450
    Let me be specific. I was curious if anyone had a list- meaning vintages and which wines were actually poured.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #80 - September 22nd, 2007, 6:59 am
    Post #80 - September 22nd, 2007, 6:59 am Post #80 - September 22nd, 2007, 6:59 am
    jpschust wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    jpschust wrote:does someone have a list as to what was actually poured? curious if it was good or the typical wine week plonk


    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... 450#150450
    Let me be specific. I was curious if anyone had a list- meaning vintages and which wines were actually poured.


    Click here, then click on the S & W logo, choose Chicago, and Wednesday. You can probably search around the site for more details. I'm sure a couple of attendees may have kept there tasting notes sheet.

    Gloria Ferrer
    Heitz
    Hendry
    Maysara
    Chalk Hill
    Whitehall Lane
    Alexander Valley Vineyards
    Joesph Phelps
    Mount Veeder
    Woodward Canyon
    Ironstone
    Domaine Carneros
    Franciscan
    Nickel & Nickel
    Wild Horse
    Dutton-Goldfield[/url]
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #81 - September 22nd, 2007, 10:53 am
    Post #81 - September 22nd, 2007, 10:53 am Post #81 - September 22nd, 2007, 10:53 am
    I feel like I'm posting into a vacuum. Chalk Hill for example makes chardonay, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, cab sav, merlot and some other wines as well. (Some of them are plonk some are ok). I was curious for a more specific list of what was actually poured.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #82 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:05 pm
    Post #82 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:05 pm Post #82 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:05 pm
    jpschust wrote:I feel like I'm posting into a vacuum. Chalk Hill for example makes chardonay, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, cab sav, merlot and some other wines as well. (Some of them are plonk some are ok). I was curious for a more specific list of what was actually poured.

    I didn't take notes -- and honestly I was there for the steaks and the socializing more than anything else. I cannot recall one vintage. This was mostly due to my disinterest and also due to the fact that wine service was not very thorough. At the outset 3 whites were poured before I even knew what hit me. After that, I skipped a few pours because I had no clean glassware and thusly, no place to put those subsequent pours. When I pointed directly at my mouth, the server just walked right past me like she had no idea what I meant. :wink:

    A few rounds later, when I'd finally emptied one of my stems, I jumped back in but by then, since I had missed a whole lot of information anyway, I stayed tuned in to my companions rather than to our wine server. My two favorites were the aforementoined Hitching Post and the Nickel and Nickel. Again, I have no idea what vintage either of them were.

    All that said, I was disappointed when the Heitz arrived at the table and it was a white rather than a red. Of course, I wasn't expecting any 'Martha's Vineyard' but something more representative of the producer's strengths would have been nice. OTOH, for $10, a person who was paying attention surely could have extracted some pleasure and useful information from the 'wine week' part of the experience. It just didn't happen to be me on this particular day. Maybe someone else can comment more on the specifics.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #83 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:25 pm
    Post #83 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:25 pm Post #83 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:25 pm
    I don't have the list, and I didn't take notes, but I'll fill in to the best of my faulty memory's ability:

    As I recall, most of the reds were 2004s and 2005s, but I don't remember which was which.

    Gloria Ferrer - nice sparkler

    Heitz - good, oaky Chardonnay

    Hendry - unoaked Chard, less impressive to me

    Maysara - was this the sweetish pinot gris?

    Alexander Valley Vineyards - I liked the slight brettanomyces character; others around me saw it as a flaw

    Wild Horse - pinot noir

    There were three other cabs, another pinot noir (was it Nickel & Nickel?) a very nice merlot, and a - eh - cab franc.

    Hoping someone who actually took notes can fill in further.
  • Post #84 - September 22nd, 2007, 2:51 pm
    Post #84 - September 22nd, 2007, 2:51 pm Post #84 - September 22nd, 2007, 2:51 pm
    are you generally not a fan of unoaked chards? i've got a few bottles of chablis that i think really show off what unoaked chards can do.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #85 - September 22nd, 2007, 4:04 pm
    Post #85 - September 22nd, 2007, 4:04 pm Post #85 - September 22nd, 2007, 4:04 pm
    No, it's not a case of oaked vs. unoaked ... just between the two, I liked the complexity of the Heitz better. The unoaked chard was simpler, and really didn't resemble a Chablis at all, to my tastes. Others commented that it seemed more like a viognier than a chard.
  • Post #86 - September 22nd, 2007, 8:34 pm
    Post #86 - September 22nd, 2007, 8:34 pm Post #86 - September 22nd, 2007, 8:34 pm
    I should state first that I think S&W wine week is a wine drinking event, not a wine tasting event. If anyone counted...we probably got 17 pours for the $10 plus seconds on just about everything (including tip).


    The Nickel & Nickel had two wines, "Darian", a Syrah and "Ponzo", a Zinfandel.

    The Maysara Pinot Gris was poured at the same time as the Seven Hills Riesling....I am pretty sure our server mixed the two when telling at least one of my tablemates which was what...or that was the sweetest and heaviest dang PG I ever had.
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #87 - September 22nd, 2007, 9:28 pm
    Post #87 - September 22nd, 2007, 9:28 pm Post #87 - September 22nd, 2007, 9:28 pm
    pdaane wrote:The Nickel & Nickel had two wines, "Darian", a Syrah and "Ponzo", a Zinfandel.

    Thanks for this, pdaane. I'm pretty sure I had the Zinfandel but if the server showed me the bottle, I certainly wasn't paying attention.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #88 - September 23rd, 2007, 6:19 am
    Post #88 - September 23rd, 2007, 6:19 am Post #88 - September 23rd, 2007, 6:19 am
    pdaane wrote:I should state first that I think S&W wine week is a wine drinking event, not a wine tasting event. If anyone counted...we probably got 17 pours for the $10 plus seconds on just about everything (including tip).
    .


    With our large crowd the focus is on the food. 14 people trying to catch up with each other, 7 conversations going, waiters coming by, ordering and eating appetizers, food, and the general mayhem of the lunch crowd makes it very hard to focus on the wine details. Last year with only 7-8 of us there was more discussion about the wine and attention paid to it.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #89 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:26 am
    Post #89 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:26 am Post #89 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:26 am
    It doesn’t surprise me a bit about how little is being said about the wines. If you've ever attended this event, it wouldn't. They’ve always served a steady stream of relatively uninspired wines. But you really have nothing to bitch about since, like pdaane correctly points out, we got virtually a river of wine for the low, low price of $10 each.
    It did strike me as funny, though, that the wine server looked like they were praying that no one would ask them a serious wine question.

    Food-wise, I found everything but their sides dishes to be average or below. The seafood appetizers of shrimp and Wellfleet (Mass.) oysters were marginal at best. Of the three dozen (?) oysters we had, I spotted maybe three or four that still contained ANY liquor. Just look at that picture of them above (provided by Ronnie Suburban).The two that I did try were loaded with shell fragments, thanks to S & W’s sloppy oyster shuckers.

    Their gratis herbed bread ranked as some of the worst bread I've eaten anywhere, being flavorless and dry. As the “strong-minded reporter” from the 1859 NY Times article said (thanks for the link, hantav) “…If there is anything in this world that I hate, it is to take up a bit of bread at my dinner and see its granulated crumb dropping away from the crust, like an old garment sometimes drops away from the buttons.”
    Something to this affect.

    The Caesar salad was fine, but unremarkable.

    I guess the thing one should care most about when coming to a steakhouse are… the steaks. As Steve mentioned above, all steaks ordered medium/medium rare came uniformly on the rare side. Few things disturb me more at a steakhouse than having to send back an underdone steak.

    Whenever I’ve been to S & W, I find myself always asking whether their steaks are truly aged, prime cuts; not a good sign for a supposed premium steakhouse.

    The one bright spot of the meal were the sides. We had fresh-off-the-cob corn, hash browns, creamed spinach, and wonderfully truffled mac & cheese—all enjoyable.

    If it wasn't for the sensational waitstaff, I would have thought this meal would be in the lower strata of the Chicago steakhouse experience.

    And despite this seemingly endless list of beefs…I still had a helluva good time.

    This is my third attempt at Smith & Wollensky's Wine Week. The good times I’ve always had there have been in spite of their procurement of crappy seafood, so-so steaks, and marginal wines they always seem to serve.
  • Post #90 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:33 am
    Post #90 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:33 am Post #90 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:33 am
    PIGMON wrote:It doesn’t surprise me a bit about how little is being said about the wines. If you've ever attended this event, it wouldn't. They’ve always served a steady stream of relatively uninspired wines. But you really have nothing to bitch about since, like pdaane correctly points out, we got virtually a river of wine for the low, low price of $10 each.
    It did strike me as funny, though, that the wine server looked like they were praying that no one would ask them a serious wine question.


    I'm in agreement with much of what you said, though I eat red meat so infrequently that I enjoyed the big slab o' beef quite well.

    I was joking with leek and others about the wine servers before we went in, and sure enough, when I inquired about a wine, the server flipped the bottle to speed-read the back label and give me some "insight" into what I was drinking.

    About the seafood...we never learn. We continue to order it, even though we know it's not first rate.

    At the risk of redundancy, I have to say I had a marvelous time despite shortcomings of wine servers, seafood, etc.

    See you next year,

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”

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