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Smith & Wollensky Wine Week -- Sept 19, Noon

Smith & Wollensky Wine Week -- Sept 19, Noon
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  • Post #91 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:50 am
    Post #91 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:50 am Post #91 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:50 am
    David Hammond wrote:See you next year

    LOL, indeed :)

    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #92 - September 24th, 2007, 1:32 pm
    Post #92 - September 24th, 2007, 1:32 pm Post #92 - September 24th, 2007, 1:32 pm
    PIGMON wrote:
    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.

    It's for this reason that I've ceased ordering oysters at S&W. Each time I'm with someone that wants to order some I have to stop them and explain - they don't shuck them so much as they toss them in a bucket and blast away with shotguns. Certainly that can be the only explanation for the massive amounts of shell fragments I've encountered each time I've tried their oysters. Oh, and a basic hosing down of the shells first wouldn't hurt either - I must be in the minority in not wanting black crud all over my hands from handling dirty shells.

    I do quite like the steaks and many of the sides, though - especially the truffled mac & cheese and the hash browns.

    This year for wine week I was there on Tuesday. Somewhere I do have the wine card squirreled away where we did attempt to record vintages, locations, and tasting notes. While indeed the event, at least for my group, is always more focused on quantity than quality we do try to find one (new to us) wine that we want to go out and procure as a result. IIRC the table favorite this time was a 2004 Carr's Cab, don't recall the region at the moment. This wine, according to the online list, wasn't originally scheduled for Tuesday but Friday instead. We were all glad it was there. We ate well, drank well, had fun and nobody was arrested - that's a good day.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #93 - September 24th, 2007, 2:27 pm
    Post #93 - September 24th, 2007, 2:27 pm Post #93 - September 24th, 2007, 2:27 pm
    Joseph Carr's wine is exclusively from Napa and it's a primarily cabernet blend even though it's called Cabernet Sauvignon it's really not entirely cab sav- its a blend with Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. The 04 should be a pretty new release, I haven't had it, but I've had the 03. The 03 showed signs of being, surprise, surprise, a california cab. While certainly not plonk, it was totally fruit forward which never sits too too well with me with as forward as this one was. Reminded me of drinking plum juice.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #94 - September 24th, 2007, 3:18 pm
    Post #94 - September 24th, 2007, 3:18 pm Post #94 - September 24th, 2007, 3:18 pm
    PIGMON wrote:
    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.

    First of all, let me say, that there is a clear relationship between the day of the week and the quality of the wines. It's generally down hill from Monday or Tuesday. Granted, there are few gems or real, real gems, but on the right day, there can be a Far Niete or something well worth the price of admission. When I was there on Tuesday, we had some good stuff (granted I'm a sucker for all those big fruity California wines).

    Now, as to what Pigmon sez; I've come to agree. I've taken the meat tour a few times, catching cold each time in the dry-age room. The products seem like they should be good, but of late, I've not been very happy with my steaks. When I was there on Wednesday, my steak was no under-done, but instead, way too done. Being with a (happy) client, I did not send back. I really found my steak on the tough side (for prime) and really lacking any substantial beefiness.

    I DO like S&W. I just think it's a very good diner, the closest thing to Musso and Frank's. They do a lot of things very well, especially the burgers, fried things, and the hash.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #95 - September 25th, 2007, 6:26 pm
    Post #95 - September 25th, 2007, 6:26 pm Post #95 - September 25th, 2007, 6:26 pm
    I also found it quite annoying to get my steak significantly underdone, but didn't want to send it back - the DH enjoyed it at home :)

    And don't blame the women for the salad - that was Gary's doing!

    But I too, had a great time :)

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog.
  • Post #96 - September 25th, 2007, 6:49 pm
    Post #96 - September 25th, 2007, 6:49 pm Post #96 - September 25th, 2007, 6:49 pm
    Much has been written about the food and wine so I will refrain from adding too much more. I agree with Pigmon's summary of the meal, in that my steak was overdone and the oysters devoid of any liquid. The sides were indeed the best part of the meal and I particularly enjoyed the creamed spinach and the truffled macaroni and cheese.

    I wish I could report that the presence of women at this annual male event brought a degree of restraint to the proceedings. If so, this was not evident and, I have to say, that was a good thing. However, women being present did allow the men an excuse to indulge in huge portions of salad :D

    Despite the meal not meeting a particularly high standard, this was a totally delightful afternoon. Eating and drinking with a group of warm and friendly food and wine lovers - it does not get any better.
    A meal, with bread and wine, shared with friends and family is among the most essential and important of all human rituals.
  • Post #97 - October 1st, 2007, 1:41 pm
    Post #97 - October 1st, 2007, 1:41 pm Post #97 - October 1st, 2007, 1:41 pm
    I have the wine list at home, though given the photo evidence I had considered denying that I was present (after all I said I could not make it) and claimed that this was just some other person who looked like me.

    Okay, I drank a little. And acted silly. Then I sat in traffic for 2 hours. Not a perfect day, but a very good one and I am glad I was able to make it.

    In my soused memory, the Franciscan Merlot was the highlight, and a nicely restrained Cal Merlot at that. For the most part, the wines are stuff you can buy for under $20 per bottle (third or fourth labels of places that make some good wine and make these labels just for restaurants, plus some obscure stuff that I had not seen before). I think the old rule is that if you see two Heitz bottlings on a list, one for $120, and one for $50, never, ever, ever buy the $50 bottling as it is only there for poor suckers who want to impress someone with Heitz, but are too cheap to buy the real stuff.

    I also recall the Oaked Chard as being better than the Unoaked Hendry (which I saw the next day at Costco for about $15 and walked right by), which is unusual for me since I usually do prefer less oak to more. But the oak was applied with a light hand.

    Will try to remember to post the full list when I get home.
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #98 - October 5th, 2007, 7:25 am
    Post #98 - October 5th, 2007, 7:25 am Post #98 - October 5th, 2007, 7:25 am
    The list of wines S&W provided is not terribly useful in that it does not provide vintages or a full description of the wine poured in some cases, but here you go. As for vintages, I would assume all of these are the most recent available.

    Gloria Ferrer Brut
    Heitz Chardonnay
    Hendry Chardonnay
    Maysara Pinto Gris (probably the best of the whites, but that is not saying much - a touch floral and fruity, but I would not buy this)
    Seven Hills Riesling
    Whitehall Lane Cabernet (I find this bottling to be a reliable, inexpensive and somewhat restrained California Cab, and this was representative)
    Alexander Valley Cabernet
    Joseph Phelps Cab
    Mount Veeder Cab (decent, could use a couple of years of bottle age)
    Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cab
    Ironstone Reserve Cabernet Franc (disappointing)
    Hitching Post Pinot Noir (Restrained for a bursting its britches SB Pinot)
    Franciscan Merlot (best of the bunch by far for me, a well-balanced and enjoyable red that will age for 3-5 years and just get better. This is the only one I would look for, and I am not generally a Merlot fan because of all the crap one has to sift through)
    Nickel & Nickel Darien Syrah
    Wild Horse Pinot Noir (this is what made the Hitching Post look restrained - not a bad, if over the top, Ca PN)
    Nickel & Nickel Ponzo Zinfandel
    S&W Private Reserve Napa Blend

    Seems to me there were one or two other pours that were not on this list, but this should give you the flavor of the day. None of the wines were really awful, but not much really interesting with nuance.
    Feeling (south) loopy