LudoBites The Dust

On the final night of LudoBites 8.0, I got to take off my apron and experience things from the other side of the table when Jill let me crash her reservation.

Since Jill wrote the wine list and I was working as sommelier for the previous 6 weeks, we were more than familiar with the wines on hand.  Therefore, we wanted to bring some new and interesting bottles to dive into from our cellars.

Jill brought this 100% Petit Meunier Champagne back from her recent trip to France. Delicious! Second favorite wine of the night.

Favorite wine of the night? The Adega Regional de Colares 2005 “Arenae” Malvasia that I contributed. Reminded me of a great dry sherry or a little like a Lopez de Heredia white with more acidity and minerality. It was fantastic with the majority of the food. Spanish importer José Pastor is now working with some exciting Portuguese producers, this small cooperative being one of them. José says:

“Arenae translates to sand – hence all the vines are planted direct, without American rootstock. Very rare in Portugal. The vineyards are located next to the ocean and production is very small. Every year- they make around 300 cases or so of that wine.”

Let us not forget the Lapierre 2010 Morgon Jill shared. It surely ain’t shabby! A red with any more body or muscle than this doesn’t really work with Ludo’s food and I now know that firsthand.

I’m not focusing on the Ludo food from the evening since there are plenty of other blog posts out there that have got you covered, but I just HAVE to show you this little plate of heaven- aka Brown Butter Almond Cake.

This was divine. With salted caramel and orange creamsicle ice cream? I mean, come on. Pretty hard to share with 6 other people but luckily for us/me, we had two of each dessert.

For more photos of the food, head on over to Kevin Eats to see his experience of the final night. Speaking of Kevin, here’s a photo of him…

taking a picture of this….

Cheers! It was a pleasure to work with all you crazy cats.

**Wanna win a trip to LudoBites Nine-O in HAWAII?? Sure you do. Go here for more info!

Lipstick & A Super Bowl Situation

The Super bowl is tomorrow and I personally don’t give a hoot. I mean, I had to Google who was playing…

But, the other day NBC cameras were all up in Domaine LA filming a little segment about what to eat and drink on Super Bowl Sunday (it’s become the Thanksgiving of February). Jill and I came up with some fun wine options for your hot wings, Doritos and chips & guac. Because, you know what? Why the hell not. Check it out! I come in right around the 1 minute mark.

Wines featured: NV German Gilabert Cava (buttered popcorn) // 2010 Etz Gruner Veltliner (chips and gaucamole) // 2007 Pecina Blanco (cool ranch Doritos) // 2010 Punta Crena “Pettirosso” (buffalo wings)  2010 Field Recordings “Fiction” Red (Chex Mix)

I was thinking of doing the 2001 Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Blanco with the Cool Ranch Doritos because of its oxidative, viscous, herbacious vibe. Trying to keep the cost of the bottle down, Jill suggested the incredibly affordable Pecina. Pretty dope with the Doritos. Just sayin’.

Mega-girly side note: I’ve found my one true lipstick love (for now). It’s the NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in “Mexican Rose.” I was wearing it in the video above. It’s the perfect balance of opaque/sheer and matte/gloss and it stays on FOREVER. After the initial application, it settles in and becomes more of a stain. I’ve been rocking the Mexican Rose while working at the restaurant and it lasts for most of the shift. Good for ladies that are always putting their lips to a wine glass. Recommended!

Un Petit Porc

Staff holiday party!!!

Jill, my boss, happens to be totally hip and with it. So, naturally, she reserved us a table at the one night only porc extravaganza with Chef Ludo at Gram and Papa’s. It was a veritable porchetta FEAST complete with Southern style fixins.

There was a massive wait and many eager bellies, as to be expected with Ludo. Downtown LA is as interesting a place as any to have to wait on the sidewalk. Side note: a homeless man approached our group as we were leaving the restaurant and before he uttered any words I turned him away. Like an asshole. Then he said, “Man! I was just gonna ask what time it was!” #downtownLA

Hello Kathy Bates!

Hello kitty!

Hello Chef Ludo!

BTW- can you tell I got a new lens for my camera…that I am OBSESSED with?? I couldn’t put the camera down. It was probably annoying to my dinner companions.

All right. What wine did we drink? Awesome wine is what we drank. We started off with a duo of two bubblies. First, Olivier Lemasson‘s playfully named Pow Blop Wizz– a grolleau and pineau d’aunis fun fest. I really enjoyed this wine. A LOT. All of us did.

If you’d like to be further entertained, please watch this rather funny video of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot. It helps to explain the name of the wine.

Our other sparkler? None other than the pure, spectacular beauty of Cedric Bouchard. This grower Champagne is the gateway drug to Champagne of a higher level of bubbly consciousness.

This current vintage is more toasty than last year’s. It has a little more depth and richness to offset that always present razor focus and bright acidity.

Oh, hello there Lopez de Heredia! You were delicious with the the herbed porchetta and ALL of the side dishes (grits, charred greens, crispy potatoes and baked beans). This wine, which I like, became much more enjoyable with the food before us.

And the food before us was….THIS!

And definitely this.  A bowl of grits! An empty bowl. That I housed. Courtney, a Tennessee gal, and myself proclaimed this to be maybe the best grits we’ve ever had. Sacre bleu! Grits made by a Frenchman. I know, I’m as shocked as you.

Caption contest! This was our dessert….

It was a baked apple. I’m also referring to it as a decaying tennis ball and a twice baked apple potato. Regardless of its appearance, it was highly edible.

Thank you Ludo for the eats. Thank you Jill for the wine (and the eats)! What a great year. I’m almost scared of how good 2012 will be.