Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What can I say? With an introduction like that I guess that there’s no need to tell you anything further about myself. Accept that Joe and I have been friends for several years, starting when he moved in with me for three months while preparing himself for life’s longest and hardest adventure…. marriage. Those three months turned into over a year, Joe was taking his time before diving in to the nuptials. While Joe lived in my home we grew to be great friends mostly base on our mutual love of great food and wine.
This being said, when Joe started this site I new that he would need true guidance from someone who actually understood the difference between a trendy “Atlanta Scene” and a quality dining experience. I will be choosing fine restaurants, bars, and dives around
Now for the meat and potatoes:
Everyone’s favorite Canadian and Tailgater extraordinaire Mike and his beautiful wife Amy have joined forces to create a new 7 pound 10 ounce half Canadian baby boy named Winder. In tribute to the Canadians my first subject will be Mikes favorite gastropub. Holeman and Finch public House.
A gastropub (or gastro pub) is a British term for a public house which attempts to specialize in high-quality food. The name is a combination of the terms gastronomy and Pub. “Gastro Pub” is the result of David Eyre and Mike Belben’s creation of a pub called The Eagle in Clerkenwell,
H and F (to you hipsters out there) is located at
Food: The menu is nothing less that striking. If you can’t find something that “puts a little hitch in your gitty up” there is something terribly wrong with you. I started with the salumi, charcuterie and sausage ($15). I respected the fact that they were curing and developing their own meat, but was in no way impressed with their results. The Deviled Eggs three ways (3$) were delicious, the corn meal fried oysters ($9) were prepared perfectly. I did not however try the “Gentleman’s Relish” nor the “Crunchy Gentleman” (H and F’s take on a ham sandwich). The menu contained several items that I felt were a bit of a stretch for most people, BBQ Pigs tail comes to mind.
For my main course I had to try the much ballyhooed H and F Burger. This burger is made up of H and F’s own mixture of special cuts of our hoofed friends. The burgers are prepared to be served at 10 P.M. Don’t bother ordering one earlier or suggesting a temperature that you would like the burger to be served (i.e. Medium Rare). The server will get a giggle from such ridiculous request and inform you that 24 burgers will be served at 10 P.M. and “not to worry our chef knows how to cook a burger.” The result, a really good, but over hyped burger. They would be better served to put it on the menu, lose the hype and let people enjoy one of the
Décor: The interior of H and F is very well decorated. It is what someone like “Cookin Joe” would call “modern rustica”. I however would not, because I do not raise my pinky when I drink tea. Plus- I don’t drink hot tea…. Just sayin. I digress, the only problem is that the space is so small that (when busy) there is no comfortable place to sit or stand. This is a great problem for the ownership because this means that they are busy, for myself it didn’t work for the simple fact I don’t like to be crowded while trying to enjoy my dining experience.
Service: The attractive hostess whom had already informed us earlier that they did not take reservation would now let us in on the fun fact that the only table in the restaurant that would allow our group of 8 to dine together was occupied. Not to worry! The group were now starting to leave one at a time. Crisis averted? No! We then learned that “because we are a public house” we would need to sit in seats at the table as they opened up. That’s right! Let me make a suggestion, if you like your legs (or especially walking)- and I do not know you, do not ever come sit at my table while I am finishing dinner with friends. It made the atmosphere shrink and took me back to grade school cafeteria rooms of my past. Our 85 pound metro-waiter gave excellent service while maintaining an air of arrogance until I made it clear that I was not a fan of the seating arrangements nor the attitude of the sum of the staff when questioned about such things as the seating or the “H and F” Burger.
Cost: Surprisingly not that bad, I had three starters, the burger and dessert for around 50$. Throw in your typical Buckhead drink prices and I left around $125 with tip.
Overall dining experience: Canadian Mike” loves this place and especially there beer choices, the ladies loved the drinks, but I thought the overall experience was disappointing. Not to worry H and F faithful, the crowds will continue to pack the place for their overall high quality food and service. As well as the fact that the average trendy Atlantan (that I abhor) will keep attacking this scene for years to come.
I rate this 3 out of 5 on the Wild Hog chart (graphics to come) due to the pomp and physical discomfort.
Monday, February 23, 2009
2005 Novelty Hill Columbia Valley Syrah
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
With our motley crew of selections lined up, we set out to find the best. What wines took the cake? Well, that will have to wait for the next post, because I have to go to sleep and dream about not going to work tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this previously-mentioned movie clip:
Monday, February 16, 2009
View Larger Map
If you look around- to the West (down Lambert Bridge Rd.)- are some vines and Passalacqua Winery, which has some really great views, and good Zinfandel. Here's Heather standing in front of that great view:
To the east of the road, up the hill is one of my favorite places, F. Teldeschi winery. Our first experience there started with Bill Wertzberger walking into the delightfully unimpressive tasting room (reminded me of the "pakjuan" room at Woodrow in college), wiping his eyes and exclaiming that it "sucks to get citric acid in your eyes." I loved this place already. We went through a completely laid-back tasting, in no particular order, tasting outstanding zinfandels, syrahs, and delicous "field blends". Then, an unassuming guy walked in in jeans and a t-shirt and started chatting us up. Sure enough, it was Dan Teldeschi, one of the owners. You would have never known it. We talked about NASCAR and how much he loved Atlanta. He referred to the city of Smyrna as "Schmegma"....ha ha ha. My friend Jeff built a house in Schmegma. Anyway, Dan and Bill were simply not who you would expect running a winery; especially if you hang out in sometimes-to-often pretentious Napa Valley. Oh yeah, and the wine tasting was $2. You can't beat that. If you see their wines, I highly recommend them, especially the Zinfandels and the Terranova blend. Try The Wine Cellars in (hee hee) Schmegma Village Market, or Harry's Farmers Market.
Finally, if you look to the right of that, there's a place to get a good sandwich: The Dry Creek General Store. Eating a meat-filled loaf of warm, crusty bread while half-cocked on great wine is almost on par with a Sunday-afternoon "Quantum Leap" marathon on the tellie...you know, with Cheetoes stains all over you sweat pants and a 3-day old neck beard.
"Joe, you wear sweat pants?"
Shut up. They're flexible.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Personally, I'm not too thrilled that I'm starring in such a stupid commercial. I'd rather star in a commercial where I fight crime while riding a shark.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
The bottles in the picture, from left to right:
2005 Oak Ridge Winery OZV (Old Zin Vines) Zinfandel: Perhaps the best of the bunch. These days, the Zinfandel grape is often made in to wines that are extremely high in alcohol (upwards of 16%)...this has to do with the fact that the Zinfandel grape is notorious for unevenly ripening, so vintners will often leave the grapes on the vine until the last grapes ripen. The overripe grapes fall off the bunch, and those left on have ripened to the point of having a great deal of sugar in their juice. In fermentation, sugar is metabolized by yeast, and the two byproducts are carbon dioxide, and magical alcohol. With excessive sugar comes excessive alcohol.
Anyway, I digress...this wine is not overwhelmed with high alcohol, which is actually quite pleasant. Trust me, if you're drinking it to get bombed, the 13.95% isn't gonna set you back much. But, with less alcohol, a wine's fruit, acidity and other flavors are not overwhelmed by the "hotness" associated with high alcohol. For this reason, this wine has a good balance of jammy fruits, chocolate, and spice. Not bad...
2006 Peachy Canyon "Incredible Red": A 100% Zinfandel from the Central Coast of California (an area about midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles...this is where the movie Sideways took place). Once again, a zinfandel with surprising low 13.9% alcohol. However, I recall not enough acidity, leaving the wine a little "flabby" (meaning too fruity and sweet, because there's not enough acidity to balance the wine and give it some backbone...like comparing sugar water to lemonade). Not "incredible", but decent for an everyday wine.
2005 Clay Station "Old Vines" Zinfandel: I'll tell you, I really just didn't like this wine. Just too "fruity". The Clay Station website describes this wine as "bold and fruit-driven, with ultra-ripe blueberry, blackberry and cherry flavors," so they're confirming my description. Now don't get me wrong; I'll drink the hell out of some Hawaiian Punch, but it's not what I'm looking for in a wine. However, that's just me...you may love it.
2005 Cline "Ancient Vines" Zinfandel: If you're looking for a winery that (in my opinion) consistently produced very good "value" wines, I highly recommend Cline Cellars. Located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley (just north of San Francisco), they've rarely disappointed me, whether the wines cost $7 or $17. I haven't seen a wine over $20 made by them. Anyway, this wine tastes like chocolate. Good fruit, just barely enough acidity, but the chocolate flavor is no doubt a byproduct of aging in oak barrels, which gives wine a distinct vanilla flavor and aroma. If you EVER notice this in a wine, it's a good way to know the wine was aged in oak barrels. However, sometimes vintners can overdo it with the oak...usually, it's a tricky way to hide the flavor of crappy grapes.
But, in the case of this wine, it's not too much. Just enough to create a pleasant, chocolate flavor. Think chocolate-covered cherries, and you're there. I like this wine, and I hope you will too.
2006 Robert Mondavi "Private Selection" Zinfandel: Okay. Robert Mondavi was a legend in the wine world. He literally put Napa Valley on the map. California wine would not be what it is today without his vision.
However, I seriously doubt this was his "private selection". Mondavi winery makes wines for every price range (which is great...not everyone is drinking $100+ Mondavi Reserve Cabernet). With that said, this is on the lower end of that spectrum, and it tastes like it. Just tastes cheap and fake. Probably fine for an everyday drink, but at- I'm guessing- $8-10, you could find some real values, particularly from South America, Portugal, and South Africa. But, try it out and tell me I'm wrong.