Archive for the 'kosher wine' Category



14
Sep
11

Dalton Winery Tasting


Aron Ritter, from the Kosher Wine Society, organized last evening’s tasting of Israel’s Dalton Winery with the participation of Alex Haruni – the winery’s owner. While the original invitation only listed five wines, Alex brought in nine, each a truly remarkable selection.

We started the evening with a Dalton Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – Straw colored, I found it crisp and very fruity with aromas of grapefruit, pineapples and a hint of freshly cut grass. On the palate it exhibits a rich array of citrus and apple blossoms all lingering nicely for a refreshing long finish.

Next in line was a Dalton‘s new Alma White 2010 – A delightful wine aged in small French oak barrels with hints of vanilla and chocolate.

It was followed by a Dalton Zinfandel 2009 – With grapes originating from vineyards at the foothills of Har Meron, on red clay soil, it is a somewhat spicy wine with berry flavors.

The Dalton Alma 2009 consists of: Cabernet SauvignonMerlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. Dark, full bodied wine offering nice aromas of cherries, plums and sweet dark fruits; on the palate it shows a buttery combination with hints of vanilla and green tea and rich, yet gently caressing tannins.

Then came their Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009. Dark garnet in color, fruity and with a hint of cigar smoke on the nose, it reveals black and red berries with notes of mint chocolate.

It was followed by a Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009. Dark garnet in color, it has silky tannins, lightly spicy with lots of blackberry, red plums and notes of bitter citrus peel. It shows hints of vanilla and leather.

Dalton Alma Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2009 came next. Deep garnet in color, round and full-bodied,  it displays black currant, dark cherries, and tobacco followed by white pepper and assorted berries. Perfect pairing for a perfect steak!

Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009 followed, very dark in color, the nose is intense with black fruit, plums, berries, liquorice, and pepper tones. It has soft integrated tannins and a long finish.

We finished the evening with a Dalton Reserve Shiraz 2007, dark garnet in color, medium- to full bodied, developed in new French oak. Opens with a floral and nutty nose, going on to show spicy wood and gentle tannins. On the palate it exhibits a well balanced array of black and purple fruits, nicely complemented by notes of Mediterranean herbs and cigar tobacco.

A beautiful tasting with imported crackers and assorted foreign cheeses, grapes and chocolate kisses between the rounds. It proved, once again, how well Aron Ritter and his crew plan an evening of superior wines.

Don’t miss the Kosher Wine Society‘s upcoming New Wines For The New Year , this coming Wednesday, the 21st, again at Sanger House 347 West 34th Street, in Manhattan.

CS

12
Sep
11

This Week’s Events…


Monday, September 12th:

Lévana Kirschenbaum resumes her weekly cooking demo (Cooking and a Show) series this evening:

Upcoming Cooking Demo in NYC: Monday September 12th: Asian Feast. Gluten-Free

You may have trouble going back to ordering in a Chinese restaurant after you realize how superior homemade is, thanks to all the glorious  Asian flavors. We will never know why Chinese cookies are called Chinese, but we do know they are fabulous! 
I’ll be demonstrating:
  • Mock Crab salad
  • Hot and sour egg drop soup
  • Steamed chicken breasts with shitaki and baby bok choy
  • Vegetable fried rice
  • Chinese Cookies

Click Here to Register!

Tuesday, September 13th

Read until the end for an amazing 2 for 1 deal! Aron Ritter, founder and President of The Kosher Wine Society presents:

SPECIAL TASTING WITH ALEX HARUNI!

Join us for the season’s first sit-down guided wine tasting with Alex Haruni, owner of Dalton Winery.

Sign up today to meet Alex and taste his newest wines!

Tuesday September 13, 2011

7:30 – 9:30 PM

Zanger Hall
347 West 34th street
New York, NY 10001

Price: $65.00

Wine List Includes:

Dalton Alma White (Chardonnay-Viognier) 2010
Dalton Alma (Cab Sauv-Merlot-Cab Franc) 2009
Dalton Alma Smv (Shiraz-Mourvedre-Viognier) 2009
Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009
Dalton Reserve Shiraz 2007

Event Sponsor:
Allied Importers
Dalton Winery

Although the price is $65.00 per person for the above tasting, you can a 2 for 1 deal IF you email: info@kosherwinesociety.com AND mention The Kosher Scene Radio Internet Show OR The Kosher Scene blog and my first name (Chaim). at: info@kosherwinesociety.com. You must contact them today, no later than 6:30pm. Tell them you want the 2 for 1 deal.

I hope to meet you, gentle reader, I’ll be at both of these events.

CS

12
May
11

Date and Nut Bread


I had some dates from Israel and decided to use them in a recipe, I was intrigued by the following one from Elizabeth Wolfe-Cohen‘s Perfect Jewish 


Delicious!!!

Date & Nut Bread

Yields: 12 slices

Directions

  • 1 1/2 cups self rising flour, plus a little more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground ginger [SYR used 1 tsp]
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped dried dates [SYR did not use dried ones]
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda [baking soda]
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp butter or margarine, softened [SYR used margarine to keep it pareve]
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds [SYR used walnuts]
Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a 4″x8″ loaf pan. Line the base and and sides with nonstick baking parchment paper to come to 1″ above the sides. Grease again and dust with flour. Sift the flour, salt and ginger into a bowl.
Put the dates into a large bowl with bicarbonate of soda. Pour over the boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Stir the egg and butter [or margarine if you prefer it pareve] and flour mixture into the date mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until well blended. Stir in the nuts. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, smoothing the top. Tap the pan gently on a surface to expel any air bubbles.
Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until set and well colored and the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan; a knife inserted in the center should come out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes , then leave to cool completely Using the paper as a guide, carefully remove the bread from the pan. If not serving the same day keep in the paper to prevent drying out.To serve, remove the paper from the base and sides, slice thinly.
Prep time: 20 minutes – Bake Time – 1 hour

The bread came out very aromatic, it tasted subtly sweet, we had it with some cholov Yisroel Mascarpone cheese made at Pomegranate Supermarket‘s kitchen and recommended by their resident cheese expert, none other than our good friend Elizabeth Bland. We washed it down with a Herzog Selection Chateneuf 2009, a white semi dry with a fresh, fruity bouquet. The bread was delicious, the Mascarpone just right, and the wine proved a perfect pairing!

CS

28
Apr
11

Wine and More… Wine!


Aside from the Arba Kossot on both sedorim, whenever there are large festive gatherings wine is sure to flow. This year I partook of a great collection of potables that showed how far kosher wines had come since the days of my youth, when the choices were extra sweet and even sweeter. No longer were these wines just from Jewish vintners, but many wineries – already renowned around the world – joined the fray and produced kosher versions of their best sellers. What entails making a wine kosher? Not – as the old joke went – adding a few cups of sugar per bottle, but merely following the standard process under rabbinic supervision.

I was privileged this year to taste various superb wines from around the world (which I picked a few days before Passover at Gotham Wines ans Liquors, 2517 Broadway; New York, NY 10025-6934 Tel: 212.932.0990) including some from well known wineries that have already made their mark in the world at large.

During chol hamo’ed and the last two days of Pessach, when there were large numbers of people, both at my oldest son’s home in Lakewood (NJ) and at my oldest daughter’s in Providence (RI) I tasted some superb wines which I brought from New York. In the photo above we have a Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild 2007 Haute-Medoc, Binyamina, 2006 Odem Ruby Series Syrah, Mount Hevron 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and a Jonathan Tishby 1999 Special Reserve Merlot.

The 2007 Haute-Medoc was superb, complex, yet delicate; fruity and spicy with blackberry accents, it had a long finish. Mevushal.

2006 Odem Syrah had blackberry and black pepper with floral accents on the nose. Full bodied and well balanced it greatly enhanced the lamb dish with which it was paired. Only 5190 bottles were produced.

Mount Hevron‘s 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon offered ripe raspberry flavors finishing with aromatic spices.

Tishbi 1999 Special Reserve Merlot, aged for 18 months in oak barrels, it brims with blackcurrant, berries and plum flavors and aromas. Exquisite! Out of a limited, numbered edition we had bottle number 5123.

Thishbi 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition is an inexpensive wine that tastes far better than its price suggests. It’s a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot. It shows forest berries, blackcurrant, plums, cloves and a bit of green pepper on the nose, followed by sweeter notes of spice and dark fruit on the palate. Moderate tannins complete the rich feel to the long, lush finish. Approachable and decadent.

CAPÇANES 2008 Peraj Ha’abib/Flor de Primavera from Montsant in Spain. Robert Parker rated it a well deserved 90. Made from Garnacha, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, it has a deep ruby/purple color. It was aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels; it displays sweet blackcurrant notes combined with black pepper. It displays earthy minerals and tobacco on the palate leading to a long luscious finish. Daniel Rogov estimates it will reach its best by 2012 to 2018. I’ve tasted this wine before and through every vintage it seems to get better! Only 1300 cases of 6 bottles each were produced for this vintage.

Borgo Reale 2005 Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100% Brunello variety of the Sangiovese grape. Floral and fruity on the nose, its flavor suggests plums, berries and minerals with subtle hints of coffee and tobacco leading to a long finish. Italy’s done it again!

For dessert we enjoyed Willm 2008 Gewurztraminer and Balma Venetia 2006 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.

The 2008 Gewurztraminer is made from grapes that reach their full potential in Alsace. These wines are far above those of produced elsewhere. Served chilled, it exhibited rose petals and lychee on the nose; on the palate its very, very subtle sweetness combined with the perfect amount of acidity to make it very refreshing.

The 2006 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise displayed glorious notes of peach, grape, apricot, mango and lychee. We also had it at lunch with a selection of cheeses, this past Monday, its sweetness was balanced by just enough acidity to make me feel I had bitten into the actual grape.

Two wines that we finished off before I got a chance to photograph (yes, they were that good!!!) were Barkan 2006 Superieur Shiraz and Psagot 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Barkan was, by far, the best Shiraz I ever remember tasting. On the nose it’s a complex symphony of notes of black cherries, blackcurrant, mulberries, cloves and cinnamon with overtones of coffee, dark chocolate and smoke (typical of Judean Hills wines). It is a full bodied, with a long finish. Winner of France’s Vinalies Internationales 2010 Silver Medal and Israel’s TERRAVINO Mediterranean International Wine Challenge Gold Medal for 2010

Psagot 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, It shows deep black fruit aromas awith generous notes of spicy oak, both the brawn, nicely balanced. On the nose it exhibits blackcurrants, berries and figs, those supported by notes of espresso and roasted Brazil nuts. It was a pleasant surprise and far better than more expensive wines, in fact it easily rated among the best I’ve tasted this Passover.

Next year may we sip the cup of redemption in Yerushalayim Ir Hakoidesh!

CS

13
Apr
11

This Evening’s Two Hour Internet Radio Show And a Recipe…


Last Wednesday’s live broadcast from Gotham Wines and Liquors‘ 8th Annual Wine Extravaganza, held at the West End Institutional Synagogue. We had some great guests on that show and made new friends. Unfortunately the .mp3 file got trashed, so we never got a chance to hear it the actual broadcast. Tonight’s show will focus on wine and food. Our guests will be several kosher winery spokesmen and distributors, then at the last half hour we will talk to Chef Jeff Nathan, Chef/owner of Abigael’s on Broadway.

We will discuss the reasons for the 4 cups of wine and other Pessach customs, we will hear about their selections from the various wineries, while Chef Jeff will explain the whole concept of the New Jewish Cuisine, which he made into a wildly successful series on Public Television. We will also talk about his journey to become a successful restaurateur and what Abigael’s is planning for Passover.

Please listen in to The Kosher Scene’s Show, this evening at 6:30pm to 8:30pm Eastern Time,

The first cookbook Jeff Nathan published – in 2002 –  Adventures in Jewish Cooking, included some great recipes that can be made on Passover. Here is one I intend to savor on the last day of Pessach, when I finally do eat gebroks. It will go perfectly with a glass of  Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Veal Chops Milanese with Tomato Salad and Arugula

In Milan, you’ll find golden-crusted veal chops so big they fill your plate. Before being cooked, they are pounded while still on the bone. This creates wide flaps of meat to allow for more crispy coating that everyone loves. A combination of matzo flour, matzo meal, and matzo farfel is my secret to creating a crunchier crust than is possible with bread crumbs alone. Using matzo also opens up the possibility of enjoying this dish right through Passover week. You will need a very large, 12-14 inch skillet to cook both chops at once. Of course, if you have two such skillets, you can invite a couple of friends over for dinner, doubling the amount of tomato salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, preferably 1 red and 1 yellow, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Two twelve ounce bone-in veal chops, about 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup matzo flour (also called matzo cake flour)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/2 cup matzo farfel
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (regular or extra-virgin)
  • 6 ounces arugula, washed and dried, torn bite-sized pieces.
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. To make the tomato salad, whisk the lemon juice and oil in a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano and rosemary and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, while preparing the veal.
  3. Place the chops between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using a heavy mallet or rolling pin, pound the meaty part of each chop until it’s about 1/2 inch thick, to create chops with a thinner flasp of meat attached to the rib bone. (In Milanese restaurants, the veal is pounded even thinner and wider, but at home, practicality demands that you pound the veal to a size that will allow two chops to fit into the skillet.) Season the chops with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the matzo flour in a shallow dish, the beaten eggs in a second shallow dish and the matzo farfel in a third shallow dish, Coat each veal chop with matzoh flour, then the egg wash, and then the matzoh meal.
  5. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chops and cook, turning one, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Place the browned chops on a large baking sheet. Bake until they feel firm when pressed in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, add the arugula to the tomato salad and mix. For each serving place a chop on a dinner plate and heap the tomato salad on top. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.

Just like his other book (which we reviewed) and has become one of my favorites, this one is also chuck full of mouth watering recipes which I can’t wait to try.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

05
Apr
11

Our Internet Radio Shows for this Week


Last week week Pastry Chef Paula Shoyer – author of The Kosher Baker – was our guest, based on emails we received after it aired, there is no question her charm, her knowledge, won the audience’s heart. If you missed it, you can hear it here.

This week, we will have two special shows. Tomorrow Wednesday, April 6 2011, we will a two hour show starting at 6:30. We will be transmitting live from NYC’s biggest Pre-Passover Wine Tasting. This event will take place at: West Side Institutional, 120 West 76 Street, New York, NY 10023. There is a Private VIP tasting which starts at 6:00pm and goes on until 7:00pm. General admission starts at 7:00pm. There are over 300 wines to sample, including new ones, classic vintages and many from Costas Mouzouras’ private collection.

Some of the hundreds of bottles consumed at last year's Gotham Wines' Show

Costas is Gotham Wines ans Liquors (2517 Broadway; New York, NY 10025; Telephone: 212.932.0990), kosher brands manager. His grandfather had a small winery, in Cyprus, where Costas used to help out during his summers as a teenager. We will talk to various distributors, we will taste wines and suggest pairings with cheese and other foods.

Brigitte Mizrahi, Anderson International Foods CEO, will share her expertise on wine and cheese during the broadcast and finally at 8:00pm – 8:30pm we will speak her about her company’s products. This promises to be a very exciting show, so please listen in at: Kosherscene, tomorrow – April 6, 2011 – from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

The next show of the week will be broadcast on Thursday the 7th, and will be pre-taped at tonight’s 20th Anniversary Puah Dinner. Puah is an organization that helps infertile couples within the halachic parameters. The show will, feature interviews with the various inspirational speakers on Puah‘s very important mission. As a child of Holocaust survivors I can attest to the importance of Puah‘s work as the only effective revenge on those who would obliterate us. This show will air on Thursday at 8:00-9:00pm. Please, give us a listen.

CS

10
Mar
11

Kaizen! Perfection at Prime Ko


Have you ever had one of those microcosmic moments in time encapsulating a window onto something so much bigger in its depth and substance? Though most of mine have not been food moments, this one surely was this past week at the Japanese inspired restaurant Prime Ko (217 West 85th Street New York, NY 10024-3901 – (212) 496-1888) when I tasted Chef Makoto Kameyama’s signature sushi Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna appetizer. But more about that in a moment…

CS and I were escorted into the ground floor dining area; they’ve got a lower level with a wet bar, TV screen and more seating. Décor showed subtle Japanese influences. The waiting area had these lovely brown leather boxy ’kabuki’ shaped chairs and couch, fresh orchids on a dark rectangular table, with a wall of hand-painted coral peonies on soft aqua…

Wall dividers of slatted mahogany separated one area from another; windows were shaded with white bamboo semi-transparent treatments. Seating was brown textured suede on wood, a few striped suede backed benches, all tucked into square darkwood tables. Settings consisted of simple white geometric china, flatware laid out on deep red bamboo textured placemats, and chop-sticks resting on logo enhanced wood pieces. Lighting was recessed in one area and a framed oval shaped ruched red fabric with a back lit center aperture against the far wall, with a row of rice textured globe light fixtures in the other area.

A partial view...

Esteemed Chef Makoto Kameyama, the former prized Sushi Chef at Prime Grill for the past ten years, has served as Executive Chef at Prime Ko since it opened last year. His experience began in Tokyo where he assisted his father, a prominent Edo-sushi chef running a successful restaurant in Japan. In1981, Chef Kameyama came to the US and opened his own Japanese restaurant. Transitioning to Japanese kosher posed quite a challenge. Aside from the dietary restrictions on pork, shrimp, crustaceans, etc. sourcing fine quality kosher fish for sushi and sashimi, replacing basic Japanese cooking elements like bonita flakes and dashi (made of fish bone, until recently unavailable with a kosher certification), achieving consistent textures and creating exciting sauces were but a few of the obstacles he faced.

Chef Kameyama is very pleased with healthy low fat and low cal Japanese cuisine becoming staple of the American diet. Be it the DHA and heart healthy fresh fish, lung healthy miso, or vitamin mineral-rich seaweed, it is thanks to Japanese cuisine masters like Kameyama that this healthy streamlined fare is taking the nation by storm.

Now, back to our meal… The opening appetizer was an assortment of Rainbow Roll, yellowtail, tuna, and salmon sashimi and that fabulous Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna I mentioned earlier. That was the defining moment of kaizen (Japanese for perfection) . The mouthful of toasted rice cake topped with spicy tuna pureed with bell pepper, topped with jalapeño and aioli sauce was a bite of pure perfection. The creative combination of textures and genius flavors conjoining to taste so remarkably well, spoke volumes about the artistry of a chef whose collective experience and expertise arrive at the table each time this signature dish is served. Bravo! Omedetou!

Sushi and Sashimi

But we were just getting warmed up… CS and I shared lovely grilled miso Chilean Sea Bass skewers in a spicy teriyake sauce served aside sautéed bok choy & veggies which couldn’t help but be outshined by an outstanding Tuna Delmonico, edged in breading served with jalapeño sauce, wasabi, beet and ginger sauce, with a side of soba noodles and pickled radish/onion/carrot garnish.

Tuna Delmonico

Our waiter, Al, our server, Lebron, treated us like royalty; they were friendly, efficient, informed. I thought we were getting the ‘special treatment’, but service to the tables nearby was just as extraordinary. Al, had the menu and wine pairings memorized down to the last nori seaweed bit & dot of sauce. Service was the epitome of high Japanese hospitality; water goblets refilled with Prime Ko’s own filtered carbonated water, napkins refolded, tables cleaned between courses, and soy sauce, dishes and silverware replaced with the arrival of each new dish.

We enjoyed a cleansing, refreshing Borgo Reale Pinot Grigio 2007 as we waited for our next course, a medley of kobe chopped beef dishes. We sampled Kobe Meatballs with ground ginger and garlic in miso sesame sauce, spicy Kobe Pizza - crispy dough, house made marinara topped with chopped salad & chopped wagyu. Wagyu Beef Sliders – a mini kobe hamburger with spicy aioli and teriyake sauce – completed this tasty Americanized trio.

Cutlery was replaced again with a fresh set including steak knives. I starved myself till dinner in anticipation, but this was turning out to be a most extravagant meal… The best was next! Three ounces of the most amazing Kobe/Wagyu steak resting on a slab of Himalayan salt rock witha side of white mushroom cooked at our table with a spritz of fresh lime. When quality is this good, extra spicing could only detract from it natural flavors – it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Taken before being cooked at table-side. 3 ozs of marbled beauty!

The second steak dish was a 6 oz. Grain Fed Chateau-Briand with vegetable rice served with a jalapeño/uzu/teriyake sauce, with salad and rice. The steak was so good, I would have preferred the sauce on the side.

Steak Chateau-Briand

Chef then surprised us with Eggplant Dengaku. Baked eggplant topped with miso and sesame sauce. Unusual, and superbly tasty. The evening’s crown,  came with the creative and most beautiful desert dish pictured below.

Beautiful presentation, superlative tasting

Two crepes laid out like a Japanese fan, topped with blueberries and strawberries with hot chocolate sauce, sprinkled with green tea powder and confectioner’s sugar that looked like fairy dust. Need I say more?

A brilliant meal overall. Our thanks to Chef Kameyama and the staff of Prime Ko for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

SYR

Prime Ko on Urbanspoon

08
Mar
11

Cafe Renaissance


Last week RN and I had an early dinner at Cafe Renaissance (802 Kings Highway, NY 11223-2240; Tel: 718.382.1900). We were prepared for a sumptuous, scrumptious meal but even so we were pleasantly surprised.

RN opted to begin her early dinner with Sauteed Artichoke in a very aromatic lemon-garlic sauce. Delectable, she said.

I started with a colorful Green Dragon Sushi Roll, it consisted of spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado, topped with spicy mayonnaise and crunch…

Green Dragon Roll

We both found it succulent; the spicy salmon gave it just enough of a bite, a great meal starter!

Next I had a Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad

It came with Romain lettuce, baby greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and pomelo strips. The blend of flavors of fresh fruit and vegetables combined to form a perfectly harmonious symphony of wholesome flavors.

RN opted for the Healthy Salad, with low glyceride pasta, sauteed spinach, broccoli, olive oil, garlic topped with Parmesan cheese.  She described it as perfectly cooked pasta, with a superb cheese topping.

We then shared a Greek Salad with feta cheese, olives and more. Again, like the earlier salads, this one did not disappoint.

Starting the mains, we shared a very tender St. Peter’s Fish…

St Peter's Fish

It came accompanied with red, yellow, and green peppers with a flower carved lemon. It was juicy, tender and neither tasted nor smelled fishy. Quite good!

We segued the above dish with a Grilled Salmon for RN and a Salmon Teriyake for me. Both were delicious and while the list so far should have been enough to satisfy the most ravenous creature, we were not done yet…

We finished the meal by sharing a Four Seasons Pizza

Four Seasons Pizza

Its eight slices infour sections consisted of Vodka & Cheese (my favorite!!), Mushroom, Roasted garlic and Cheese, Tomato Sauce, Black Olives and Pesto over Cheese, and Roasted Tomatoes, Broccoli and Cheese. As a pizza connoisseur, I am compelled to give this combination very high marks.

We washed the meal down with a Bartenura Pinot Grigio 2008. A well balanced dry white wine with tangy lemon/grapefruit aromas and flavors and a great aftertaste. All in all it was a very enjoyable meal, beautifully presented, but…

Considering the amount of dishes we consumed and pleasantly surprised as we were at the consistency of freshness, quality, and unsurpassed flavor I felt obligated to speak to Cafe Renaissance‘ owner, Shaul Ashkenazi. We wanted to know about his background and how he developed the successful philosophy behind this eatery.

Shaul started out in the business under his father, 40 years ago; the father owned and operated a very popular restaurant on Tel Aviv’s Rechov Sheinkin. Among the restaurants habitués were many prominent politicians (including Golda Meir) and financial bigwigs who often concluded many a political or financial deal at the restaurant’s tables. Later, in 1975, Mr. Ashkenazi opened up his own place in Ramat Gan (Gute Gute), next to the Stock and the Diamond Exchanges.

Eventually, after the death of his father, since all his siblings were already in the US, he too emigrated to these shores. Ten years ago he opened Cafe Renaissance, he sought only quality fresh ingredients and required each Chef do things his way. While most Executive Chefs get to decide on the menu, here only Shaul and his wife Tikvah make those decisions. Any item on the menu gets rigorously tested by the couple and honed to perfection before it is ever served to any restaurant patron.

Shaul’s son-in-law Ronnie manages the Ashkenazis second venture Cafe Venezia (1391 Coney Island Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11230; Tel: 718.258.5400). We’ll just have to try it!

CS

Cafe Renaissance on Urbanspoon

02
Mar
11

This Evening’s Internet Radio Guest Will Be…


Last Wednesday, we spoke to radio and TV personality, newspaper columnist Rabbi Yaakov Spivak. We spoke about some interesting insights on Megillahs Esther. If you missed the broadcast you can hear it here.

This evening we will feature a conversation with Aaron Zimmerman, owner of Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J – between 12th and 13th Streets; Brooklyn, NY 11230-3702; Telephone: 718.338.4166).

Mr. Zimmerman opened his first liquor store in 1998, it was located 2 blocks away from his current location, it was long and very narrow. Three years ago he moved to his present location into what is one of the most beautiful, best organized wine and liquor stores. When you first walk into this well appointed store you can’t being impressed by the looks, the knowledgeable stuff and the encyclopedic knowledge of their product by the store owners. Wines, for example, are organized by country of origin and – within each country – by winery. Center isles display sale items as well as some of the newest products.

Aaron has shared some basics of wine tasting on this blog’s pages before, with a four part series on Enjoying Your Wine (Buying, Tasting, Storing and Grape Varieties). This evening we will talk about some of the newest kosher wines to enjoy on Purim and Pessach and suggestions on how to enjoy the Arba Kosos at both sedorim without getting sick.

Just listen in, gentle reader, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, March 2nd, on Jewish Radio Network. Enter the site and click on the red “here” under the white “Radio,” then wait about 30 to 90 seconds for the application to start streaming.

CS

21
Feb
11

This Week’s Events


This is a great week! If you like food, if you like wine these events are tailor made for you:

Tuesday, February 22nd

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011

Tomorrow’s the event of the year!

As always, the star of the show is the food and wine on offer. This year over 300 wines from all over the world will be available from wineries including Herzog, Yatir, Castel, Capcanes, Elvi, Goose Bay and more! In addition, Royal Wine will be launching some new wines at KFWE2011 including the Herzog Special Edition Chalk Hill Warnecke Vineyard 2008, the Oak Knoll Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and a new line of Gamla Reserves. Additionally, the wines of Alexander Winery in Israel will be making their debut in the United States market.

Guests will also be able to taste delicious food from some of the top rated kosher restaurants and caterers in the Tri-State area. “This is an opportunity to try some exceptional wines and great food, we don’t hold anything back,” said Mr. Landsman, “KFWE is our gift to our customers. We want to give people a chance to try the wines they are hesitant to buy, the special occasion wines they read about or see in the store.” Another benefit of this event is its proximity to Passover, giving people the opportunity to trywines that they would like to feature at their Seders.

A notable addition to the event this year will be the attendance of celebrity cookbook authors/food personalities Joan Nathan, Jamie Geller, Suzy Fishbein, Lévana Kirschenbaum and Jeff Nathan who will all be available to discuss food and wine pairing and their newest books.

KFWE 2011 will take place on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 6:30pm at Pier 60 – Chelsea Piers, NYC. For more information on the 2011 Kosher Food & Wine Experience or to order tickets, please visit: http://www.kfwe2011.com .

Don’t forget to enter KSCENE10, as your discount code, when you buy your ticket(s).

Wednesday, February 23rd

Israel Wine Lovers featuring: Barkan Winery

9 Interesting Wines, 2 Great Winemakers and 1 Amazing Evening with Barkan Winery

Nanoosh Hummus Bar

Who’s hosting? Avi Ashman, Raphael Sutton
Price: $36.00 per person
Where? Nanoosh Hummus Bar
171 Madison Avenue New York, NY
When? 7:00pm

Barkan, with vineyards all across Israel, is the second largest winery in the country.  The winemaking team’s quest to produce a variety of quality wines results in Barkan making all of the right moves (including large financial investments) to continue improvements in their vineyards and in the winery. You can always count on Barkan, and it’s Boutique winery Segal, to release quite a few interesting wines.

We are honored that Irit Boxer and Yotam Sharon, two of Barkan’s winemakers, will be with us and present a selected wine list that demonstrates the great quality of their craftsmanship.  This tasting is a MUST and we promise a fun night!!  Where else can you taste two styles of Pinotage (never tasted that grape yet? you have to…) and the effect of 100 meter (300 feet) height difference on Cabernet Sauvignon’s flavor?  Other great wines will be explored as well…

All wines and foods, during the tasting, are Kosher.

Israel Wine Lovers meets at the back of Nanoosh and brings their own food, their own wines, since Nanoosh is not under ANY kosher supervision!!!

CS




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