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BWRAT_PACK.jpgSend my ribeye to the house of detection. I have eaten my last meal in a big deal steak house. Honk if you have had it, too. The place? Mastros. Not the Beverly Hills location but does it really matter? Go to the website and Sinatra is playing and that is part of the problem. The concept of high rollers, rat pack, swingin’ down the lane – it seems so silly unless it’s Halloween. Ring-a-ding-ding. I do not care if the beef palace is Cut or Flemings or Arnie Mortons or Nick and Steph. [I will reserve a last chance for N&S never having eaten there, not to mention the wife ate there and liked it]. However, having written that, as it were and if you will…these places are smoke and mirrors…and more than I can handle. And I will throw in a “there you go”.
Our dear dear dear friends Siegels-%231.jpgasked us to join them for a birthday meal (probably for the last time now!). We love them and they are always great company so of course we accepted. They did not disappoint. Cannot say the same for the joint and the meal. The problem for me is I just don’t get the $500 meal any more. Maybe I would if it involved fresh truffles 36 hours airlifted from a Piedmont field and shaved over my pasta. But, a Kansas City ribeye? BFD. Or Kobe prime? SFW. I cannot digest this stuff anymore. It gives me g-a-s-s. I rolled in the bed all night. Got up twice to just to see if I could evacuate (as we say in the hospital). Fuggedaboudit.
The steaks were cooked perfectly. It is just too damn much. Sides included mashed with lobster chunks. I felt nauseated hearing the waiter roll it off her tongue. Birthday boy hit that pile like Keith Richards found his lost nickel bag. G’head! They should be serving nitroglycerin on the side.
It actually helped when the entrees arrived before the salads. Our host thankfully chided the delivery guys and sent the steaks back to the kitchen. Next thing the matire’d is tableside gushing apologies. With a promise that he would “make it up to us” we relaxed and the wives were able to shelve their embarrassment at my pal’s show of masculine restaurant decorum.
By dessert I was in a cholesterol/diabetic fog. I think the coffee was good. The wines were outstanding. Here they are.
2001 Ojai Vineyard Close Pepe Pinot Noir ~$40: We toted this in figuring it was worth the $25 corkage. And how about the new corkage retaliation? web_label-Ojai.gifI guess these big ticket steak brothels figure they need to squeeze every bit of cash from their customers so they have jacked the corkage fee to discourage folks from bringing their own trophy cab that is too young to drink anyway. This would be less objectionable if a wine list was in place with a selection that complemented a $125/plate. Like the basic fare, the list exchanges imagination for label flash. But I digress.SRH-gangsters-of-wine.jpg This wine was outstanding. Adam Tolmach is a master winemaker working with fruit from one of the top three vineyards in Santa Rita Hills. More importantly, Wes Hagen the grower (can you guess which is Wes?) and Adam T the winemaker share a stylistic and personality kinship. Adam is somber. Wes is lyrical. Both are serious experts at what they do. This wine will take more age and I would like to have several more bottles even though they will easily break the $20 limit. This wine moves to the “hunt list”; a small and distinct list of wines for which I am always on the hunt. What else is on my hunt list? Ask me another time. Adam extracted lots of fruit from the Clos Pepe tonnage which is his way. The wine has aged enough to show some dried flowers character. Cola and sour milk flavors sounds absolutely disgusting but that is my best description. This comes from very ripe fruit. Only 200 cases. 14.5%. For some fun and to perhaps learn a bit more about Wes and Adam be sure to read Adam’s “tasting notes” from his website.

Potelcotedenuit2003.jpg2003 Nicolas Potel Nuits St George $105 (on the list):
Delicious wine. It is the “village wine” from Nicolas Potel who is a newcomer in Burgundy (1997). 2003 was an unusually hot vintage. This wine was ripe with lean characteristics of northern Burgundy. It was balanced and tasted like French pinot noir. Cherry and blackberry fruit. Tannic but no barnyard. If you like Nuits St George, which I do, then this wine is very pleasing. Retails is in the $50s so Mr. Larry – birthday boy – picked a value winner.
Our hosts were the best company as always and, along with the wines, the best thing about the dinner!

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