June 24, 2007

The best chicken in the world

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Last week I had dinner with a couple of my French friends at a Japanese fusion restaurant called San San Trois. It has become one of my favorite places to go, because some of their specialties are just so amazing. And we always have the same courses.

We always start out with two types of sushi: seared toro, where the delicious fat just melts in your mouth; and foie gras sushi, where the foie gras is pan-fried and is then paired with rice and nori. A great way to start dinner.

Then, if the restaurant happens to have it, we would order the "neck" of the tuna, the part between the gills and the rest of the fish. This is roasted and again the fat is really delicious. The dark meat of the tuna here actually makes a good match with red wines.

What usually follows is the pièce de résistance: the Bresse chicken. These are free range chickens which were the first to achieve appellation origin controlée (AOC) status in France. They are pretty big birds and are simply gorgeous when they are roasted, feet and all. This is why we come to this restaurant and it never disappoints. I think it's the most delicious chicken in the world.

Finally, we end up with the US ribeye which is also wonderful. It may not have the buttery fat of wagyu, but it is oh-so-tender and they can actually do it bleu the way Frenchies like it. By this time, the three of us are completely stuffed, but also completely satisated.

BTW, the wines we had were the 1999 Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fume de Pouilly Pur Sang, from one of the best Loire winemakers today; and the 1990 Jayer-Gilles Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Hauts Poirets.

Another year older

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Just had another birthday so now I'm another year older but none the wiser. I actually spent a quiet evening at home and didn't go out to celebrate, since I would have two celebratory dinners one week apart starting today. But I did invite my neighbors Winnie and Colin (who are due to move house today) to come and drink a nice bottle of wine.

I opened a bottle of 1970 BV Georges de Latour and decanted it. The last time I had this was 5 years ago with a bottle purchased while tasting at BV. That was a great bottle and fulfilled all my expectations. Would this bottle be the same, even though I bought it from Winebid.com?

The verdict was positive. The wine remained rather closed in the beginning while it was sitting in bottle and later in the closed decanter, but once we started drinking it gradually opened up. At its peak about 2 1/2 hours after opening, the wine was drinking beautifully, with a full-blown nose of sweet red fruits and a hint of smokiness.

My friend Colin just had his birthday a few weeks ago and I realized that he was also born in my year, and had never had anything from his vintage, so this was a nice treat for him. We have both read Taber's Judgement in Paris so he also knew a little about the history of BV and the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff. The 1970 would still have been made by Andre and his son Dmitri. I hope to have another opportunity to drink this wine in another 5 years!


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