One of the hardest parts about eating dinner is deciding what to have. The next time you can’t decide what to have, use the simply designed, single-serving site “What The Fuck Should I Have For Dinner“. It’ll provide you, in the most vulgar way possible, with a dinner suggestion and a link to the suggested meal’s recipe. Now go match your attitude with your appetite! There is even a fucking vegetarian option. And if you’re on the fucking go you can also get the fucking iPhone app.
Wine rules are more like the pirate’s code: more of a set of guidelines.There’s considerable room for experimentation and expression of your own personality in pairing food and wine. The rules for wine pairing have relaxed a bit, but the fact remains that certain flavors of food and wine mix better together than others. Remember, rules are meant to be broken and the best pairings are the ones that bring you joy.
Syrah: Matches with highly spiced dishes
When a meat is heavily seasoned—like Asian-Spiced Pork Shoulder and Cumin-Spiced Burgers—look for a red wine with lots of spicy notes. Syrah from Washington, Cabernet Franc from France and Xinomavro from Greece are all nice choices.
Grüner Veltliner: Pairs with dishes that have lots of fresh herbs
Austrian Grüner Veltliner’s citrus-and-clover scent is lovely when there are lots of fresh herbs in a dish. Other go-to grapes in a similar style include Albariño from Spain and Vermentino from Italy.
Pinot Noir: Is great for dishes with earthy flavors
Recipes made with ingredients like mushrooms and truffles taste great with reds like Pinot Noir and Dolcetto, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth.
Dry Rosé: For rich, cheesy dishes
Some cheeses go better with white wine, some with red; yet almost all pair well with dry rosé, which has the acidity of white wine and the fruit character of red. This makes it the go-to wine when serving a wide range of hors d’oeuvres, from crudités to gougères.
Sauvignon Blanc: Goes with tart dressings and sauces
Tangy foods—like Scallops with Grapefruit-Onion Salad or Sour-Orange Yucatán Chicken—won’t overwhelm zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde from Portugal and Verdejo from Spain. The bright, citrusy acidity acts like a zap of lemon or lime juice to heighten flavors in everything from smoked sablefish to grilled salmon.
Zinfandel: For pâtés, mousses and terrines
If you can use the same adjectives to describe a wine and a dish, the pairing will often work. For instance, the words rustic and rich describe Zinfandel, Italy’s Nero d’Avola and Spain’s Monastrell as well as Creamy Chicken-Liver Mousse.
Pinot Grigio: Pairs with light fish dishes
Light seafood dishes, like Seafood Tostada Bites, seem to take on more flavor when matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy or Chablis from France.
Malbec: Won’t be overshadowed by sweet-spicy barbecue sauces
Malbec, Shiraz and Côtes-du-Rhône are big and bold enough to drink with foods brushed with heavily spiced barbecue sauces like Chicken Drumsticks with Asian Barbecue Sauce
Chardonnay: For fatty fish or fish in a rich sauce
Silky whites—for instance, Chardonnays from California, Chile or Australia—are delicious with fish like salmon or any kind of seafood in a lush sauce. Try Sizzling Shrimp Scampi or Crisp Salmon with Avocado Salad.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Is fabulous with juicy red meat
California Cabernet, Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends are terrific with steaks or chops. The firm tannins, the astringent compounds in these red wines that help give the wine structure, refresh the palate after each bite of meat.
Champagne: Is perfect with anything salty
Most dry sparkling wines, such as brut Champagne and Spanish cava, actually have a faint touch of sweetness. That makes them extra-refreshing when served with salty foods.
Rosé Champagne: Is great with dinner, not just hors d’oeuvres
Rosé sparkling wines, such as rosé Champagne, cava and sparkling wine from California, have the depth of flavor and richness to go with a wide range of main courses.
Off-Dry Riesling: Pairs with sweet & spicy dishes
The slight sweetness of many Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vouvrays helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes. In addition, when confronted with dishes like a fiery curried chicken or Thai stir-fry, wines that are low in alcohol keep the oils that make food hot from being overly accentuated.
Old World Wines: Are intrinsically good with Old World dishes
The flavors of foods and wines that have grown up together over the centuries—Tuscan recipes and Tuscan wines, for instance—are almost always a natural fit.
Moscato d’Asti: Loves fruit desserts
Moderately sweet sparkling wines such as Moscato d’Asti, demi-sec Champagne and Asti Spumante help emphasize the fruit in the dessert, rather than the sugar.
This was (mostly) stolen directly from Food & Wine and reprinted here so you don’t have to click 15 times to see it all. If you are looking for more specific pairings check out the table at Gourmet Sleuth.
It’s been so long since I wrote on here that it’s hard to get started again. Last Friday we hosted a dinner party and had a bunch of friends over. G made her Penne a la Vodka specialty, accidentally using vanilla vodka, which in the end, turned out wonderful. It was touch and go there for a few minutes though.
Saturday was filled with parties. The two parties we attended were juxtapositions of each other. One was holiday attire, the other was masquerade. One showed a well produced engagement video on a large screen TV, the other had a V.J. who projected experimental video clips onto the wall. One was held in a community center, the other was held in an Uptown Victorian. One had light blues music playing throughout, the other had D.J.s, drum circles, and guitar jams. One had an incredible spread of homemade food that tasted like it was catered, the other had nothing but booze and beer. At one we sat on ottomans and socialized, at the other we danced and smoked cigarettes on the roof. At one I felt very grown up at the other I felt… very grown up.
When I made the reservation for eight of us at Cafe Star, it sounded like they might have trouble tabling that many people on a Friday, they took the reservation anyway. When I arrived with only two others they seated us immediately not once asking when the rest of the party will arrive. They quickly took our drink orders and we had full glasses of delicious Cheapskate Cabernet and a bottle of bubbling Vino Verde (not Prosecco) waiting for everyone when they showed. When the other six people arrived, they accommodated our extra arrival without rancor and quickly had another place set before she even reached the table. Our waitress, the dear Andrea, whom I had already fell head over heels for, answered all of our questions patiently and knowledgably. And trust me, we bombarded her with questions about everything on the menu! My wine glass was never empty, nobody attempted to take my plate before I was done (a common occurrence with a slow eater like me), we were rarely bothered during our meals, and wholly taken care of. On top of all that, Andrea didn’t include gratuity in the bill, she knew full well that her performance would do the correct math. Amazing! Was there really this kind of service in a Denver restaurant? How completely refreshing. If this meal were based solely on service it would have been incredible.
Instead, Rebecca Weitzman, made Cafe Star top itself with menu that continues to amaze me. The menu changes to evolve with the season’s freshest produce and meats. Our table started off our meal with three flatbread pizzettas appetizers, all of which were unique and flavorful. We worked the kitchen over by each ordering a unique dish (doubling up on only one plate) and every one of them was delicious. Portions seem small at first glance but are rich and intense with unique flavors. Our buffalo steak was returned because it was a little undercooked, but it came out three minutes later seared to perfection and was promptly devoured. I ordered the lamb which was heaven on a plate and a perfectly sized portion for such a rich cut of meat. There was no problem finding dishes for the vegetarians in our party (and not just pasta with vegetables) though the pressed eggplant was probably the only dish not to my liking. In my opinion the best dish on the table was the lobster-and-rock-shrimp pot pie riddled with tarragon, as comforting as comfort food gets, yet as luxurious as anything. My girlfriend ordered the crisp gnocchi with truffle oil and escargot, which I finished without question. Don’t miss the soft-sweet beets with pistachio-crusted goat cheese or the crab-filled potato ravioli with white truffle sauce. The desserts were good too, though no match for the entrees. You won’t be disappointed with the Chocolate and Chili Pot d’Creme.
Cafe Star is hip, without attitude. Somehow, the entire room feels like both a trendy hot spot and low-key neighborhood hangout. It’s colorful and creative. Flavored and textured.
Now if there were only more restaurants in this town on the same level of excellence as Cafe Star. Have any ideas?
On Friday I went up to Brekenridge.
My brother introduced me to a group of friends who were “displaced” by hurricane Katrina last summer. Suddenly, finding themselves homeless, a group of them decided to move out to Colorado, rent a house in Breckenridge, find some jobs in town, and become ski bums for the winter season. Brilliant! This weekend was the last weekend they were living in town (some are moving down to Denver, another is going back to NOLA). This was my last weekend to take advantage of the fact they lived so close to the mountains. Because it snowed another two inches, on what I was expecting to be a spring day, I decided to opt out of the skiing. I did not fail to take advantage of the hot tub though (and the partying going on around it). This also probably contributes to my not going skiing. As always though, a fun time was had by all.
Easter brunch was spent at my Fathers. All the traditional stuff plus figs. I had three deviled eggs, which has become my deviled egg norm. Afterward, my brother, Pandy, and I went to visit my Grandma. It just so happened that her old neighbors who helped her out so much when she was in the springs were there too. It was nice to see Grandma was getting other visitors and gave us plenty to talk about. Grandma seemed much happier than normal. That makes for a wonderful Easter. Dinner was over at G’s aunt’s house.
That’s a whole lot of ham for one day.
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure/displeasure of eating at one of Denver’s – scratch that – the Nation’s landmark restaurants: Casa Bonita.
Casa Bonita opened in 1974. It is over 52,000 square feet with seating for 1,100 guests and took one year to build. Since the Casa Bonita in Tulsa closed in September of 2005 (which I’m incredibly disappointed in never having had the chance to visit), Denver’s Casa Bonita is now one of a kind – with the exception of the soon to be open Casa Viva and The Mayan (which was sued by Casa Bonita). Casa Bonita achieved national recognition recently with it’s appearance on South Park.
I think it’s easily described as the offspring of a broken down Disneyland, less than stellar Taco Bell, long airport security lines, the Las Vegas Strip, Chunky Cheese, and good liquid acid.
Nearly everyone who has lived in Denver, for any amount of time, is going to know what casa Bonita is. And most of those people are going to gag at the mere mention of it’s name. In fact, the reputation of the food at Casa Bonita is so poor it has been deemed “Casa Don’t-eat-a” by many Denverites. Casa Bonita is not for the week of heart or the week of stomach. It is just as plastic as Vegas (maybe more). And the food is some of the worst I’ve ever had. For reals.
The lines to get into the Casa can be horrendous. Go on a weeknight, less screaming children and little-to-no lines. If you decide to make a weekend night out of it you can expect lines up to an hour long to get in. And often a 30 minute line can form just to get the hell out of there. You’ve been warned. Trust me, this is one of the last places on earth you want to feel trapped.
After you have made your order and paid (you didn’t think they’re going let you see what’s on your plate before you paid did you), you are ushered to another cafeteria style line were you get a tray and wait until a young lady asks, “wachoo order?”. Soon your meal comes sliding out of a mysterious hole in the wall were it waits for you under the heating lamps. I love the fact that you never see where or by whom your food is made – it just appears through a hole!
I can only harsh on Casa Bonita for so long though. I personally, have spent many a childhood birthday at Casa Bonita. It will forever hold a nostalgic place in my heart, no matter how many times I end up puking in the fountain on the way out.
And so the fun begins. After getting your slop you’ll be lead to your seat. Everyone asks for a seat by the waterfall. Don’t. The smell of chlorine will get your stomach upset before you have a chance to drink your first coronaita. And they won’t seat you there anyway. One of the coolest things about Casa Bonita is all the cool rooms they can seat you in. There are gazebos, waterfall seating, mines, cave rooms, “open air” seating, and the governors mansion.
In addition to magic shows, Casa Bonita has all kinds of other entertainment including pupppet shows, flame jugglers, a wishing well, a roaming mariachi band (which reportedly can’t play anything other than ‘happy birthday’), Black Barts cave, an arcade filled with 80’s video games and ski-ball, a souvenir store filled with absolute shit – and t-shirts, “authentic” Mexican dancers, a wishing well, piñatas for the kids, and all kinds of other stuff. Casa Bonita is great to go exploring in. Go thru a door your not supposed, search around, there is cool stuff to be found.
But by far the main attraction at Casa Bonita is the thirty-foot waterfall. Everyone seems to fall into the waterfall. If it’s not the regular divers doing flips, it’s Black Bart being shot by the sheriff and falling into the pool, or Chiquita the gorilla running around it escaping her captor and harassing the patrons. It’s the waterfall that makes Casa Bonita really unique. The diver’s at Casa Bonita even have there own blog featuring Chiquita.
Go to Tiki Boyds and get a drink called the Casa Bonita. Refreshing!
Her reminiscing about Casa Bonita really hit home with me.
This dude made a video of his Casa Bonita experience.
Jeffery Sward has some great phtography of Casa Bonita.
The death metal band Carrion Crawler once did a short show on the Casa Bonita stage before getting kicked off.
Some more Casa Bonita photos can be found
This is a decent post about the Casa.
Please share you favorite / nostalgic / least favorite stories about the Casa. Or, just comment on how absolutly jealous you are of not being able to go here every weekend!
Last night, my father, my brother, his girlfriend and myself all went to Mr. Sushi in order to celebrate Thanksgiving early because some of us will be out of town on the 27th. We ordered way too much food as is Thanksgiving tradition (or so I’ve been told). I walked out of Mr. Sushi filled to the gills (heh heh). We were the only ones in the restaurant. My father said grace before we ate and I think this is the only time I’ve ever said grace in a public place. Our family always says grace before X-mas and Thanksgiving dinners. We don’t go to church though. Dinner was a real good time and the sushi was decent. Everyone was in a real goof-off mood: joking, mocking around and laughing. One of my more enjoyable Thanksgiving dinners.
I went up to Boulder last night. I hadn’t been there in close to a year. And boy was it worth the drive. I met Katy and a couple of her business clients at Japango for dinner. All you can eat dinner. All you can eat sushi dinner! All you can eat sushi dinner for $27!! And two-for-one drinks ’til 6 o’clock. We sat there for three-and-a-half hours and gorged ourselves. We must have ordered a couple hundred dollars worth of sushi. My god what a fucking feast. It actually physically hurt to walk out of the restaurant. There was a down side though.