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Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Passion on the Vine – a review

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

When one looks at a vineyard – you’re not looking at it in the same way as you would look at an orange orchard. Instead one sees a multitude of experiences past and of moments yet to come – moments of intimacy, memorable occasions, conversations and treasured friendships. Since time immemorial, vineyards have not only been the touchstone of certain regions, but have often been the lifeblood of local communities and the cornerstone of entire generations of families. Every vineyard contains a family, a , a and a . This was at least, the sentiment I had before embarking on a mission to City, where I would promote and sell ’s connected to my family in some ways, and more importantly – from my country. During that time – having spent much time in for the mission, I left with those stories and sentiments of culture and family fresh in my blood. But with every -call and I began to feel further and further from the vineyard. Soon it was about laid in cost, case-discounts and what kind of Point of Sale material was on offer. I travelled the country in a rental car with a case of , a corskrew and a -point presentation along the way having people from Westchester Wine Warehouse cruelly spit wine on my shoe after having left me waiting for an hour, sitting in cold-rooms of cellars in Maryland, helping do stock-takes in Ohio, presenting to Wholefoods buyers in North Carolina and pushing on-premise retail in : and with every step I became a bit more confused and lost the focus of what I was doing. Having believed that wine was so important to my country and stepping into the States to tell the story of South African wine, it was very dispiriting to suddenly be faced with the fact that no one really cared so long as they could make a profit.


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10 Degrees South, Atl, Ga

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

10 Degrees SouthThis so far is my favorite in . Incredible representation of South African cuisine and atmosphere. Part of the is an outdoor awning with design style very close to a on the coast. Very rustic and breezy. I had the Kingclip fish, indigenous to , and it was nothing short of amazing – I’ve got to rate it up there with salmon as one of my favorites. My gf had ostrich, which seems like a stretch, but it was equally as tasty. Very fresh concept with exotic – Love it! The Ferraris usually parked out front don’t hurt either — *****, $$

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Caveau Wine Bar, Heritage Square, Cape Town

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Caveau Wine Bar Caveau is a good escape from Long Street’s chiaroscuro of either uber-pretentious or super-scummy dives… I swear I will never set foot in Miam Miam again but Marvel also grows a little old once you tire of becoming a human bolus being masticated against the gyrating bodies of every tourist and pick-pocket in Cape Town.

Caveau is a breath of fresh air for the city centre, with an urban-rustic feel to it, combining class and elegance with a laid back environment. The design, lay out and mood leave you feeling like you’ve stepped out of and discovered a more modern Franschoek. On the three occasions I’ve been there I’ve shared a bottle of their 2004 Spice Route Mourvedre. Accustomed to the Cape’s usual Noble varietals it’s amazing to see how well other cultivars benefit from the Cape’s rich soils. This is a nice big red that has a faint bloody-Maryesque note on the nose. It’s great to see how this Spanish has done – bring on Tempranillo!

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Shiki Sushi, RTP, NC

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

I’ve had sushi in NY, San Fran, LA, Chicago, , and I still keep coming back to Shiki Sushi. The Shiki chefs put incredible creativity and imagination into their craft – their sushi is pure aesthetic perfection with beautiful colors and display complemented by a euphoric taste experience of flavors and textures. Along with its upbeat ambience, Shiki provides the ultimate sensual satisfaction . I love all the new hybrid lounges starting up that realize dining out is about the complete sensual experience. If ever in the Research Triangle Park, NC, Shiki is a must. Oh ya, and it’s always buy 1 get 1 free! *****, $$

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Posted in Food, Lifestyle, Restaurant Review | 2 Comments »

The Grape – getting it right. Restaurant 2.0

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

The Grape

Jake and Greg were at The Grape this last weekend, and over the past year or so in our brainstorms The Grape has come up time and again as a place that just gets it. Take for example their list and recommendations – which is perhaps the first time I’ve ever seen a list that makes sense.

We know how different Shiraz can show, that Sauvignon Blanc rarely has the same face region to region and that Pinot Grigio doesn’t always go well with food – and a / bar does its clientèle no favors by just dividing wine into Red and White, or they divide it into countries – and the emerging trend is to divide it into varietals.

The Grape does something unheard of to date: they divide their wine into taste. More than that they then give you a taste profile match on their menu, dish by dish. I have probably sampled less than a thousand wines in my life – and I certainly don’t remember all the names because I’m no Michael Broadbent. When I’m looking at a wine, I want to know its taste flavor profile – and if I’m paying $20 a bottle, I’ll be pretty ticked if its not what I want. This kind of a menu system is helpful to anyone… I know because when I’m out to dinner with they always ask me to help pick the wine: but The Grape allows people to choose the wine for themselves. What I further like about The Grape is that its more than a restaurant – because their venues are usually really good places to just hang out. It’s a destination brand – allowing dining, entertainment, exploration and with their innovative wine list: education. It’s really refreshing to see a mainstream brand that has begun to take its customer’s taste seriously.

allows you to design your own flight of three or more wines from our One through Eight Grape classifications and from our Nine and Ten Grape specials. Choose from all wines with a “Grape Bunch” designation in our wine menu to create your unique tasting flight, served in our special glasses for your ultimate tasting experience. At The Grape, Your Taste is All that Counts.”


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Posted in Culture, Design, Dining, Food, Lifestyle, Marketing, Wine | 10 Comments »