February 2012 - Please The Palate
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Known for infamous brunches and late night parties in New York, Bagatelle has hit the west coast!  Located in the heart of West Hollywood, you will feel like you have traveled to St.Tropez where you can eat, drink and party in style. The bar program is managed by Zach Patterson who has created the French-inspired cocktail menu. With the white decor of Bagatelle, the bright, colorful cocktails "look like a rainbow against the backdrop," Zach explained.  "There is a purple [prickly pear] drink, a yellow [passion fruit] drink and even a black drink with squid ink."  The cocktails are all light, fresh and bright, enabling customers to drink more than one, or two, or three.....so watch out!
The Tre Bicchieri World Tour came to San Francisco to showcase the 2012 Tre Bicchieri winners, the top-rated Italian wines of the past year.  Organized by Gambero Rosso, which began in 1986, more than 20,000 wines were tasted by the panels, who awarded one, two, or three "Bicchieri" (or "glasses") to wines of exceptional character and quality.  This year every style of Italian wine and every region was represented among the 375 that received the highest rating of Tre Bicchieri (three glasses). As I typically organize events of this kind, I rarely have the opportunity to spend the entire afternoon tasting and learning and not running around keeping everything organized.  Walking into a room with more than 130 producers (and 300+ wines) can be rather overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Should you taste by varietal?  by region?  all whites and then reds?  By the time you figure out how you are going to approach the tasting, you have lost valuable tasting time.  Luckily, I had the great pleasure to taste the wines alongside Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson, wine educator and author of books such as Great Wine Made Simple. Andrea recommends jumping back and forth between varietals, styles and regions so that your palate doesn't get fatigued quickly.  With her guidance, we tasted through more than half the tasting in just over two hours.
Every so often, a leisurely lunch is in order.....the kind that starts at noon and ends when dinner service begins. An ideal setting is Providence Restaurant where a recent Friday afternoon was spent.  Providence, open for lunch only on Fridays, is the embodiment of perfection.....from the atmosphere and service to the food and presentation.  Owner Donato Poto, Chef Michael Chimarusti and Sommelier Drew Langley make sure that every step of the experience is impeccable......it's no wonder lunch lasted 5 hours.