Daily Archives: 02/02/2011

Traverse City, MI

(Community Matters) spoke with my husband this morning. It’s snowing and windy – 16F, feels like -2F.  well, not sure NY’s rainy cold will be better. We picked the wrong times to travel – or they picked us. I’d rather do a roaring fire and a day of snuggling with Steven.

More Italians

(Community Matters) In early January, our quest for the best Italian reds was left unsatisfied (did ok w/ whites), so we scheduled another round this time at Congress Bar. Enlisted their sommelier, June Rodil, to guide us.  And, she did – quite ably and graciously. Even more than guiding us through the reds, in our conversations, she helped me further pinpoint what it is I like in reds and from where they are likely to come – colder temperatures than most Italians. The colder temps of Bordeaux, Germany and even Austria yielding earthier tastes rather than fruity. And, along with Graham Reynolds (my co-conspirator on this quest to taste and identify more wines & liquors) the three of us acknowledged, most wines available for tasting by flights or by glass are simply limited. We may make one more pass at Italians, this time investing in 3 top bottles – so maybe we should expand our tasters by 4, nah, maybe 1.

Of those we tasted (after starting with June’s required Prosecco :)), we tried a Selveplana sangiovese which was way too fruity, a Dolcetto d Alba – though from Piedmont, ditto. Moving into the nebbiolos from the northern (colder) Piedmont region, found the comforting minerals and savory herbs.

savory . . .  Chef Bull was on hand last night and concocted 3 vegan courses which left me wanting nothing more. Seriously, I’d convert to vegan if I could eat like that every day. Delivering each to our table, explaining ingredients and preparation, it felt as if we were sitting at the chef’s table . . . quite a treat especially since we were not even in the restaurant but in the bar. Just a tomato sauce he says . . . but when asked how prepared, it reminds me of the three days prep and reduction of just the Virginia pot pie – from a 3 year old hen raised on . . .

Owners Jeff Trigger and Dave Shaw also on hand, ever the gracious hosts. Hank Cathey and Ron Berry were at the bar when we arrived (Ron after his first meeting as a new member of Graham’s & Peter Stopschinski’s Golden Hornet Project). Ended the night with my first Manhattan – expertly ordered by Graham – Thomas Handy rye, Carpano Antica vermouth & bitters – & perfectly prepared by mixologist Adam Bryan. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to like fruity and this posting is overly flowery – but that’s the reality of Congress Bar, Congress Restaurant and Second Bar & Kitchen. ughh, speaking of Manhattan, I hear it’s 40 and raining, I gotta dash, I’m due there this evening.

Thomas Friedman: BE, AE

(Community Matters) Thomas Friedman in the NYTimes: B.E., Before Egypt. A.E., After Egypt

[a retired Israeli general:] “Well, everything we thought for the last 30 years is no longer relevant.”

This is a perilous time for Israel, and its anxiety is understandable. But I fear Israel could make its situation even more perilous if it succumbs to the argument one hears from a number of senior Israeli officials today that the events in Egypt prove that Israel can’t make a lasting peace with the Palestinians. It’s wrong and dangerous

To put it bluntly, if Israelis tell themselves that Egypt’s unrest proves why Israel cannot make peace with the Palestinian Authority, then they will be talking themselves into becoming an apartheid state  they will be talking themselves into permanently absorbing the West Bank and thereby laying the seeds for an Arab majority ruled by a Jewish minority between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

[and that will not sustain – the price potentially cataclysmic]