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Tuesday, January 21, 2014


The setting was HASR (best as I can tell, this stands for Highly Allocated Spoiled Rotten) Bistro in Chinatown, an award winning dining spot in town.:

Chris Ramelb (below with Linda and Bruce) was selected as the local finalist to the Young Sommelier Competition to be held in Carmel:

A long time ago, the late State Senator Richard Matsuura "bragged" that his nephew was studying wine tasting in France, and would come back to be the premier sommelier of the state.  Richard had this vision of bringing water (hopefully to be paid for by the U.S. Department Defense for the Pohakuloa Training Area) from the Hilo side over the Saddle Road to the West side of the Big Island, where conditions were studied to be ideal for grape growing.  Although Richard's dream never quite made it, yet, his nephew is Chuck Furuya, who did become Hawaii's best, and is Chris's mentor.

Chaine des Rotisseurs had a reasonably good meal with wines from Gordon Estate:
  • 2012 Chardonnay (13.7%)
  • 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (13.8%)
  • 2010 Merlot (13.9%)
  • 2012 Reserve Tradition (50% each, Cab and Syrah, 13.8%)
Gordon is located in Columbia Valley, the largest wine region in the state of Washington.  Ninety-nine percent of Washington vineyards are located here.

There was a general consensus that the Merlot was the best of the lot.  Both the Tradition and Chardonnay seemed without sufficient body.  Jeff Gordon to the right.

The dinner began with a butter poached lobster and avolemeno (chicken with lemon and eggs) soup:

Against my better judgement (I'm allergic to crustaceans), I ate the lobster and finished the soup.  Thankfully, nothing bad happened.  Across me sat Harry and those wine glasses:

To my right sat Maria.

Chef Kai Cowell was on my left.  She showed interest in my apartment, which is now up for sale.....Rainbows.....Sunsets!

Aesthetically, the second course was a seared duck and asparagus salad:

Excellent.  Then came three types of veal:  escalloped, sweetbread and cheek:

Quite good, but  could have been warmer.  The final entrĂ©e was New Zealand Venison with foie gras ravioli, but this dish, unfortunately, was 50 F degrees too cold, so didn't deserve a photo.  The dessert was fresh strawberries marsala (sugar and marsala wine).  Another enjoyable Chaine gathering.

I might add that the following day I had lunch with Polly and Mino Tamashiro who will probably be moving into 15 Craigside this month:

That's my lunch, kind of Korean, with kim chee, some kind of fish, brown rice, tsukemono, one cube of Okinawa purple sweet potato and I don't remember what that dark green stuff was on top.  This came with a generous salad and navy bean soup.  I was trying to be health conscience.  Oh, we had a special Stanford Alumni merlot/cab, and just about finished it.  So much for the health part.


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