Tag Archives: food and wine

A Night to Remember at Deuxave Restaurant

The library ladder that leads to a wall of wine at Deuxave

To continue on in our recent journey of Oregon wine, the Bauer team headed over to Deuxave Restaurant and Bar on Monday, October 1st to attend a winemaker dinner with Dave Adelsheim of Adelsheim Winery.

Glass cubes full of wine flank the front door

Before we get into the wine, the dinner and, of course, Dave.  I want to talk about Deuxave.  Those of you in the Boston area need to do yourself a favor and go have dinner in this restaurant.  Starting from the moment you walk in the door, you will be awed.  The décor is fresh, beautiful and modern.   It was in this dining room that I saw two features to covet and dream about putting into my own home.  It can only be described as a wine lovers paradise.  Starting with the glass block cubes holding wine to the library style ladder to climb to beautiful shelves of wine (both pictured above), I can picture my home office with them and I want them now.

Deuxave is a food and wine lover’s paradise.  Executive Chef and Owner Chris Coombs may be young but he commands the kitchen with panache.  Plenty of high-end restaurants can crow about their food and wine pairing abilities but few can match the talent of Coombs.  His courses were impeccably prepared but what really stood out was his ability to match Dave Adelsheim’s wines perfectly.  This was no ordinary wine dinner.  Each course was so well thought out and perfectly paired that you could almost imagine that this meal was planned from the moment the grapes were planted and each cow, duck and clam was groomed from birth for this night.

The Dinner Menu (try not to drool):

Adelsheim Winery was established in 1971.  Dave was among the first pioneering men to decide to plant vinifera in the cool climate of Oregon.  Dave, admittedly, “never grown grapes, never made wine, never sold wine, and never ran a business; the four skills you really need” to open a winery.  But what he did have was passion.  Thankfully, his passion turned to skill after he traveled to Burgundy, France.  In 1978, they turned out the first vintage, roughly 800 cases and never looked back.  Yes, it was hard to sell in the beginning.  No one had ever heard of growing grapes in Oregon and the Adelsheims put their wines in the back of their station wagon and hoped they could at least sell their product to the local restaurants.

After making headway in their own state Adelsheim knew it was time to step out and show his wines to the rest of the country.  Howie Rubin and the rest of the Bauer team are proud to say that Boston is the first city to embrace Oregon wines.  Being a pioneering city, it makes sense that these wines made their way to the national stage through Boston.  Bauer stocked Oregon wines and began to hand sell them until they took off.  Now our clientele come in and ask where they can find these wines on the shelf.

The wines we relished in were all distinctly Oregon.  The cocktail wine, 2011

John enjoying the Auxerrois at the bar

Auxerrois, was a very fresh white that is traditionally an Alsatian grape but has all but disappeared from the landscape.  We are so glad that a couple of producers in Oregon are growing it now, including Adelsheim.  It had an herbaceous nose of tarragon and fennel that led to flavors of green pear, citrus blossom and fresh herbs.  The perfect wine to start the night.

With our first course, the 2011 Pinot Gris was perfect with the littleneck clams.  Coombs is a genius with sauces and this was no exception.  The Chorizo oil pick up the papaya notes and the apple salad highlighted the apple flavor in the wine.  The touch of creaminess in the Pinot Gris was brought out by the cream in the sauce.  Not overdone but just right.  John and I slurped every bit of the sauce on the plate with our clam shells happily!

Mid course was an amazing duck confit that had the 2010 Estate Pinot Noir paired with it.  As silence fell over the table, I knew we had something great on our hands.  The candied fruit aromas and flavors were highlight by the Black Mission figs on the plate.  The acid of the Pinot Noir cut into the fattiness of the duck.  It was elegant, refined and the tannins were seamlessly integrated and silky.

Not to be outdone by the duck, the following main course was  the herb roasted beef tenderloin that was served with 2009 Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir.  As we all buried our noses into the glass, there was a collective, “whoa” as we took it all in.  More powerful than the estate Pinot, the intense and multi-layered Elizabeth’s Reserve offered us raspberry, brown spices and a little woodiness that was picked up by the herbs on the beef.  Each of us ate slowly, savoring each bite and taking a sip of wine.  This was an expression of Pinot Noir at its greatest.

Part of what made this dinner so great was the fact that Coombs and Adelsheim did not follow that path of traditional American restaurants and end our dinner with dessert.  Rather, we switched back to a white wine and delved into the cheese course.  A Vermont goat cheese with the various accoutrements was served with the 2009 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay.  The wine was beautifully balanced with acidity to slice through the rich goat cheese.  Layers of lemon blossom, apple, honey and a touch of nuttiness polished us off completely.

After being spoiled for hours on end, all of us here at Bauer can only beg the question… When is the next one?  Please Chris and Deuxave…we need another fix!

Wine, Hangovers & Work…Thanks Boston Wine Festival!

With head in hand, I take my sip of coffee and swallow down the enormous portion of Advil I need to start my recovery.  It seemed like such a great idea yesterday and today I can only say…ouch. But we had a great night at the Boston Harbor Hotel for the Opening Reception of the 23rd annual Boston Wine Festival.  So the pain is worth it.

About 5:45 last night, Howie, John and I started shaking off the dust of an otherwise normal workday.  We put on our nice duds and set off for the Boston Harbor Hotel in great anticipation of delicious wines and Chef Bruce’s ridiculously good food.

For once, the traffic gods were on our side and we got to the BHH early.  In our world, that means a quick stop at the bar before heading to the reception.  Howie, John and I cozied up to the bar and ordered some spirits to “cleanse our palates.”  Yeah.  Right.  Like we really needed an excuse for a pre-game cocktail.  Naturally, we weren’t the first ones there.  Our friend Donna was one Manhattan in already and she was feeling festive!

After our pre-reception cocktails, we approached the Wharf Room right on the water and I knew we were in for a special treat.  In fact, I was so in awe of the beautiful setting that I totally forgot to take a picture.  So here is a stock picture I pulled off the internet to give you an idea of what it looked like inside.As we walked in we were greeted by both Chef Daniel Bruce and a lovely young women holding a tray of Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Brut.  Chef enthusiastically welcomed his friends from Bauer Wines and told us to get inside to taste his delicious food.

Chef Daniel Bruce & Howie

Stepping inside, we were wowed by the surroundings but it didn’t take us long to get on task.  Heading right over to Tom Vincent’s table we indulged in the 2008 Mica Cabernet from Napa Valley.  Silky with rich black fruits, Mica lingered perfectly.  We also tried Sean Thackery’s Pleiades Old Vines.  A blend of several varietals, it was earthy with rich, mouth filling flavors of bold cherries, raspberry liqueur and a hint of oaky vanilla.

Next we took a quick stop to see our good friend Jacob Jata to see what his table was offering.  There we were poured Ramey Chardonnay and Donelan Family Winery’s Venus, a delicate offering of 90% Rousanne and 10% Viognier.  If the Venus is any indication of the rest of the Donelan Family’s portfolio, I am guaranteed to have a great dinner with them on January 18 at the BHH (tickets still available!).

Jacob talking wine.

From there on out, it was a blur of good food, great wine and fun conversation.  Yes, John and I took a time out to enjoy some of Chef ‘s food.  We would have never made it if we hadn’t.  Not to mention, who would want to miss out of Chef’s creations?  That’s just crazy (Yes Howie…I am talking to you).

Seared Tuna, Calamari, Lobster, Hake Cake and Pork Tenderloin.

The highlights for myself were the Mica Cabernet and both of the Trimbach Wines: 2004 Reserve Personelle Pinot Gris and the 2005 Frederic Emile Riesling.  Howie loved the Elio Grasso 2006 Barolo, the Forman Vineyard’s Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Sean Thackery’s Pleiades Old Vine.  John agreed with our choices but added in the La Jota 2007 Cabernet Franc and the 2009 Justin Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.  We may have had our different favorites, but we all agreed that there were some stellar wines being poured for us.  I can’t lie…working in the wine business does help one get a bigger pour than the average person.  Perhaps that is why I felt so awful this morning.  Yup.  That’s exactly why John and I are walking a little slower, head hanging, and intolerant of any noise today.

More pictures of our night for you but first, I must warn you.  My camera’s battery died and I was forced to take pictures with my iPhone.  So, by no means, are these high quality pictures:

John & Chris

John taking a time-out from tasting

John posing with his wine

Donna, Howie and John

Harvest Time is coming. Do You Know What’s Happening at your Local Wineries?

As the harvest season approaches, I can’t help but wonder how much the wine-faithful of Boston know about the local vineyards that are gearing up for their busiest time of the year.  For those that are not in the know, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have some fantastic small production vineyards that should not be discounted.  Loved by locavores and critics, wineries  in  New England are worth the drive for both their offerings and the beautiful scenery.

Let’s face it, there is no where prettier on earth than New England in the fall and a visit to one of the wineries will show you just how beautiful it is.  Aside from the iconic scenery though, many people do wonder how it is possible to produce great wine in such a short growing season.   Comparable to the weather in the Loire Valley in France, the Southeastern facing coastline allows the warm Gulf Stream waters to keep these vineyards growing into the fall. And it’s all in the grapes; Southern New England wineries are producing mostly white wine, and sparkling and cool weather reds.  Only concentrating on vinifera varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, New England wineries are becoming rising stars in the wine world.

Now with that in mind, here are a few of my favorites that are a short drive from Boston:

Alfalfa Farm Winery Located at 267 Rowley Bridge Road in Topsfield, MA

Alfalfa Farm Winery is a family owned and operated vineyard that produces hand-crafted wines and hosts tasting events.    Throughout the summer (until August 28), Alfalfa hosts weekend tastings on Sunday from 1-5 pm.  Tastings expand in September until December to include Saturdays as well.  Looking for something to do other than just taste the wine?  Alfalfa loves to have volunteers help with their harvest!  You get paid with a T-shirt, lunch and some wine.

Visit their website www.alfalfafarmwinery.com for information about volunteering and check out their local festivals coming up.

Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery located at 417 Hixbridge Rd in Westport, MA

Westport Rivers believe that “Massachusetts’ grown wine is a blank canvas, begging for exploration and creativity.”   Once you visit their farm you learn all about ancient and new techniques of winemaking and how Westport Rivers uses them both to produce flavorful, crisp, cleans wines that Massachusetts should be proud to call their own.  Open for tastings Monday through Saturday from 11-5 pm; you should also check into their special tasting events such as barrel tastings of their Pinot Noir or Chardonnay!  Not to mention they have an art gallery and give private tours/tastings…

Visit Westport’s website for more information about all of their events!  www.westportrivers.com

Sakonnet Vineyards located at 162 West Main Rd in Little Compton, RI

This is a legendary vineyard because our very own Howie Rubin celebrated his nuptials at Sakonnet.  Tours and tastings are not the only offerings in this beautiful setting.  They have a separate, on-site B & B and offer cooking classes! Their “Master Chefs Series” is a series of several one-day classes with top chefs from Rhode Island and the Boston area, emphasizing the educational experience of combining food and wine.  While you are there, you can have a romantic picnic among the vines.  Just picture yourself….sitting with a glass of wine among the beautiful countryside that is divided by row after row of grapevines.

To learn more about tastings, cooking classes for events at Sakonnet visit their website: www.sakonnetwine.com

If you want more information about Wineries both along the coast and throughout the state here are some websites to check out:

www.coastalwinetrail.com

http://masswinery.com

http://turtlecreekwine.com/

Wine & Cheese Trail is now available too!

http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/docs/wine_cheese_brochure.pdf

Hey, I’m More Than Just a Cute, Fuzzy Face

After 12 years I have picked up a lot of wine knowledge from my humans.  All day I listen to Howie, John and Nick discuss wines with customers and amongst themselves.  You could say I have picked up a thing or two and I want to start sharing that with all of you.

Recently, I have been joining Corinne in the office as she writes because she likes the company and I get lots of attention.  Watching her work,  I got to thinking about my take on this store and my contributions.  I’m more than night-time security with a cute face and my voice needs to be heard.   I made it clear to Corinne

Sitting with Corinne waiting for a pat

that it was time for me to start my own recommendations.  As the king in this place, she immediately obeyed.  I always get what I want. I hope it will work on you too.  Let me send out the Jedi mind trick now:  mmmmmm…..tuna.  You want to give me tuna.  Delicious tuna….NOW.

But I digress…

You can ask Howie or John about their personal favorites and they will tell you all about them. Want my opinion?  Look around the store and you will start to find little grey cat stickers on my favorites.  I figured that was the easiest way to make recommendations since I am sleeping all day before my nighttime security shift in the store.

My wines right now are the NV Perrier-Jouet Champagne, 2010 Frisk Prickly Riesling, 2004 Trimbach Pinot Gris (hey…that’s named after me!) Reserve Personelle, and 2009 G.D. Vajra Langhe Ross.  Come check them out and make sure you buy one before they are gone!

Cheers!

Gris 

Oh so delicious Sangria!

Sangria sometimes get a bad rap that is not always undeserving.  Like any cocktail, if it is made with pre-mixed ingredients, you will end up with a syrupy sweet concoction that just  doesn’t do this historical drink justice.  I always endorse the use of fresh, quality ingredients in any cocktail, but that’s because I spend too many years behind a bar making them both ways.  The drinks that always got a “Wow!” were the ones that made to order with fresh juices, fruit and  garnishes.

Sangria should be no different.  Yes, it had a humble beginning in Spain but it has grown world-wide to be a refreshing party drink.  For you Jane Austen fans out there, The Claret Cup Punch she wrote about is, in fact, a sangria.  Mrs. Bennet served it after her mischevious daughter Lydia ran off with Wickham to celebrate their marriage, despite the scandal it caused in Pride & Prejudice.  In addition, Mr. Weston served it at his Christmas party, you know, the one where Mr. Elton imbibed too much and revealed his true feelings for the heroine in Emma.  Nearly everyone of Miss Austen’s stories has a party scene in which sangria was served.  And as it should be, sangria is a drink meant to be shared with friends over a punch bowl at a summer party.

But I digress….

Although Sangria is traditionally a punch made from red wine, modern recipes have evolved that use white wine and roses as well.  Rioja has been the most popular base but increasingly we’ve seen on restaurant menus white, rose and sparkling.   So I have decided to share with you my personal recipes for crowd pleasing cocktails.  I know that some people like to add fizz to their sangria so feel free to add seltzer to any of these still wine recipes.

Red Sangria:

1 BIG punch bowl

1 bottle of red wine.  Doesn’t have to be expensive.  I suggest Grenache or Rioja

½ cup of Clement Creole Shrubb (Orange liqeuor…can substitute Grand Marnier or Cointreau)

½ cup of raspberry or citrus flavored rum-depends on how fruity you like it.

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

1/3 cup freshly pureed raspberries

Soak overnight in the wine: sliced orange, lime, lemon, raspberries, blueberries, apples and red grapes (halved).  Then mix the rest the ingredients in before serving.  Garnish with a slice of orange and a raspberry skewered.

White Sangria: 

**This recipe also goes great with a sparkling wine like a Cava Brut or Prosecco.

1 BIG punch bowl

1 bottle of white wine.  I like Vinho Verde for the crisp flavors it adds.

½ cup of pear brandy

½ cup of peach flavored rum

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup    of freshly squeezed orange juice

1/3 cup freshly pureed peaches (for something more tropical use mangoes instead)

Soak overnight in the wine: sliced orange, lime, lemon, peach, apple, red and green grapes (halved).  Mix the rest of the ingredients in before serving.  Garnish with a slice of peach and a raspberry skewered.

Rose Sangria:

1 BIG punch bowl

1 bottle of rose.  Something dry and crisp like a rose from Provence.

½ cup of red berry flavored rum

½ cup of fruit liqueur.  I like Thatcher’s Blueberry or Yumberry

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup    of freshly squeezed orange juice

1/3 Cup of freshly pureed strawberries

Soak overnight in the wine: sliced orange, lime, lemon, strawberries (halved), red and green grapes (halved).  Mix the rest of the ingredients in before serving.  Garnish with a slice of strawberry.  Add basil for a delicious kick!

I know these recipes may seem like a lot of work but trust me, the end result is worth the effort.  Get your friends slicing up the fruit and you have got yourself a pre-party!

Happy Sangria making everyone!

Summer of Riesling and Dynamite Shrimp Kabobs

It’s the summer of Riesling according to Matt Reiser, the sommelier and beverage director at Upstairs on the Square, and I couldn’t be happier about it!  In celebration of this spectacular idea, we had a tasting on Thursday of international Rieslings with City Table in the Lenox Hotel.  It was the inaugural Chef’s Series event in Bauer and we were ready to eat great food and drink our way through the wines.  For those of you who haven’t heard of the Chef’s Series yet, Bauer is inviting Back Bay chefs into our store for special tasting events.  The chef brings in their specialty and we pair our wines for a tasting event that won’t soon be forgotten.

Sous Chef Sean MacAlpine prepared his Dynamite Shrimp Kabobs with pineapple BBQ sauce and salsa verde.    Just picture it… Jumbo shrimp on cane skewers brushed with Sean’s homemade BBQ sauce and grilled.  On the side, corn bread with hints of chili with a pineapple tomatillo salsa verde.  Are you drooling yet?  Sean’s dish was utterly delicious. The slight spiciness of the shrimp kabobs was offset by the the Rieslings perfectly.  Definitely a match made in heaven.

For our end we offered our faithful followers who trudged through the rain to attend, four Rieslings from around the world:  2010 Frisk Naturally Prickly Riesling from Victoria, Australia, 2010 Weingut Karl Erbes Riesling out of Mosel, Germany, 2008 Ravines Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes in New York and lastly a 2009 Hugel Riesling from Alsace, France.

A great big thank you goes out to City Table’s General Manager Robert George and Sous Chef Sean MacAlpine for a wonderful event! They were both great to work with and they certainly charmed all who walked through the door.  We hope to be able to work with them in the near future again!

Check out some of our attendees!  Thank you to everyone who came out on a Thursday for helping us make this a successful and fun night.

Demystifying Bordeaux

Let’s play a word association game. I say the word Bordeaux and what do you immediately say back to me.  My friends fired back with “expensive” and “wine snob.” It got me thinking about the world of wine and how certain areas are perceived. Bordeaux has been given the distinction of having some of the best terroir in the world and therefore produce the best wines at a very expensive price. This myth, however, is only partially true. Bordeaux still has the distinction of having the best terroir and the best wines, but they don’t have to be out of the average person’s league in price.
Although the elites are still around and still expensive, many have second label wines that are made with newer vines on the same terroir as their premier crus. These second label wines, unlike their expensive, older sisters, don’t have to be cellared for 10-30 years. They are meant to be enjoyed now. Of course, they are less polished, less structured and less complex but these second labels are no less drinkable.
So how do we know one of these second labels when we see them? Most often, the chateau’s name will not be on the label but the name will probably be close enough to reveal the winery. For example, I would love to buy a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild from the Pauillac region of Bordeaux. But seriously, $750-$1,250 for a single bottle of wine is a little out of my price range. Instead I brought home with me Baron de Rothschild Reserve Speciale Bordeaux. With its delicate tannins, this Bordeaux is easy drinking and delicious at the affordable price of $12.99 a bottle. Ripe red fruit, especially cherry, with just a hint of vanilla from the oak made me feel like I was drinking an expensive bottle nonetheless. This 2009 Bordeaux has 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is soft, well-rounded with just enough acidity to go well with food. Roasted lamb would be my first choice but I know there are many out there that say no to lamb. So as a back-up choice I would suggest entre cote bordelaise, or in English, a steak that is topped with carmelized shallots.

Other second label wines to look out for are Bahans Haut-Brion from Chateau Haut-Brion, Les Forts de Latour from Chateau Latour, and Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux from Chateau Margaux.  When I see these wines on the shelf I just grab them.  You get the name of a big Bordeaux without the price tag that goes with it.  These wines certainly take the expense and snobbery out of Bordeaux.

Nick’s adventures in stunning Oregon

There aren’t many places I’ve been to that are as beautiful as Oregon is, especially in late May when almost everything was in full bloom.  The weather was, as I was told by the locals, unusually nice for this part of the country with sunshine pretty much everyday.  The city of Portland is a nice mix of city and rural wilderness with great hikes just a few subway stops away from downtown.   After one of those hikes one day on a hot, sunny afternoon we decided to take advantage of one of Portland’s best brew pubs, Deschutes, where we enjoyed a sampling of what they had on draft that day.  The highlight was definitely their 21st anniversary Barrel Aged Black Butte Porter, with a couple years age on it, was drinking real nice with those delicious, sweet bourbon notes.

Going out to dinner in City of Roses was awesome too, we never had a bad meal at any of the restaurants that we ate at.  It seemed that all the places that we went to really focused on the farm to table concept and it really comes through in the flavors of the food.  Everything from the cheese plates to the cuts of meat to simple sandwiches were all really fresh and flavorful whether it was served from one of the many food trucks or on top of a linen covered table.

After a short day trip out to the coast to Cannon Beach and another hike along the coastline with views that can’t be described in words we made our way about an hour south to the Willamette Valley for a weekend in wine country.  The hospitable folks over at Argyle Winery were gracious enough to host us in their guest house, The Nuthouse, a cozy house within walking distance to many great restaurants in Dundee.  However if you go to Oregon Wine Country, go to the small town of Lafayette and go to Martha’s Tacos.  A life changing experience and where a lot of the vineyard and winery workers go after a long day in the fields.  We ordered a few menu items a shared every last bite, hands down one of the best meals I’ve had with the stand out being their wet burrito.

On our first full day in Dundee we started out with a full tour of Argyle.  They are renown for their sparkling wines but as they told me and from what I tasted, you can’t make good sparkling wine without making good still wines first.  And they sure make good wine.  Sourcing their fruit from four vineyard sites in Willamette they make top notch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and small amount of Riesling as well as some dessert wine.  We happened to be there on the day that they were disgorging their 2001 Extended Triage Sparkling which was an absolute treat to taste something that is almost 10 years old and is just ready to be released.  After going to the barrel room and tasting some samples of the 2010 vintage right out of the barrel,  our tour had come to an end but the day of tasting had just started.  The rest of the afternoon we drove to Carlton and around Dundee visiting wineries such as Lemelson, Carton Wine Makers Studio, Lange, Tori Mor and finished up the day with a glass of wine on Anne Amie’s patio overlooking the entire Valley.  The only regret I have about this whole trip is that it was only a week long, I could’ve stayed for another couple weeks.

A great meal and a very happy birthday

Courtesy of unknown photographer on boston.com

There are moments in life where food, wine and circumstances blend so perfectly you end up with tornado warnings and an impressive storm.  Last night I took my fiancée to dinner at Aquitaine in the South End for his big birthday, had an amazing dinner and ended up with a spectacular light show outside the window.

Aquitaine has always been a solid restaurant for dinner, but last night I was able to see just how special they are.  I had made my reservation using Open Table and simply asked for nice spot because I was celebrating a birthday.  We arrived and were received warmly by the host.  For me, having been in the restaurant business for 15 years, that was a big deal.  I have been in places where the host is unpleasant and all I want to do is turn around and leave.  Thankfully, Acquitaine recognizes that a welcoming host is the best first impression a restaurant can make.  She sat us down in the back by the big window and put a birthday card down next to Matt’s menu. What a nice personal touch!

Our server, Chris, was phenomenal.  He wished Matt a happy birthday right off the bat, introduced himself and gave us a few minutes to decide on wine.  He knew his menu, knew his wine and exuded a quiet charm and confidence.

I, being obsessed with big Bordeauxs recently, chose the 2004 Chateau Compassant.  From rising Bordeaux Star Jean-Luc Thunevin, the Chateau Compassant is a right bank blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Jean-Luc first came to fame with his “garage” Chateau Valandraud project, focusing on micro cuvees, and work on their vineyard to lower the yields and produce the ripest fruits possible. While Jean-Luc might be the new bad boy of Bordeaux, this right bank offering from just east of St. Emilion is very traditional with some earthy funk, luscious fruit, and firm tannins.   This Bordeaux needed some air and by the time our dinners arrived it was opening up beautifully.  An hour of decanting would have made this wine perfect from the start, but we didn’t have that kind of time.   I let my glass breathe during our appetizer salads and when my steak frittes arrived all I could say was-delicious!

As Matt and I slid into the dessert course, I asked Chris for a recommendation for the Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse.  The menu suggested the Graham’s Six Grape Ruby Reserve, which I have had and wanted something new.  I asked about a cognac and he was quick to point out that the cognac would overpower the delicate flavors of my dessert.  Chris said “Banyuls…that’s what you want.”  Perfect.  I am always happy when a server has a better suggestion.  Matt quickly ordered his Crème Brulee and the Muscat de Baumes de Venise to go with it.

What can I say?  Our meal was heavenly, from top to bottom.  The light show from the sky started during dessert and was the perfect ending.  An awe-inspiring meal and an awe-inspiring act of nature.  Happy Birthday Matt!

Gris on the mend

Hi everyone! Now I know that having a cat in our store is something special but I never realized how special until Gris became ill on Saturday. Since then, we have had people everyday inquiring where Gris is because he is not in his usual spot soaking up the sun in our front window. So here is a quick rundown as to what happened to Newbury Street’s favorite working feline.

Gris developed bladder stones and had to be transported from the Back Bay Veterinary Clinic (BIG thanks to them) to Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Jamaica Plain on Saturday. While his stones were serious, it hadn’t progressed enough to affect his kidneys.  That has to be because of Howie, one of Gris best buddies.  You know him as Howie Rubin, Bauer’s wine expert, but Gris also knows him as friend, feeder and ultimate hugger.  Thankfully Howie noticed there was something wrong early on Saturday and brought him immediately to BBVC, who in their expertise, diagnosed him immediately.

After a quick surgery at Angell to remove his stones, Gris was able to come home on Sunday but with some heavy pain medication.  I don’t know if you have spent any time at home post-surgery, but it is enough to make anyone out of sorts.  Gris decided that due to his drugs, discomfort and the need to use the litter box frequently it was best to move his bed to the back.  We are letting him decide when he is ready to return to the front window.  On an up note, Gris certainly doesn’t want to let his public down and does still come out to the sales floor to say hello.

All in all, thank you so much Back Bay neighbors for your concern about Gris and your support.  Especially, a huge thank you to both Back Bay Veterinary Clinic and Angell Memorial for their quick response.  You have no idea how much Bauer’s staff and clientele appreciates your taking such good care of our boy.  It won’t be long before you see that adorable gray face in the front again!!!  Trust me, Gris misses his fans as well!