October 2004 Archives

Island Ambassador

Christina Orchid's eponymous restaurant on Orcas Island, housed on the upper level of a converted gas station, is one of those iconic spots in the Pacific Northwest. Christina herself is an icon, a living legend, a national treasure. And now there's a splendid cookbook that brings Christina's generous and creative spirit into own kitchens.

Book cover.jpg Christina at market.jpg Christina signing 3.jpg

Book-signing party yesterday at Dahlia Lounge. Yummy oysters with cassis granita mignonette, chanterelle chive toasts, wild blackberry crema. Recipes in the book, along with charming stories about island life. Go buy it! Photos, by Michael Skott, are mouthwatering. Great work by Sasquatch Books, which upped the press run when editor Gary Luke realized what a gem he was getting.

'79 Pichon-Lalande Party


What a grand Harvest Dinner last night, for members of the International Wine & Food Society! Held in the stately Georgian Room of Seattle's Fairmont Olympic Hotel, it featured 8 exquisite courses, 8 superb wines, including a stunning Bordeaux from Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande. Not just any old bottle, mind you, but a rare 1979 impériale donated by Seattle branch president Michael de Maar.
Georgian Room.jpg Wines on display w RH 2.jpg De Maar.jpg

One store at a time

Photographs of unknown faces in the window of your neighborhood wine shop, a glowing tube suspended above some upright barrels promoting wines from obscure corners of Tuscany, hand-lettered signs extolling wines made by three sisters. You'd expect merchandising like this from Budweiser or Gallo ... not from a new Seattle-based importer called Small Vineyards, LLC.

Window display narrow.jpg Display in store 2.jpg Tre Donne display.jpg Display in store.jpg

And how did this display end up at Belltown's Seattle Cellars?

Small Vineyards is almost evangelical in its commitment to the wineries it represents. And because it doesn't have huge volumes of wine to sell, it puts its marketing effort into selected locations.

Does it work? You bet it does, says Seattle Cellars owner Dave Woods. His sales of Small Vineyards bottles have tripled, up to $350 a week, a very respectable number for a neighborhood wine shop.

Back in charge

After three years of exile in a corporate cave, Washington's oldest fine-wine distributor, P & S, is back with one of the state's savviest wine guys, Bill Schallert, at the helm. Schallert actually owned the firm outright some 30 years ago and has stuck with it through a series of mergers and buyouts.

Schallert.jpg Nickel logo.gif

The P & S portfolio includes the Nickel & Nickel line of single-vineyard wines from California ... a winery that's doing a great job of respecting the minute differences of soil and climate from one vineyard to the next, just like they do in Burgundy. Fewer bottles per label, more distinctive wines. What a concept!

Indecision 2004

Election Update: chicken-or-salmon Donkeys 60%, beef-or-snapper Elephants 40%. Now we know.

Earlier post:

Belltown's prestigious Cascadia, where Al Gore's been seen to dine when he's in town, doesn't shy from controversy. This election season, it's a $25 "Race to the White House" dinner ... with a twist. Three courses, one vote. The Discerning Dem side of the menu features Boston Clam Chowder and grilled salmon with Heinz ketchup; the Refined Republican column puts Florida citrus dressing on the salad and Texas beef short ribs on the entree plate.

Kerry shows dessert.jpg Cascadia White House.jpg

Dessert is bipartisan genius: ribbons of red, white and blue sauces leading to a molded, white-chocolate White House with a piece of dark chocolate cake inside. Chef Kerry Sear, a native of England, hence not an eligible candidate, reports that the other Kerry is leading; he'll announce results on election night.

Over Easy in the Big Easy

By popular request, a repost from a couple-three years ago. Cornichon's very first dispatch, as I recall, recently enhanced now with more links and photos.

Oysters at Felix.jpg

To blow or not to blow


I'll keep this up for a while, anyway, until the suspense is over. Here's a live link to the US Forest Service volcano-cam. Below is what it looked like at noon Monday, Oct. 11th ... and a few days earlier.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2004 is the previous archive.

November 2004 is the next archive.

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