Walla Walla

March 5th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, that’s a funny name for a city. But, Walla Walla, Washington, and its surrounding valley make HG/BSK’s favorite wines. Charles Smith, a California-born, innovative winemaker, is an HG hero. After world travel (nine years in Denmark), he opened a wine shop in Washington’s Puget Sound and then moved to Walla Walla to begin winemaking. His first effort was House Wine, an inexpensive, very tasty red blend. Both House and Steak House, a Cabernet, were later sold to a Seattle company (the wines remain splendid). Now, Smith produces the pricier (but still affordable) Velvet Devil, a Merlot; Boom Boom!!, a Syrah, and Chateau Smith, a Cabernet. All outstanding. HG/BSK learned about the grandeur of Walla Walla wines in an unlikely place: Big Timber, Montana. On their motor trips from Denver to Vancouver, a city where they owned some long sold residences, HG/BSK would always stop for dinner at the restaurant in Big Timber’s Grand Hotel. Served the best rack of lamb the duo ever tasted.(Robert Redford ate it almost every night when he was filming “The Horse Whisperer” at a nearby location). The restaurateur was a wine aficionado and the wine list was capacious. He touted Walla Walla wines and HG/BSK drank some wonders (this was before the prices of these important wines deservedly soared upwards). HG/BSK still consume gallons of the previously mentioned Walla Walla moderately priced wines but augment them with Beaujolais, Italian varietals, Argentine and Chilean Malbecs, whites from New Zealand and Roses from Provence.


November 18th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

When HG was a very, very little boy lamb chops were his favorite dish. The little guy called them “ompalomps.” HG hated spinach. So, his cunning Mom buried the spinach in buttery mashed potatoes and HG consumed every drop. Okay, enough sickeningly cute kiddy memories. Lamb chops remain an HG favorite. Best lamp chops ever were the chops at Leon Lianides’ great Greenwich Village restaurant, the Coach House. The rack of lamb was also wonderful there, only matched by the rack at Le Stella, the Paris brasserie. But the marvel, the ultimate not-to-be-equalled rack is found at an unlikely place: The Grand Hotel Restaurant in Big Timber, Montana. HG discovered it because Big Timber is midway, between Denver and Vancouver, so it was a logical place to stop when motoring between the two cities. At the Grand Hotel you accompanied the lamb with a robust red wine from Walla Walla, Washington (HG thinks Wall Walla has the best red in the universe). Another favorite of lamb lovers is the mutton chop at New York’s venerable Keen’s Chop House. You can get it with Yorkshire Pudding and it is a treat. (The old Gage & Tollner’s in Brooklyn served their mutton chop with corn fitters, a nice idea). BSK likes to butterfly a leg of lamb, marinate it in red wine, garlic and herbs and then barbecue it to crusty perfection. Serves it with Greek Avoglemono sauce (eggs and lemon juice are the principal ingredients). Big time gourmandizing.