Saturday, April 21, 2007

french patriotism

the French (including E) were out in force today voting for the first stage of the electoral process. it was amazing to watch the french stand on line in the rain, some, like us, for over two hours.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

you're invited

Join MoveOn.org's Virtual Town Hall: Iraq


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Napa experience

We went to Napa last Saturday to check out Copia. It was also an excuse to buy a case of Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon (we got 9 of the '05 and 3 of the '04). It is full bodied with notes of plums and blackberries, well balanced and very affordable. The wine is drinkable now and it could sit up to 3 years.

We decided to have lunch at Julia's Kitchen at Copia. I was looking forward to eating here as I have heard good reviews about it. We also knew that it was somewhat spendy for lunch. As it was a little after 2pm, the hostess was able to sit us right away. Our server immediately acknowledged us and said, "I'll be with you shortly." 15 minutes 'shortly', she appeared and took our drink order. Another 15 minutes 'shortly' our drinks arrived and she took our order. I started with the cream of spinach soup topped with bacon and goat cheese and E had the dayboat scallops. My soup was bland, tepid and the bacon was missing. When we asked about the bacon, the server made up some excuse about the Chef not being clear on whether he meant ham hocks for bacon that was used in the soup base. She then explained further that the soup is pureed therefore there wouldn't be any bits of ham either. She also mentioned that they have a new chef, blah, blah, blah. My interpretation was that the kitchen ran out of bacon and the server was left on her own to make up an excuse. E loved the perfectly cooked scallops served with fennel puree and citrus salad.

Our entrees were promptly served, literally within minutes of clearing our appetizers. I had the duck confit served over baby gems and arugula. E had the herb-crusted ahi tuna with butter lettuce and roasted peppers. (These two dishes were supposedly a tribute to Julia Child.) The duck confit salad was as it should be, crispy skin and tender meat over correctly dressed salad. The ahi tuna needed a sauce to complement it with the salad. Food was served on oversized white plates which highlighted the minimalistic size of their portions. Service was very lacking and slow. We noticed that a nearby table had to pour their own wine. We left with an okay dining experience not due to the food but of the service.

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