Cult Vines at Spit & Twit – Crème de la Crème Wines

I attended Wine Twits’ Spit & Twit event last week at City Winery in New York City.  The launch event for this concept was very well-attended and featured over 100 wines from around the world.

While I enjoyed some pretty great wines and met fabulous folks in the wine trade, I especially enjoyed the two wines served by Cult Vines, whose motto is “is to provide the finest wine to discreet connoisseurs and collectors”.

2008 Alder Springs Roussanne Westerly Vineyard

2008 Cult Vines Roussanne

2008 Cult Vines Roussanne

This golden honey colored Roussanne has a beautiful nose, huge mouthfeel, bright apple flavor.  This wine is well-balanced but with higher alcohol content and would be outstanding with food.  Could use some cellaring.  Chardonnay drinkers, move over to this wine.


Price:  Around $49


2007 Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Vineyards


2007 Cult Vines Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Cult Vines Cabernet Sauvignon

It was difficult to pull myself away from the lush fruit aroma in order to actually sip this wine, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed when I did.  This Cabernet offers the darkest, opaque purple hue that’s easy to simply stare at for a while.  This wine is full of ripe fruit, especially blackberry, and young, not at all unpleasant, tannins.  Craved a rare porterhouse after the first sip.


Price:  Around $125

2004 D'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz

2004 Dead Arm Shiraz

2004 Dead Arm Shiraz

The 2004 The Dead Arm Shiraz was one of the top five wines I tasted at a recent event featuring over 100 wines.  This fabulous full-bodied wine offers a beautiful dark purple color that’s impossible to resist.  This Shiraz explodes in the mouth with bold blackberry, peppery spice flavors, and although still young it’s pleasantly tannic and complex.

Apparently, I’m not the only taster who enjoyed this Shiraz:  “This deep, rich, full-bodied, tannic Shiraz should be drinkable in 2-3 years, and will last for two decades or more. It is the finest Dead Arm since the 2001.” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 95+ Points.

Price: Around $50.

Perilla Greenwich Village

At the urging of some of my fellow Twitter foodie pals, I brunched at Perilla while in Greenwich Village last week.

The uncluttered small space, with 18 tables, is inviting and feels cozy immediately upon entering.  The wait staff is young and energetic and aims to please without overwhelming guests.  Our wait person also served as the bartender during brunch and fixed us a very generous cocktail, mine a perfectly-spicy Bloody Mary and my guest a mimosa made with freshly-squeezed orange juice.


Perilla Grits

Perilla Grits

The brunch menu offers limited options, and what it lacks in variety it makes up in creativity.  The only negative I can find with the brunch dishes is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to select just one.   A sure winner is the creamy white grits with fried egg, rock shrimp and Tasso ham.  This dish is uber flavorful and puts a smile on one’s face it’s so delicious.  By ‘deep fried’ it’s meant that the egg is boiled in the shell to a runny yolk, peeled, breaded then deep fried.  As I cut into it, the yolk ran into the cheesy grits making the dish even more perfect, if that’s possible.  Any must-try is the spicy duck burger served with jack cheese and avocado.



Perilla Cheeses

Perilla Cheeses

Desserts are imaginative and Perilla also offers a selection of 3, 5 or 7 cheeses to end the meal.  The peanut butter mousse with chocolate crisps, the vanilla scented doughnuts and the sticky toffee pudding are good options.  Solid cheese to try are the Penterman Farm Aged Gouda, the Painted Goat Cinderella and the Berkswell.


Solid food and an attractive, cozy space – winning combination.

Perilla Restaurant
9 Jones Street
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212.929.6868

NYC Dessert Tasting Event: “We Are Sweet On You”

TWCTime Warner Center’s Restaurant and Bar Collection Presents We Are Sweet On You


In celebration of the lighting of “Holiday Under The Stars,” Time Warner Center kicks-off the holiday season with a very special dessert tasting event, “We Are Sweet On You.”

Enjoy a world of fine desserts and delectable treats from their esteemed restaurant collection. Signature sweets including double truffle brownies from Porter House New York, nutella profiteroles from Landmarc’s ovens, hot chocolate Italian style from A Voce and Star cookies from Bouchon Bakery are just a few of the treats to be served.


Time Warner Center, 2nd floor

10 Columbus Circle NY, NY 10019

Columbus Circle and 59th Street

Subways: 1,A,B,C,D


Friday, November 13th

Beginning at 5:30pm


Free and open to the public

Ravines Wine Cellars – 2007 Cabernet Franc

Ravines Cab Franc

Ravines Cab Franc

The 2007 Cabernet Franc by Ravines Wine Cellars from the Finger Lakes, is a ripe, slightly oaky wine with medium tannins that is enjoyable now but will become outstanding with a little cellaring.  Uncork this wine as you’re grilling for Father’s Day next year.

Great buy at around $20.

Ravines Wine Cellars – 2007 Pinot Noir

Ravines Pinot Noir

Ravines Pinot Noir

The 2007 Ravines Wine Cellar Pinot Noir, from the Finger Lakes, is a beautiful bright ruby in the glass and vibrant, slightly spicy cherry in the mouth.  The soft tannins and pleasant velvety texture provide the smooth, long finish that all classic Pinot Noirs try to achieve.

Nicely-priced at around $20.

Parigot & Richard Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs

Cremant de Bourgogne

Cremant de Bourgogne

I had an opportunity to sample this creamy, voluptuous Crémant while at a wine tasting where over 100 wines were served.  I can easily say that it was the nicest example of a non-Champagne bubbly there was, and at around $23, a bargain.

The mostly Chardonnay blend, highlighted with Aligoté, is pure elegance.  With its light honey color, its fruity notes and pleasant freshly-baked bread flavor, this bubbly will please both casual and sophisticated palates.

Maple Syrup Pie

Not many dishes exemplify true Canadian goodness like the Maple Syrup Pie.  Served around the holidays, or for special occasions, this simply-made pie is both beautiful and delicious.  My Grand-Mother probably would not approve of this microwaveable version, but those of us who have a limited amount of time to bake will be thankful.   The pie dough leaves are optional but create an Autumnal flair.

Maply Syrup Pie

Maply Syrup Pie

Pie Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1  9-inch Press-In Shortbread Pie Crust, baked

Decorative Leaves Ingredients (Optional):

  • 1 store-bought, refrigerated rolled pie crust
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Pie Directions:

  1. Place all pie ingredients, except for the crust, in a large, microwaveable bowl.  Whisk well to incorporate all the ingredients.  Note that there will initially be lumps due to the butter.
  2. Microwave on high for 9 minutes, whisking every 2 minutes to smooth out the mixture.
  3. Pour mixture into the baked pie crust and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Leaves Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out the pie crust, cut 5-6 leaves using a cookie cutter.  Place the leaves on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Whisk the egg with the milk.  Using a pastry brush, brush the leaves with the egg mixture, then sprinkle a bit of sugar on the surface of each leaf.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

If using leaves, place on the surface of the finished pie.

Serves 8-10.

Notes:  Pie can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 4 days.  If doubled or tripled, the pies can easily be frozen wrapped in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.

Please vote for my recipe!

I’m excited to say that my Divine Squares recipe made it in the Bon Appetit Magazine Holiday Bake Off Contest!!!  Please vote for me by going to page 2 and looking for “Divine Squares”:

Just when I thought I couldn’t enjoy Greek food more…

…How to Roast Lamb happens to me

How to Roast Lamb

How to Roast Lamb

I received my copy of Michael Psilakis’ “How to Roast Lamb” last week and I love this cookbook.  I’ve been a huge fan of Michael Psilakis for quite a while and have enjoyed dining at Kefi several times and can’t say enough about this “cookbook”.  I say “cookbook” as it’s way more than that.  Michael shares traditions, family and his rise to fame throughout the book and his passion for Greek food has renewed my interest in cooking this wonderful food and not just eating it out.

The book itself is weighty and features amazing quality paper (I’m a fan of good paper).  The photos of the food and of Michael’s family are great and left me wanting more (please tell me there’s more!).

I love that Michael could have made the recipes complicated to show off his grasp of fine cooking and his graduation to Manhattan’s elite, but opted to make each dish something even a basic home cook could recreate.  His goal to make Greek food accessible and simple to share with family and friends was accomplished – in a big way.

Looking forward to dining at Anthos and Michael’s next book.  Well done.