Pinot Noir; British Pubs; Veggie Patties and Suppers; Indian Food in OC; Pay What You Want Caf-

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Stacie Hunt is a wine buyer at Du Vin Wine and Spirits (310-855-1161) at 540 N San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood. She discusses great Pinot Noir and offers the following highlights (There are many, many more.):
-02 Flaviley, Nuit St. George, Burgundy: $ 11.99
Fresh, fruity, light-bodied wine. Good entry level experience to the world of Burgundy.

-01 Mongeard Mugneret, Vosne Romanee, Burgundy
Le Petits Monts Premier Cru (1er Cru): $ 59.99
The town is located in the Cote de Nuit area, which is the Northern half of the Cote d-Or. The village contains vineyards designated from Grand Cru to Village. This appellation also has its own share of villages with their own designated appellations such as Fixin, Nuit Saint-Georges, Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-Saint-Denis, Vougeot, Marsannay and Gevrey-Chambertin. This wine is a Premier Cru, (written -1er Cru- on the label) the second-highest vineyard designation. A much more intense and rich version of the grape, than the Flaviley above.

-02 Clos des Lambray, Morey St. Denis, Burgundy: $120.00
Grand Cru
This is one of those secrets that are wonderful to find. Yes, the wine is on the pricey side, but this Grand Cru village is not as well known as its more familiarly named neighbors. This translates to prices that are somewhat undervalued. A beautiful, highly aromatic wine that will not allow you to forget your first time.

-02 Vincent Girardin, Savigny Les Beaune, Burgundy: $32.95
Les Peuillets, Premier Cru (1er Cru)
A village area near Beaune and the largest producing area in the Cote de Beaune. Here the Pinot Noir is expressed with a lighter touch, not at all a full-bodied wine -- but you could put a little chill on this wine and it would make an extremely enjoyable afternoon wine or a wine served with lighter foods.

-98 Leroy, Volnay, Burgundy: $54.99
A high, hilltop village, located between Meursault and Pommard in the Cote de Beaune area. Southerly located, the wines here are well respected and the reputation is earned: these vineyards date back to the 1300-s and were favored by the Duke of Burgundy. The wines from this area can be silky in texture, lighter in body, or knock your socks off full-bodied. This particular one strikes a mid-range note, yet will stand up to a steak. Much to be enjoyed with a baked salmon, too.

-00 Domaine Romanee-Conti, Burgundy: $3,800.00
Grand Cru
Nope, that-s not a typo! Affectionately known as DRC, this tiny, 4 - acre Grand Cru vineyard is located in the village of Vosne-Romanee in the Cote De Nuits area of Burgundy. These wines are considered the pinnacle of Pinot Noir in France. Their dinner table destination has been of legendary Kings, Queens, heads-of-state and even us, mere mortals -- when we get a tax refund! When the wines are young, they-re not as rich and intense as you would expect. In fact, the areas of Richebourg and La Tache will deliver a richer wine, for somewhat less a hit to your bank account. However, DRC is considered THE finest example and expression of PN in Burgundy. They certainly have a richness, but it-s a softer one that offers a fruit sweetness with some soft tannin backbone. It is said you can tell a DRC by the aroma it gives off, a characteristic cinnamon/clove spice. When you taste this wine, it will be embedded on your memory, recalling where you were, who you were with and everything you spoke about and how you felt about the world that particular moment.

-02 Cerise, Bien Nacido, Central Coast, California: $21.99
Okay, we-re back to Earth, now. Here-s a wine that is affordable, satisfying, very surprising and terrifically enjoyable! The name says it all: Cerise means cherry in French. So, you get the idea that there are bright red cherry fruits greeting your nose. Light-medium body...from a famous vineyard area, located in the Santa Maria AVA (appellation). Lots of satisfaction here. And, many would guess it to be of European extract, rather than our own backyard. This wine shows up on wine lists from Charlie Trotters to Your favorite neighborhood bistro. It-ll fast become a fave with just about any food at all, even (gasp) pizza!

-02 Witness Tree Vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon: $24.99
This area just a hair north of Portland has risen to almost legendary heights with their award-winning production of Pinot Noirs. No less than the famed Drouhin family from Burgundy has sent their family members here to establish a Drouhin Pinot Noir from the valley. The Witness Tree Vineyard wine is much smaller than the larger (and more expensively priced) Drouhin estate and is nestled in the area of the Eola Hills. The small production comes from the 46-acre vineyard area and is lovingly tended by the family owners. A richer style of Pinot Noir that will delight your senses and your tongue! This wine will truly sing when paired with mushrooms, salmon, or a slow-roasted chicken.

Ben Schott, who tells us about British pubs, is the author of Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany.

Erik Marcus, vegan extraordinaire, podcasts Erik-s Diner three times a week from His Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money, will be publsihed soon by Brio Press.

Deborah Madison, author of The Greens Cookbook and Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets, shares delicious ideas from her newest book, Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen.

Feta and Ricotta Cheese Skillet Pie

  • - pound feta cheese, preferably sheep-s milk
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix three quarters of the feta with the ricotta in a medium bowl, without worrying about getting it perfectly smooth-you-ll want some chunks. Beat the eggs into the cheese, then add the flour and milk. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and dill.
  2. Butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an earthenware baking dish. Pour in the batter and crumble the remaining cheese over the top. Bake until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with your chosen garnish.

Masa Crepes with Chard, Chiles, and Cilantro

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • - cup masa harina, roasted corn flour, or fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or oil
Chard Filling:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno chilies, finely diced, seeds removed if you don-t want their heat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 or even 3 big bunches of chard, any color, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, plus extra for serving
  • 1 cup grated cheese, such as Oaxacan string cheese, queso blanco, Jack, or Muenster
  1. Put all the ingredients for the crepes in a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice as needed. Pour into a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion, chilies, and oregano and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook for a few minutes more, then add the chard and cook, turning the leaves occasionally until wilted. Season with salt to taste, and cook until the chard is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.
  3. Cook the crepes in a 8-inch skillet, stacking them up on a plate as you go so that they hold their heat. You should end up with about 10 crepes. With the prettier side facing down, spread half the crepe with the chard, add a little cheese, then fold them in half and again in quarters.
  4. To reheat in a skillet, film it lightly with oil over medium-high heat and add the crepes. Cook on both sides, the pan covered, until heated through, then serve.

Gustavo Arellano, food editor for the OC Weekly, tells of a Southern Indian restaurant in Tustin that offers 16 different types of dosas. Gustavo describes dosas as a "Southern Indian version of a crepe that is the size of a missile launcher." He especially likes the dosas filled with cheese or the triangular keema dosa filled with spicy goat. Dosa Place (714-505-7777) at 13812 Redhill Avenue in Tustin is open Tuesday- Friday, 11am -2:30pm & 5-10pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am - 3pm & 5-10pm.

Denise Cerreta, owner of One World Caf-, tells about the little voice in her head and her bold decision to offer guests the option to pay what they want.

One World Caf-
41 S. 300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah
Phone: (801) 519-2002