Friday, October 20, 2006

red white + bluezz

Last night we went out to a new Pasadena restaurant that touts itself as having great food, a wide selection of wines by the glass, pre-selected flights of wine, and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays starting at 9pm live blues and jazz: red white + bluezz. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays the sommelier offers "flight school," with topics ranging from how to navigate a wine list to tasting 101.

We all thought the atmosphere was fantastic, with attentive and knowledgeable service. The hits of the evening culinarily speaking were a very unusual watermelon and Maytag blue salad with vanilla-lime glaze ($8), Kobe burger with fries ($18), and a fettucine primavera with hazelnut pesto (can't remember how much it was, honestly). We started dinner at 6:30 and the four of us were out of there at 8:30 after a leisurely, 3 course dinner.

The music had already started at the bar around the corner, which has an open terrace area for smokers and a no-smoking policy inside. We had good seats, and drank some more wine and I tried their "Sophisticated Ladies" flight of red wines which included tasting-pours of the following for $12: A. M. Gille Cote de Nuits; Byron Pinot Noir; and Michael Picard Cote du Rhone. This was attractively priced and presented, with a great tasting sheet with three bright red dots on it. Each wine was positioned over its dot, and inside the dot were tasting cues to help you along. One quibble I had with both the tasting flights and the restaurant wine list is that no vintages where noted. I'm sure they would have told me had I asked, but it kind of detracted from the "we're serious about wine" message to wonder what vintage of Byron I was drinking. Of the three wines the Picard Cote du Rhone was the most interesting, and it was not one of their "wines by the glass selections" so I could not order more.

The crowd was a nice mix of 20s, 30s, 40s, and up. It was particularly great to see a lot of 20-somethings out there with their dotted tasting sheets arguing about who smelled cedar in the flight while they ate Kobe burgers and listened to some pretty great music from Lil' Red's band. We would definitely go back, perhaps focusing on a flights and burgers in the bar like the 20-somethings.


zinFAN said...

Hi- I just discovered your blog a couple days ago. Thanks for the review on this new restaurant/wine bar/jazz spot. I'll keep it in mind when i visit friends in the SGV. I stopped over at the wine bar at Madeleine's on Green St. the other week and was woefully disappointed with their selections and more importantly, their staff's level of knowledge about the wines. Happy Tasting!

Dr. Debs said...

Hey, Zinfan! Glad to be of help, and thanks for the tip on Madeleine's. I was going to go there soon, but perhaps will try somewhere else, instead. It's no good when the staff doesn't known about wines and you're there to learn!

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