I would like to thank the many who have heaped praise upon the Smith & Wollensky burger and Kman, who earlier pointed out the National Wine Week event being held there this week. If anyone is looking for something to do for lunch today, I would highly recommend it. A friend and I went yesterday and it was fantastic.
The burger--perhaps the best in town, the first few bites especially, topped with cheddar and fresh trimmings, the meat was cooked perfectly and tasted wonderful. The burger is not on the menu, so you wouldn't know before ordering that it is a ONE LB. burger. I was glad for this since I hadn't eaten breakfast and I had something like 12 different wines to sample before going back to work. Oh, and the burger is an extremely reasonable $9, a bargain really for size and quality, and it comes with good fries as well and a pickle spear.
The wine--this was the real draw. The website promised 10 2-oz. pours. I expected a flight of small glasses filled with the various wines to come out for a modest tasting. No. First they bring 3 large (22-oz?) empty wine glasses for each diner. There are pourers wandering around the restaurant liberally offering their wares and filling your glass. My first was a 5-6 oz. pour of a Far Niente chardonnay that would cost 50 bucks a bottle retail. At this point I realized more restraint would be needed than I anticipated. The wine list yesterday was really phenomenal, some stuff pretty common (Roederer Anderson Valley, Estancia pinot noir) other stuff I hadn't tried (St. Clement cabernet)--really a nice mix. There were actually 15 wines in all--I don't have a list handy but (for anyone interested) I think they were
William Hill cab
St. Clement cab
Far Niente cab and chard
Jordan cab and chard
Marques de Caceres riserva rioja (1995)
Estancia Pinot Noir
Bancroft (??) sauvignon blanc
a Penfold's shiraz
and a few others I don't recall--and they weren't these wineries basic offerings. Montevina, e.g. makes a decent zin under 10 buck, but this wasn't it.
Anyway, thanks Kman for the heads up.
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