Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Glendale Palate

Colorado St., Glendale, December 10—
  • Palate Food + Wine, 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale; tel. 818-662-9463
  • ribeye.JPG

    FOR YEARS NOW we've spent a week a year in Glendale, California. A funny place for a vacation, you might think. For one thing, there's no really good restaurant in town. Or hasn't been, until recently. Now, though, a serious team has moved into the ground floor of an old Bekins storage warehouse: the top six floors are dedicated to wine storage; the ground floor is taken up by Palate Food + Wine. We stopped in at mid-afternoon for a snack with friends: I had a plate of "porkfolio," a modest charcuterie plate, with a few pickled vegetables on the side and a glass of nice Dolcetto.
    In fact we were sneaking a peek, because we were already booked in for dinner tonight with two other friends, friends in the food business. The nighttime restaurant is completely different from the rather laid-back afternoon wine bar. Busy, polished, generous: glasses of Crémant d'Alsace as an apéritif, and an interesting small-plate menu complementing a resourceful wine list. I had radicchio, walnuts, and blue cheese as a salad, then the ribeye steak, sliced, served with Marchand de vin sauce and beautifully sourced and cooked fingerling potatoes and leeks. There was the taste of marrow in this dish, which was redolent, succulent, interesting, solid. Afterward, a nicely balanced sequence of cheeses moving easily through soft and semi-soft whites to the capper, a perfect Roquefort. Only an Armagnac could have followed, but I behaved.
    Domaine Foulaquier Pic St. Loup "l'Orphée," 2005

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