Today I offer you one of my seasonal wine news columns.
If you find yourself headed in the direction of West Virginia (it happens to us all at some point in our life) Café Carleton, adjacent to the entrance to the Casino at The Greenbriar, has unveiled a whole new persona.
No longer a simple stop for coffee and biscotti, Café Carleton has been transformed into an elegant tapas and wine bar with expanded hours. Café Carleton’s tapas menu includes a variety of moderately priced plates, such as chilled shrimp with avocado ($9), duck egg with truffles ($10), chicken liver pate with smoked quail ($7), white anchovies on toast ($7) and a large assortment of Spanish cheeses, sausages and hams. A five-dish tasting assortment is $32. But even more important than the food, more than 50 wines are available by the glass or bottle, as well as sparkling wines, a variety of sherries, cocktails and imported and local beers. Located in White Sulphur Springs in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, the resort sits on more than 10,000 acres and, at its heart, is a vast and imposing grand hotel. Now I’ve shared that information with you I’m sure they’ll invite me for a month’s all expenses paid visit … then again maybe they won’t. So just send me a postcard if you go. Information is available at www.greenbrier.com.
The proliferation of wine preservation and single bottle argon gas systems are creating new opportunities for oenophiles who have one of those dreadful “bucket lists” they need to shorten before they kick that dreadful bucket crammed with those lists. And the list can be reduced thanks to South Carolina’s Belmond Charleston Place Hotel, which now features a bucketful of bucket list wines in it’s Charleston Grill restaurant. Got a craving for the 2004 J.L. Chave Hermitage? Or the 1999 Domaine Romanée-Conti Vosne-Romanée or the 2001 Gaja Langhe Sori Tilden, then you can quaff your hearts out. These wines are part of the 1,250-bottle wine cellar. If you want to taste some historical nectar you can avoid the mega price tag by savoring a glass of the nectar for a mere $150. And, for a marriage made in heaven, try the 2005 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon “Hillside Select” with the Grilled Rack of Lamb. (Check www.charlestonplace.com). Send me a postcard and a sliver of lamb.
A taste of Mexico
My very own “Wining Archeologist” Jill Weber, who co-hosts the weekly wine feature on my show, has just added to her growing restaurant empire. Jill Weber and her husband Evan Malone have opened Café Ynez, a Mexico City-themed diner and café adjacent to Evan’s NextFab Studio — a membership-based machine shop for hobbyists. As you know, Jill and Evan own JET Wine Bar and REX 1516 both on the 1500 block of South Street and the former also serves as my Center City recording location. Spearheading the Café Ynez kitchen is JET Wine Bar’s executive chef JC Piña, a Mexico City native who is bringing a few of his mother’s “secret” recipes to the 28-seat casual eatery. Chef: Does mom know about this? It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner and BYOB, which is a brilliant idea. You can eat in or take out and, as always, young Jill insists we all try the whole rotisserie chickens which are roasted on site and available to-go by the whole or half. Jill told us all about her new eatery on my April 19 show. (Information: 2025 Washington Ave, Philadelphia. Check cafeynez.com. Call (215) 278-7579).
Making film history
On April 27 my chums at The Bryn Mawr Film Institute (they co-host my show’s weekly Projections film feature) will hold the official grand reopening of the venerable theatre, taking a major step forward in establishing itself as one of the premier art house theaters in the nation. The institute’s grand reopening celebrates the creation of four state-of-the-art digital theaters, which total 860 seats, through the restoration and expansion of the theater’s original 1926 building. The ACTION! Dedication Celebration will take place on Sunday, April 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. With more than 7,000 members, Bryn Mawr Film Institute stands as the second largest member-supported art house theater in the country, only after the Jacob Burns Film Center. The grand event will serve as the formal dedication of the completed Bryn Mawr Film Institute theater complex with a special thank you to donors as well as honoring the four winners of the international Silver Screen Inspiration Short Film Contest. Each of the four theaters will feature a unique entertainment experience along with music, dancing, gourmet food and fun. For tickets to the ACTION! Dedication Celebration, visit www.brynmawrfilm.org. But an even more important reason to come along is that yours truly will be amazing the VIP guests with some splendid wine discoveries I have made thanks to Stacey Binczak whose family owns South Italy Imports. Binczak will be pouring some of the finest Italian wines to have ever passed your lips while I will be regaling you with stories about my favorite subject: Me. Cheers!
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in Ticket. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is heard worldwide anywhere and anytime on Tunein Radio. On their app search: Phillip Silverstone or on the web athttp://bit.ly/1kqcRmk. New podcasts are available every Saturday. For more information about Phillip: http://www.thesilverstonecollection.com