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Old 22-05-2008, 03:21 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: a night of plonk, followed by a good Friuli

Tuesday I got stuck for a ride to pick up a truck from repair shop,
called Betsy to save me. Made her pressed for time for dinner
shopping, so I told her I'd take her out. We went to the just opened
Half Moon, which had replaced the rather dreadful Chart House by the
river in Dobbs Ferry. Only been open 2 days, the decor was much
improved from the Chart House (no improvement on the view was
possible- right on the Hudson facing the Palisades). They're aiming
for upscale "beach bar" food, with lobster rolls, burgers, "clam
bakes" as well as more traditional "new American" dishes.

So here was the unbelievable part to me. Half Moon is same people as
Harvest in Hastings, which has a decent wine list. I asked for list,
and was told they didn't have it printed yet. They only had by the
glass wines, and the waiter only knew the varieties, no producers.
I'll assume this is opening jitters, really totally unacceptable in a
restaurant above diner level. To start, I took a fling on a glass of
Chenin Blanc. Lemon, apple, a* little wax. Not flabby, but not zippy
either. Just off-dry (sec-tendre). I was guessing California, but a
look at the bar later leads me to believe it was the Indaba Chenin
from South Africa. B-

My favorite starter of the night was a small plate of "blistered"
shishito peppers, with sea salt. Great snack. I also liked the duck
tacos, was a little less impressed with the bland/doughy corn
empanadas.

For main courses, we avoided seafood as that was Betsy's plan for
Wednesday. I got pork chops (and pork belly) a la plancha, with
endive, tabbouleh, and squash. Pork was well seasoned and an enormous
portion, the tabbouleh and squash were both bland/underseasoned. Betsy
got an ok veal scallopini with over easy egg and sauteed spinach.

I asked what reds they had, again varieties only, so got a Pinot Noir
for Betsy and a Cabernet Sauvignon for me. The Pinot Noir was light
and high acid, a bit sharp and short. B-/C+ The Cabernet was ripe and
very sweet, not my style. Short and with a little chemical note on
finish. C (I rarely leave wine I bought by glass, but My peek at bar
area leads me to believe we drank the Roc Chateau Vieux Pinot Noir, I
didn't spot a CS out. There was a Cabernet/Shiraz blend from Hidden
something, maybe that's what I drank.

Betsy got a strawberry shortcake dessert, huge and she quite liked,
though she could only eat 1/3. She liked the fact they had Harney's
tea, and I got a good cup of coffee. Considering the view, we'll go
back, assuming a real wine program is instituted (based on management,
I'm betting they are planning on it. OK stems).

We stopped by some friends on the way home. He offered me a glass of a
$7 cheapie he had just opened, the 2005 Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull
Zinfandel. Light-bodied fruit bomb, raspberry/blackberry jam, feels
thick even though it's not actually a big wine. Again, not my style,
but probably at price a crowdpleaser. B-/C+

So*not a great wine night. When Betsy told me Wedesday dinner was
branzino with olives, oranges, and olives, I pondered Soave, but
decided to make up for day before with a more serious Italian white.
Wine was the
2006 Schiopetto Tocai Friulano (Collio). Bigger styled Friulian wine,
muscular but at the same time clean and elegant. We started with a few
big Alaskan oysters, a lighter Muscadet might have been more classic,
but the saline minerality of this did ok. It did even better with the
fish. The citrus and almond aromas of the wine did well with the
oranges and nuts, while the clean acidity was perfect for the fish. No
apparent oak, lemon and pear fruit, wet rocks, long finish. This is a
dry wine but the fruit has a nice sweet aspect, and the mineral notes
are quite intense. I seldom spend $30 on an Italian white, but this
time I'm glad I did. A-/B+

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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