Showing posts from August, 2010

MAMMA MIA : Bravo Avo Again

The friendly Mr Avo and his many awards

Greek Salad

Veg Kabobs

Dolmades: Grape vine leaves stuffed with beef.rice,onions,tomatoes,lemon juice and dill

Chicken Kabobs

The last restaurant I visited in the US was the first one I reviewed on this blog.This time around I was Mr Avo's guest! I was delighted to have Mediterranean food again.Memories of the Pita Bread and the heavenly,slow cooked Braised Lamb Shoulder that I so enjoyed the last time came to my mind.

We had the hummus and eggplant dip.Pita Bread was just as good.Soft and sweet.

Then we had an unusual starter called Saganaki.Sounds Japanese but is Greek! The name is derived from the small frying pan that it is cooked in.The main ingredient Kefalotyri Cheese is a full cream cheese found in Greece and very difficult to get elsewhere,as Mr Avo explained.It is made from sheep milk and is yellow,hard and has a sharp taste.It is first coated with flour and pan fried so that it gets a light golden crust.This is then flambeed with…

Sonoma Wine Country

Wine Country is a region of North California that has over 400 wineries.It includes the Napa County and Sonoma County.Here one finds sprawling vineyards stretching over hills and valleys,excellent restaurants and luxurious spas.The weather is pleasant throughout the year and it is pure bliss to just be there.

As my friends Kavita and Brendan live in Sonoma,I got to see both.The Northern Sonoma County has three valleys: Alexander known for Cabernet and Merlot,Dry Creek known for Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc and Russian River Valley for its Pinot Noir. Merry Edwards' Sonoma wine Sauvignon Blanc Russian River 2008 is the highest rated Sauvignon Blanc for this year.

For those new to wines,white wine comes from grapes or juice of yellow or green grapes.The well known ones include Chardonnay,Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurtzraminer.Red wines are from grapeskins that are red or purple.These include Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot,Pinot Noir,Pinotage,Zinfandel and Syrah or Shiraz.

We visited J Vineya…

Simply Sourdough

On my last day at Santa Rosa, Kavita took us to an organic restaurant called Santi.Sonoma County has an abundance of fresh farm produce.It was there I was introduced to sourdough by Kavita.I was hesitant at first but I was pleasantly surprised when I actually tried it.This region is famous for it since the California Gold Rush days.Yes,it isn't a new flavor.It's the old technique of making white bread when commercial yeast was not available.In addition to yeast,there is lactobacillus that gives the sour taste to the bread and make it hard on the outside and soft on the inside.Akin to homemade yoghurt or curds,a small amount of the mix is kept aside to use for the next dough.This is called the sourdough starter and is carried forward for many generations. The sourdough at Santi was excellent.We dipped it in olive oil.Then I had the panini of the day which had thinly sliced veal and organic veggies packed in slices of sourdough,a bit greasy but flavorsome all the same.Portions a…