“Vive La France” is Almost Like Being There

Ah, it’s spring time and there is no better season to travel to Paris. . .for lovers and foodies alike. But if you’re stuck at home—like we are—not to worry, because Chef Alexander’s next prix-fixe menu has the power to transport us across the pond. . .faster than first class in a Concorde.

“Vive La France” is a four-course gastronomic primer of classic dishes steeped in a tradition of simplicity and dependent on fresh seasonal ingredients that form the foundation of French elegance. Chef Alexander’s annual, Parisian-inspired menu taps deeply in to his training at the Culinary Institute of America and it sells out every year. So check your calendar between April 23 and 27, and make your reservations now by calling 530-823-0320, or go to www.opentable.com. As usual, there are options for each course, a vegetarian solution and the cost is $49++ per person.

Click here to see the full menu, but over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing Chef Alexander’s inspiration for dishes he will be preparing, starting with the appetizer, Classic Beef Tartare. “I’ve always wanted to feature Beef Tartare on our regular menu, but because of execution and preparation issues, it can be a challenge, he explained. “But with a prix-fixe menu, it is perfect.”

Staying in tune with seasonal ingredients “is exactly the way the French would do it,” he said. “We start with top round of Kobe beef, hand cut and diced. We keep it simple with chopped onions, cornichons (French pickles), game capers and a fresh, raw quail egg.”

Sound awesome? Make your reservations now. . .and stop drooling all over your laptop.

Show Mom the Love at Carpe Vino on May 12th

mom tattooCarpe Vino open on a Sunday for dinner? Hey, we’re willing to do whatever it takes to help our customers honor their mothers in style. Chef Alexander is still working out the details, but look for a very special menu that is sure to satisfy everyone in your clan (as long as they are 21 years of age or older).

We’ll be announcing the menu soon, but we suggest that you make reservations now by calling 530-823-0320. Watch this space for details!

Heed Jay’s Advice and “Take The Road Les Traveled”

Road Les Travelled(Note from Gary: As Care Vino continues to grow, we’ve been able to hire some very talented people; all are pros. . .like Jay Johnstone, our very first personal wine consultant. You may have encountered Jay in the restaurant or perhaps he has been in touch by phone. To help you get to know him better, we’ve asked him to share his favorite wine selections through Window on Old Town. This dude is golden, so take his advice. . .I sure do! In the months ahead you’ll be hearing from others on our staff.)

As many of you know, my career has been deep in traditional restaurant/hotel beverage management. I rose through the ranks quickly, yet after a number of years in the business I truly love, I wanted more. Over time, I had created a path that was safe, and well traversed. However, sometimes to get to your true destination, you have to take a route less traveled.

Hence, my first recommendation for you is a wine by Les Behrens, co-founder with Lisa Drinkward of Behrens Family Winery. Theirs are some of the most sought-after California cult wines: extremely low-production, allocated and most less than 350 cases made.

His signature wine is a non-vintage blend called The Road Les Traveled (get the pun here?). All of the juice that goes into making this blend is sourced from his cellar, such as the cabernet sauvignon that forms the backbone of this wine; it is the precisely the same as his flagship cab. All of the top quality grapes that make up The Road Les Traveled II, are in the other Les Behrens wines like The Heavyweight, and The Knockout.

This second edition NV wine is comprised of grapes from the 2008, 2009, and 2010 vintages. To make sure this fabulous juice found a home, Les creates a big earthy blend that is chewy, has a great balance and a palate stimulating spice that just may make this your “house red.”

I have a real connection to this wine because like it, I have taken the road less traveled, creating a new route in my career that brought me to Carpe Vino. I encourage you to take a chance, too, and try this fabulous bottle. –Jay

Winery Tasting Notes: “This is our second offering of this non-vintage wine. It is fat and lush with ripe plums and earthy, cedary notes. Flavors of black cherry and sassafras are forward in this plush, seductive and balanced wine. We like to think of this as the wine equivalent of comfort food and are excited to have this in our repertoire. This is a serious wine, but one you still can afford to open on a Tuesday night.” –Les Behrens

Blend: 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Tempranillo; 598 cases.

We have 10 cases in stock at Carpe Vino, ready to be picked up and/or shipped today. Feel free to order by calling Jay directly at 530.906.5020. Or, if you prefer, simply email your order to jay@carpevinoauburn.com. Also, for your convenience, you can order this online, and enter JayJ in the customer notes section.

See you in the wine bar,