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Molly O'Neill

18 June 2019 - 02:13 AM


WSJ "change your mind" wine challengs

03 June 2019 - 04:55 PM

June1-2 Journal writes to its "Dear Readers", Is there a wine you really dislike ro scratch your head over?  Here's my challenge: Buy a bottle, taste it with some friends and tell me, via the email below how it turns out,   Did you end up liking or (still) hating it?   Why?

You might find your story in my column soon.       email Lettie  at    wine@WSJ.com    "



You guys ought to br able to do a real number with this.   :lol:


Biodynamic vs Organic vs Natural vs Orange (oxidative) and Orange (skin contact) wines

18 May 2019 - 03:29 PM

We seem to be throwing these terms around with not much agreement of their meanings. I would love to hear from some experts who can put each term in context.

Out of the jar, or, what's your secret sin?

08 April 2019 - 11:29 PM

Working on dinner,   Poured a glass of bubbly.   And looked in the fridge for a "blotter".    Aha!   Cara Mia Artichoke Bruschetta.   Oh yes!    Grab table spoon, scoop; out a splat    Who needs a cracker?   


Actually, I've served this to guests with baguette slices and got raves.    But my way saves a few carbs.



What do YOU enjoy without benefit of bowl or plate?

Chapeau! long in the tooth?

05 April 2019 - 02:37 PM

Chapeau has been a neighborhood bastion of French hospitality for almost 25 years.    Chef owner Philippe Gardelle, wife, brother +  3 other FOH keep diners happy.   Would so the food and the wine service.   


After not dining here in some 20 years (although it's a 10 minute walk from home), we cashed a gift certificate we had been given.    The menu, which seems to be almost identical to the day they opened, didn't suggest much that I wanted to eat.  https://www.chapeausf.com/home2


I decided this was time to go simple.   Mesclun salad brought a 5" tall dome of heavily (and seemingly previously) dressed red lettuce with a wedge of tepid fried cheese.    Dressing was oddly sweet and lacked acid and shallot/garlic/or. ..     On to sweetbreads.   Huge portion, maybe 8  2" chunks of braised (?) sweetbread in a heavy one-dimensional sauce, 2   5" carrots and a baby turnip.    No exterior crunch and a firm interior with little flavor (that could get past the sauce) except a slight liverish tinge.    i got through about 2/3 of this enormous portion.


Husband brilliantly ordered the scallop.   A single properly seared scallop with a good sauce.    He wasn't so lucky with his cassoulet which lacked classic seasoning.    (I told him the sauce reminded me of mid-century VanCamp pork and beans).   Not much enhanced by the duck confit, sausage and pork.    He got through maybe half.    Ptipois once quipped re Metro industrially prepared restaurant food, "You could get worse."


We ordered a 375ml bottle of wine (by domaine and year) but were served wine in a carafe.   Wrong!   At a minimum, if the half bottle weren't available, an appropriate bottle should have been presented at table before being decanted.    


We bailed before dessert.    This meal was so wrong on so many levels that we actually laughed on our stroll home.      I should add that we were surrounded by happy diners who heaped praise on the kitchen and service. 


$185 inc tip, no dessert or coffee, 1/2 "bottle" wine,