December 3rd, 2008

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Champagne Tasting Saturday

Dear Jackie,

You are cordially invited...
...bring your friends, bring your Christmas wish lists...
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Ultimo Wine Centre

Add to CellarChampagne Tasting

Add to CellarThis Saturday 6th December

- From 12pm until 5pm... And Free!
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Annual Champagne Tasting
- Saturday 6th
December 6th

Always the best way to select your Champagne;
From the glass!
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A feature of every festive season
and a wine tasting not to be missed.
Add to CellarJoin The Ultimo Wine Centre
and a plethora of top quality Champagne houses
for our Annual Champagne Tasting event.

Add to CellarNow an iconic yearly tasting,
we invite you to join us
Champagne Bricefor a great afternoon
and great opportunity
to select your
favourite Champagnes
for the festive season.
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Looking at the labels, this might be good! Billecart Salmon, Taittinger, Laurent Perrier... and one of my personal favourites, Gosset. Anyone can go, see they told me to tell my friends. Be there, be drunk on free champagne. Eat breakfast first so you can drink more!
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Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Tastevin

Walking down Victoria Street reading menus (one of my favourite past-times) I noticed this new entry to Sydney’s restaurant scene in the old Ciel Rouge site. Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar is named after the small, silver cup that Burgundian winemakers used in candle-lit cellars to judge the quality of the wine, so it’s good to see that wine is a focus in this attractive candle-lit dining room and bar. I think that in terms of decor, they have also improved the site - in particular I love the poster.

Start in the bar with the Strawberry of Reims ($14) champagne cocktail before moving to the dining room. Alex & Natasha Bourdon are wine enthusiasts and know their well-priced list intimately, so let them guide your exploration. The 2006 Lillian Marsanne Rousanne ($52) from Pemberton, WA they chose for me was truly exceptional.

Sydney Rocks ($3/each) impress with dressing of sherry vinegar and eschallots; but are quickly forgotten when the Gnocchi a la Parisienne ($16) arrives.

The excellent choux pastry dumplings rest in a white truffle Mornay sauce with sautéed mushrooms. It was the first time I have had gnocchi made from something other than potato, sweet potato or pumpkin.

The Veal Pâté-en-Croûte ($15) is tasty, as are the accompanying caper berries, cocktail onions and cornichons. I prefer the pastry wrapping to serving it with bread too. It looked and tasted very much like picnic fare, and it made me want to go on a picnic soon.

Mains include the Confit Pork Parmentier ($26) with roasted apple, prune and Armagnac. I really liked the flavoursome rilette style pork in this dish.

The Entrecote de Boeuf ($29) with waffled potato chips and sauce Bordelaise was satisfying and nicely cooked, but for me it’s all about the wicked gnocchi.

We were urged by Natasha to have a side of Hand Cut Pommes Frites ($6) and they were great - much better than my out of focus shot implies.

One thing you really notice with this job is the soundtracks restaurants provide. Let me tell you, eighteen months in, I am getting very bored with the ubiquitous Gotan Project, so at this restaurant I appreciated the upbeat Les Nubians soundtrack as we waited for our dessert special - Cherry Clafoutis ($12). It wasn't my sort of dessert - plus as you might have guessed, I only have eyes for the gnocchi.

Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar
Level 1, 292 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9356 3429

Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon