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Catching Up at Saxon + Parole


Somehow we let four and a half years slip by since we last visited William in New York City.  This past weekend we took advantage of a rare alignment in schedules and Lorelei’s general excitement, to drive up.  Lorelei was excited for a vacation and game for a “late night” dinner at AvroKO’s recently opened restaurant, Saxon + Parole.  We stayed at a hotel in Soho so had a bit of a walk-around before changing and heading over for dinner.  I took the liberty of bringing up two bottles from Les Sang des Cailloux to drink with dinner.

As we entered the restaurant Linden quickly greeted us then directed us over to William.  I suspect there are not too many three-year olds who dine here but she was made welcome.  William started us off with the superb Celery Gimlet for Jenn, the Lower East Cider for myself, and a sparkling orange juice concoction for Lorelei.  With drinks in all four of ours hands he gave us a tour of the restaurant.

Perhaps visiting the spaces designed by AvroKO at discrete intervals makes for an easier time in grasping their development but I truly believe they are achieving a level of maturity in design and execution that is unassailable.  Beyond the thoroughness is the skilled restraint and editing, the sense of properly sized rooms, dark lighting, and surprising music.  From the main floor of Saxon + Parole through the secret door to Madam Geneva then doubling-back into the basement of the restaurant and ultimately back up to our table, Lorelei firmly clutched her drink, sucking down every last drop in her glass.  Even she understood the deft touch to Narem’s drinks.

I requested the charcuterie board to give Lorelei something to start on.  She immediately went for the salami and blue cheese.  I particularly liked the chicken liver mousse pot, pickled cauliflower, and pistachio terrine. We could not resist the toast points which had the perfect amount of caramelization from lovely bread.  William ordered the rest of the meal.  Soon the carrot, ginger, and lemon soup arrived, followed by the razor-clam salad, and miso-glazed bone marrow.  All were outstanding with the soup upstaging the rest but the salad was undeniably satisfying and the orange & olive marmalade for the bone marrow restrained in sweetness and showing good depth.

The entrees consisted of the Maine lobster , Berkshire pork, and roasted chicken accompanied by mustard mashed potatoes and braised Brussels sprouts.  Lorelei loved the Berkshire pork and I think we all agreed.  While Jenn instilled in me a love of Brussels sprouts, these were amazing with their perfectly caramelized bark.

Lorelei was fading fast so a chocolate mousse and doughnuts quickly appeared.  While the whiskey ice cream of the mousse was excellent, I must follow Lorelei in that the doughnut with the vanilla cream was hands down perfect.  Lorelei and Jenn cabbed it home after dessert.  After seeing them off William and I moved into Madame Geneva.  Though late for my body it was early for a bar so we were able to get comfortable on a banquet.

We moved onto a decanter of Moss Wood eventually followed by a decanter of Fenocchio Renato, Barbaresco.  We were stepping it up, talking about the street food of Bangkok, ideas for this blog, getting excited, and just having a great time.  I love the historical depth to wine and food so it is always enjoyable to talk with William and to visit his spaces where ideas and research are physically represented.  I left that night glowing from the wine and invigorated with ideas for my blog.

2000 Les Sang des Cailloux, Cuvee Azalais, Vacqueyras
This was the favorite wine for all.  Lovely, rich, earthy, minerally, expansive, this bottle delivered to its maximum capability with William finding it “elegant.” **** Now-2017.

2004 Les Sang des Cailloux, Cuvee Lopy, Vacqueyras
Drunk next to the 2000 Cuvee Azalais, this was clearly younger and coiled.  After an hour it left lovely, spiced, blue fruit and minerals on the lips and tongue followed by a long aftertaste.  Cuvee Lopy is the old-vine cuvee and I believe this bottle needs to be aged. ***(*) 2015-2025.

2006 Moss Wood, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River
I picked a range of wines then William spoke with Chris the sommelier.  I have not drunk a bottle of Moss Wood before so it was quite a delight.  After an hour this opened up to have lovely ripe fruit, good mouth feel, concentration, and  balanced structure.  Our last glasses were the best so I would continue to cellar this. ***(*) 2015-2025.

The Italian, 2006 Agricola Fenocchio Renato, Barbaresco
A complete left-turn with bright, grainy red fruit, higher-acidity, and stylistically the most different of the three.  I was absolutely beat so I only had a glass.  Probably a good wine in another context but I was so tired I had to go to bed. Not Rated.

  1. November 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

    real good content of wine here,i will bookmark this and sure will comeback to discuss avbout wine again 🙂

  1. December 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

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