Sunday, September 10, 2006

On a recent business trip to New Brunswick, New Jersey, I had the opportunity to dine out 2 of the nights I was there. Since my colleague and I enjoyed wine with both dinners I figured I would write about the 2 restaurants as well as the wines we enjoyed.

First up was Makedas, an Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of downtown New Brunswick. The restaurant was very nice with an art gallery adjacent that you had clear view of through the glass wall that enclosed one side of the restaurant. After my 1st two choice for wine this evening were out of stock I settled on Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2001.

Nose: Black Raspberry, blueberry, slight Coffee
Taste: Blackberry, Raspberry, Cinnamon
Mouthfeel: medium to full body with silky smooth tannins
Finish: Really long

This was a great wine, really impressive. Classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. I am not sure if it was the best wine to go with our selection of Ethiopian cuisine but was good none the less, as was the food at Makedas. If you are ever in New Brunswick looking for a great atmosphere with fun exotic food, give it a try.



The second restaurant that we we to (not in the same night of course) was The Frog and The Peach. The restaurant had an amazing wine list that being on the company tab I had to be careful. We went with a Benziger Cabernet Sauvignon 2002.

Origin: Sonoma, CA

Nose: Black Currant, Plum, blueberry

Taste: Rich Dark Fruit, Leather, Coffee

Mouthfeel: Rich and full bodied; chewy

Finish: Long and Lucious with slight pepperiness

This Cab was great showing excellent fruit up front with layered complexity of coffee and minerality on the finish. It was paired beautifully with our dinner. For our appetizer we had a black truffle gnocchi with a Local Spinach Chiffonade,Tomato Concassé, and Toasted Pine Nuts. The entree was magnificent as well with both of us choosing the Summer Mushroom and Goat Cheese Agnolotti with Local Greens, Sweet Corn Fondue, and Toasted Breadcrumbs. A side of sauteed asparagus accompanied the meal nicely as did the wine washing down every bited beautifully. The entire dinner was great, our server Amy, the meal, our Riedel stemware and of course the fabulous wine. The only thing missing was my wife.
Again a great restaurant if you are ever in the New Brunswick/Rutgers area.



2 comments:

warren said...

Ethiopian would be a tough cuisine to pair given the spices. Did you eat with those vinegar pancakes? That second restaurant sounds divine---you know how to eat. I'll be on the lookout for both wine recommendations.

John Witherspoon said...

Yeah the injera bread is a must with the Ethiopian food, plus it is so fun to eat with your hands. We have a nice little Ethiopian restaurant here in Richmond but my favorite is that one in Georgetown.
Next time I will probably pair a Viognier or a dry Reisling or Guwerztraminer with the dinner.

Thanks for writing.
JOhn
:)