Monday, June 28, 2010

Donato Enoteca celebrates 1-year anniversary

On Tuesday last week, June 22, Donato Enoteca - my favorite restaurant - celebrated 1-year anniversary. This place boggles my mind - it's not that it's the most haute or has the most exquisite wine collection or the most illustrious table cloths - there are others than will exceed it in all those categories - but it's the feeling I get when I go there. The combination of being welcome like family, the airy space, the always delicious, reliable, fresh, seasonal, extremely satisfying food, the wines selected with careful thought and respect for all parties involved, and the value offered at this place! It's the total package. Obviously, I am not the only one who thinks that, as the place was packed on Tuesday night. In the restaurant business, surviving a year is a major milestone. Not only is this place surviving, it's blooming!

Chef Donato offered a fixed menu for such a low price, it was practically a give-away ($34). I asked them why - Eric said "last year we served the food for free!" Live music was playing, Prosecco on the house, the food was amazing yet again. I brought in a bottle of 2000 Moccagatta Brin Balin Barbaresco that I bought in Denver and was curious to try. I had had an intense, truffly 1999, and the blockbuster 2001. This 2000 is not sold in California, and 2000 was a much more highly rated vintage by Wine Spectator (which usually means the wines will be riper and more alcoholic). I was curious to pair it with the meal and to share with the gang at the restaurant. Consensus: it was nice, but not great, a bit pruney and not as nuanced as either '99 or '01. Of the three, the 2001 is definitely the one to stock up on.

As for the food, the mouth-watering 4-course menu hit the spot so right!
It tasted as good as it looked:


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