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Washingtonian magazine has released its list of the Top 100 D.C. Restaurants.

Petes Apizza, my local pizzeria, made the cut.  But it turns out, it got the nod mainly out of budget appeal, according to food critic Todd Kliman.  Personally, I find the pizza (by the slice) kind of lacking.  Maybe it’s better made-to-order?

Give me Red Rocks pizza any day instead.

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For by now obvious reasons, Schott’s Food & Drink Miscellany is one of my favorite light reads.  William Grimes’s review in the New York Times gives you a sample:

“…The book is pointedly pointless, intentionally aimless and endlessly entertaining.

It is gratifying to learn that humble pie is no mere expression. There really was such a thing, a dish made with venison offal, or humbles, a word that derived from the French word for deer entrails, nombles. Mr. Schott thoughtfully includes a 17th-century recipe, which sounds delicious, much more appealing than a restaurant’s roast camel “English style,” one of several dishes served on Christmas at Voisin in 1870, when Paris was under siege.

The zoo at the Jardin des Plantes sold off the animals it could no longer feed, and enterprising chefs rose to the challenge. At Voisin, diners feasted on stuffed ass’s head, elephant soup, wolf haunch in venison sauce and a truffled antelope terrine. The wines were appropriate.

Anyone curious to know what elephant soup tastes like will be disappointed, but Mr. Schott does include a list of exotic creatures and their reputed flavors. Bat, it seems, tastes like partridge, the Nephila spider tastes like a potato, and termites taste like lettuce. A valuable footnote explains why Portuguese settlers in Africa were allowed to eat hippopotamus (tastes like beef) during Lent. Because it spends so much time in the water, the hippo was judged to be a fish.”

Schott also recounts the history of the sandwich and explains how famous cocktails got their names.  This book is a riot and imminently re-readable.  Pick it up sometime!

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The winemaker says:

“We admit it. We’re a little obsessed with terroir. Especially when it comes to Pinot Noir. Technically, terroir means the absolutely unique characteristics of a site – soil, wind, temperature, cosmic influences, neighboring lavender fields, nearness of the sea. For Pinot, it means that the subtle texture and flavors of one site cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

Los Carneros Pinot is a subtly complex masterpiece. The 2006 vintage gave us brooding, earthy aromas of cherry and forest floor, with touches of spice. Flavors are complex, full with cherry, coffee and molasses surrounded by a soft, velvety texture that ends in a fleshy, long finish. A gorgeous wine.”

I say: 

La Crema Pinot Noir ’06 is a soft, Old World-style red that complements a variety of dishes (especially the ones on this blog).  It’s great—and better yet—Target (of all places!) must have negotiated a great deal, the normally $26 bottle sells there for $16.  “Tar-jay” finally lives up to its name.

****Update: 3/1/09****: Target must have caught on.  La Crema is now $25.99/bottle. [tear]

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