Saturday, January 28, 2012

Newport Grill

Here is a new restaurant review.  I promised something new.  Newport Grill in Wichita, Kansas is one of my favorites.  It has the best martinis in the city and the bar tenders know how to make them properly.  They stuff their own olives with blue cheese and then know to shake them the proper amount of time.

On this visit, I had a straight vodka martini with potato vodka (they have a great variety of alcoholic beverages).  The regular copilot had the Black and Blue--that's a very dirty martini with stuffed blue olives.  I like the stuffed blue olives too just no dirty in my vodka.  The martinis were excellent, as usual, and consistent. 

We also had the steak tartar, tuna tartar, shrimp cocktail, and ceviche.  These are all appetizers.  So, we like appetizers especially raw ones.  The steak tartar was excellent.  We always ask for more toast points, mainly because we like them and secondarily because the second batch is usually softer, and I like them softer.  The regular copilot likes them crustier.  The steak tartar at Newport Grill is European style.  I mentioned before the steak tartar at The Candle Club is American style.  I like them both.  European style tends to have more spices in the steak and usually capers and onions.

The tuna tartar has fried crisps with it.  The flavor was excellent.  Their ceviche is more prepared than I like it.  The best US ceviche I've had was at Ruth's Crisp.  Newport Grill's was pleasant, but not my favorite.  The shrimp cocktail was typical and US style.  It's one of the regular copilot's favorites. 

All in all this was a pleasant evening.  We sat at the bar, but if you want to get a table, make reservations.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birthday Cigar

I didn't eat anywhere of real note on my trip, so I don't have any new restaurants to report.  I do have a cigar update.  I received an ATF Garcia and Garcia Limited Edition My Father cigar for my birthday.  I smoked it while drinking cappuccino and Remi Marten XO Cognac.

I prepared the cigar with a 3/8 inch punch and lit it slowly with a wooden match. The cigar was very robust.  It was a rich cigar with a very even burn.  It tasted of strong coffee and cocoa and was a powerful cigar.  It was a perfect dessert cigar.  I can't recommend it to the mellow smoke crowd, but for those who like a strong cigar, it was perfect.  It was a long lasting smoke, but did not taint the pallet so much that it stayed with me for hours.

The cappuccino and Cognac went perfectly with it.  My thanks to the gift bearers who provided me a great cigar.

Remember, if you want to try Cognac, always drink it from a brandy snifter.  This is true of brandy and any similar liqueur.  You will not be pleased, or you will be more pleased by the drink if you have it in the proper glass.  This is also true for many liqueurs.  A splash in a tall glass does not bring out the essential aromas of the drink.     

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Repeats and a Promise

I haven't been going anywhere new for a while--that's my excuse.  I've been to the Wasabis on the east side every Friday for the last few weeks.  I even took a whole group there--I can't help that I need a sushi fix every week.  I'll tell you I've set on a couple of dishes as the perfect combo for the winter.  I can't remember the name of the dinner Japanese bento boxed meal.  It typically comes with tempura, fish or meat, pickles, sushi, shashimi, sweet fruit, and rice.  A bento is a lunch meal in a box (typically cold), while the dinner is a typically hot and cold mix.  To make one at Wasabis you just order the sushi combo A and one of the boxed dinner meals.  I like teriaki beef--ask for it medium rare and it comes close to a real Japanese dinner.  Wasabis could be more of a "yes" restaurant, but it is not bad.  For example, they won't make special rolls or allow mixtures of shashimi on their main shashimi set.  So, I'm stuck in a rut.  I like hot and cold especially for dinner in the winter and of course, I must have hot saki.  The Japanese culture is fantastic at keeping the hot and cold part of a meal in balance.

I also had steak tartar at the Candle Club again during Cigar Night.  I confirmed that a small brut Flexinet is the best with steak tartar and the Candle Club's steak tartar is one of the best.  I smoked a couple of high end Partagas that night and I'm smoking a Partagas number 10 right now.  Plus, the Candle Club does a great job making drinks just the way I like them.

I will be going to Oklahoma City soon and will try some dining there.  I hope to give a report on some new restaurants.  That's my promise.  I'll get to some other restaurants in Wichita soon--that's the plan.  Until them--great eating, drinking, and cigars.