30 January 2009

Current By-the-Bottle list
as of 17 May
  • White
  • ’11 Adelsheim AUXERROIS Newberg, Willamette Valley, OR (13%).…..…………..……...........................................$45
  • '11 Müller-Grossman “Steiner Point” RIESLING (dry) Kremstal, Austria (13%alc)..…..............................................$40
  • '09 Trimbach  RIESLING (drier)Alsace, FR (13%alc)…………….……………………..................................................$36
  • '12 A-Z  RIESLING (sweet)Newberg, OR (12%alc)…………….…………………….....................................................$36
  • ’11 Abbazia di Novacella “Stiftskellerei Neustift” KERNER Alto-Adige, Italy  (14%alc) ….…..........................……$55
  • ‘11 Jean-Maurice Raffault CHENIN BLANC Chinon, Loire, FR (13%alc) .……..……………...…………….................$40
  •  ‘11 St Innocent “Vitae Springs Vineyard”  PINOT GRIS Salem, Willamette Valley, OR (12.5%alc).…....................$45
  • ’11 Adelsheim PINOT GRIS Newberg, Willamette Valley, OR (13.2%).…..…………..……...................…(1/2 bottle)$27
  • ‘10 The Eyrie Vineyards PINOT GRIS Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, OR (13.5%alc)…....... ...............................$40
  • ‘11 Eidosela/ALBARIÑO/ Rias Baixas, Spain..…  ….…………….………………………………..……….......................$36
  • ‘11 Valdesil “Montenovo” GODELLO Valdeorras, Spain (13%alc).….……………………………………............…... $ 36
  • ‘12 Sigalas "Santorini" ASSYRTIKO Santorini, Greece(13.7%alc) .............................................................................$55
  • ‘09 Chehalem "INOX" CHARDONNAY Willamette Valley, OR(13.8%alc) (stainless steel)..........……..…...…..…….$40
  • ‘10 Emile Beranger CHARDONNAY Pouilly-Fuissé, Côte d’Or,Burgundy, FR (13%alc) …………..………...….…….$50
  • ‘10 Maison Louis Latour “En Paradis” CHARDONNAY Pouilly-Vinzelles, Côte d’Or,Burgundy, FR (13%alc) .. .....$45
  • ‘11 Domaine les Grands Crays "Le Clos du Chateau" CHARDONNAY Viré-Clessé, Burgundy, FR(13.5%alc).........$55
  • ’11 St Innocent "Freedom Hill Vineyard"CHARDONNAY Salem, Willamette Valley, OR(13%).…..….....................$50
  • Rosé
  • '12 Propietà Sperino “Rosa del Rosa” NEBBIOLO+vespolina/ Piedmont, Italy(13%alc)....……................................$40
  • ‘11 Adelsheim PINOT NOIR Willamette Valley, OR(13.4%alc) ….......…...........................................................….…$36
  • Red
  • ‘10 Brick House GAMAY  Ribbon Ridge, Newberg,Willamette Valley, OR (12.75%alc)... .…............…..……..……...$60
  • *'11 Domaine du Crêt de Bine GAMAY (12%alc) Beaujolais, FR ..............................................................................$36
  • ‘11 Brick House “Select” PINOT NOIR   Willamette Valley, OR (13%alc).............................…………..………..…....$75
  • ‘10 The Eyrie Vineyards PINOT NOIR   Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, OR (13.5%alc) ….......……….(1/2 bottle)$40
  • ‘09 R. Stuart & Co. “Big Fire” PINOT NOIR  Willamette Valley, OR (13.4%alc) …..……….……............................$40
  • ‘10 Joseph Mellot “Le Rabault” PINOT NOIR Sancerre, Loire Valley, FR  (12.5%alc)……..……………….………..$50
  • ‘10 St Innocent “Momtazi Vineyard” PINOT NOIR  McMinnville,Willamette Valley, OR (13%alc).........(1/2 bottle)$45
  • ‘10 Hirsch Vineyards “San Andreas Fault” PINOT NOIR Sonoma Coast CA (13%alc)………......………(1/2 bottle)$55
  • ‘09 Erath “Estate Selection” PINOT NOIR WillametteValley, OR (13.5%alc)..……………..…...……………...............$70
  • ’10 Adelsheim "Elizabeth's Reserve" PINOT NOIR Newberg, Willamette Valley, OR (13.4%).…....…………..……...$80
  • ‘10 Archery Summit  “Premier Cuvée” PINOT NOIR   Willamette Valley, OR (13.5%alc)…...…....……….........…....$80
  •  ‘11 Lovingston PINOTAGE Lovingston, Virginia  (13.5%alc)….…………………………..……………………..….…....$45
  • ‘10 Morgan “Cotes du Crow’s” SYRAH, Grenache/ Monterey, CA (13.5%alc)  ………………….……...................…..$40
  • ’11 Poderi Foglia AGLIANICO Roccamonfina, Campania, Italy (13.5%alc)………………….…………………………..$36
  • ’08 Pietra Santa SANGIOVESE Cienega Valley, Central Coast, CA(14.5%)…………..................…….….…………....$45
  • ’09 Domaine de Grangeon CHATUS  Coteaux de l’Ardèche, Rhone Valley, FR(13.5%)……………….….…………....$55
  • ’05 Tezza “Brolo delle Giare” Ripasso CORVINA+rondinella+molinara/Valpolicella, Veneto, IT(14.5%alc)…...… $50
  • '10 Andrew Rich "Coup d'Etat" GRENACHE+mourvèdre+syrah/Columbia Valley, WA(14.1%alc)…..................… $55
  • '09 Carol Shelton "Monga Zin" ZINFANDEL Cucamonga Valley, South Coast, CA(14.9%alc)…..........................… $50
  • '10 Ridge "Lytton Estate" PETITE SIRAH+syrah+peloursin+zin /Sonoma, CA (14.3%alc)..……….....................…..$60

29 January 2009

29Jan- Oof. Busy night.
.
From time to time it will catch someone by surprise that we in the business are not always happy to be busy, especially in these crazy times.
Sometimes it just doesn't work out for us.

Tonight it worked. Tonight was busy but everyone came in at an even pace. The customers seemed happy with everything and we were happy with how everything went out. This is not always the case.

There is little as stressful a feeling as when we're not doing our best and when everyone comes in at the same time we find ourselves sometimes not being able to do our best.
Please don't get us wrong. We want the business. Hell, we need the business. But sometimes it's like a family dinner here in the south: there's a grandmother or an aunt who'll plop down another course even after you're quite full. We're sure that course is delicious but there's simply not enough room to do it justice.
We never want to do a half-assed job.
So tonight was great. We had a couple of large parties, well-spaced apart, and we felt proud of what went out and the customers really seemed to enjoy everything.

As the bulk of our business tonight was the National Advocacy Center, thanks NAC! But more importantly than thanks for coming by, thanks for spacing yourselves out. That's what makes for a successful evening.

28 January 2009

28Jan- change of hours
.
As busy as things have been on the weekends, we've noticed that it generally dies down pretty early on Saturdays. So, for a little while at least, we'll be closing up shop at 9 o'clock on Saturdays. Fridays remain the same.




this is fun. irrelevant but fun

22 January 2009

22jan- oh my god, I want the hell out of this
.
Trapdoor in the kitchen floor: Spiral Wine Cellars

21 January 2009

21January-new art/beer menu
.

As described earlier, this new beer menu is designed to recall an art text.

____________________________



Figure 1. St. Feuillien in a Dining Room in the Country
(after Bonnard’s “The Dining Room in the Country”)

Black and white is an unfortunate, but financially necessary, medium in which to reproduce this as the deep suffusion of yellow and orange is key to appreciating the painting and the beer fully. This complex, rich use of color to suggest a saturation of sunlight calls to mind the layered, lush, soft quality of the St. Feuillien Triple which, like a Bonnard, can offer a great deal to a keen observer.

St. Feuillien Triple $9.75
Belgium (8.5% alc/vol)

_______________________________



Figure 2. Saturn Imbibing his St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout
(after Goya’s “Saturn devouring his Son”)

In this dark, bitter, intense depiction we see Saturn drinking, with almost mad fervor, a similarly dark, bitter, and intense St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. After the consumption of his sons (one of whom, it was foretold, would usurp him) he would no doubt have needed something to take the edge off. The dark chocolate and espresso notes so evident in the rich beer would no doubt have been just the thing.
Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture and harvest, the Protector and Sower of the Seed (seen here without pants.)

St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout $6.75
Montreal, Quebec

_____________________



Figure 3. Xingu Standing in an Exotic Forest
(After Rousseau’s “Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest”)

Though seemingly simple in its dark, flat representation of forest, in the traditional Naïve manner, there is a stimulative crispness and attention to detail in both beer and image. The ostensibly dense subjects are soon revealed to be much lighter than at first glance either through design or as demanded by the nature of the artist’s ability or, in the case of the brewer, dark grains indigenous to Brazil that would impart the color of a roasted malt without the heaviness.

Xingu Black Beer $4.25
Brazil

______________________________

Figure 4. Würzburger Hofbräu and Water Tower
(after Demuth’s “Chimney and Water Tower”)

The clean, crisp lines of the Precisionist movement reflect the clean, crisp flavors of this Bavarian Pilsner. Its refreshing, bright perspective easily and firmly synergize with the brighter dishes on the menu but also offer an even juxtaposition with dining options known for their spice and depth. The matter-of-fact nature of the style, and relative lack of social commentary, make for a refreshing and easy-drinking beer.

Würzburger Hofbräu Pilsner $4.25
Bavaria, Germany

20 January 2009

20Jan- Oh yeah...
.
So everyone knows, Valentine's Day is the one day out of the year that we accept reservations. So, if anyone wants to make reservations for that night then give us a call or email us. We'll take a credit card number and get you on the list.
20Jan- a tactical error?
.
I'm almost done with my beer menu. In past versions I've visited the idea of short, short stories and a variety of poetry forms. This time around I've decided to do something different and, as I'm finishing up the lay-outs, I wonder if I've gone a bit too far.

I've structured this menu (or, at least, the four featured beers) to call to mind the art books through which I enjoy flipping every now and again. I love that somewhat dry, sometimes bloviated style of describing a work of art. So I've taken the four new beers and paired them with a painting (or style) that I think expresses them best. My big, dark, bitter oatmeal stout is expressed by a version of Goya's "Saturn devouring his son" from his series of "Black Paintings." My complex and lush Belgian Triple is compared to one of Bonnard's paintings (which won't work well in black and white but once I started thinking about it I couldn't find a better reflection of style than St. Feuillien and a warm, sunlight-y painting by Bonnard. This was the one that got me thinking because you kind of have to have a familiarity with his work for this comparison to make all the sense that it could. ) The Brazilian Xingu, which is a dark yet surprisingly bright and refreshing beer, is set against the style of Rousseau and his Naive manner, which is known for its refreshing and simplistic, yet sometimes dense, style. And my new crisp and clean Pilsner is most aptly seen through the eyes of Precionist Charles Demuth and his own clean, crisp lines.

But I wonder if I'm going too far with this. Will it be seen as arrogantly informative? Will all those whose eyes glazed over at the cracking open of their art history books be turned off by my approach to selling beer? I feel as though Baan Sawan appeals to a demographic to whom art and art references are not foreign. I certainly hope I'm right.

Regardless, I've spent far too much time drawing four different depictions to worry about that now. If sales stagnate or, god forbid, dip once the new menu comes out then I'll change it. Otherwise I'll just hope everyone enjoys it.

19 January 2009

19January- working hard on the menu
.
I'm almost done with the new beer menu. If I weren't blogging I'd be a lot closer. I've eschewed the stories and poems this time around figuring I needed something new to keep me interested, not that I don't have a solid respect for constancy.

this will end up being the menu I'll be most proud of, not just because of the beers featured but because of the effort I'm putting into it. Therefore I fully expect it to go mostly unnoticed.

Regardless, as I work I've got Pandora going and this song just came up. I find that I really like it.

17 January 2009

17Jan- Busy tonight
.
or last night, more accurately. Friday night. That was satisfying after having had a fairly slow week. And it was one of those nice busies when people came in gradually, not all at once thereby causing a bottle neck in the kitchen that then makes everyone unhappy since we can't catch up. so i'm sitting at home with a glass of something that happened to be open when I got home, listening to Pandora's take on Neko Case (Thank you, Sarah, from Half and Half for turning me on to her) and waiting for my nicked tuna to marinate so that I can grill pan it.

You know that feeling of having gotten away with something? A lie, perhaps, gone undetected. An assignment finished at the last moment that turned out better than expected. A coupon you knew was expired but was accepted anyway. Our crew tonight was one of our most solid servers, the new (but settling in very quickly) server, and a former server who, except for one night early this week, hadn't worked here for over a year. the potential for havoc was higher than I like but this was the position in which we found ourselves and the position in which we found ourselves succeeding. From what I could see (as I was pretty busy myself), all of our servers did a great job tonight. Our kitchen was a machine and churned out one carefully constructed, well-received dish after another. And the customers did a great job of not only coming in but coming in at a very agreeable pace.
thanks to Marc from Southern Wine for coming in and giving me vinous respites in the form of an extraordinary Schlumberger Grand Cru Pinot Gris that was so rich and delicious with honeyed and spicy notes that I feel almost certain the grapes must've seen some botrytis somewhere along the line. Also a nice, crisp, dry-ish riesling from Petaluma in Australia. And the dark fruit, full-bodied, expertly-oaked Marlstone from Clos du Bois (yes, Clos du Bois. Evidently the lower tier offerings found in grocery stores pay for their higher tier, complex efforts such as this.) His visit and samplings not only will enrich our list in the future but also were little oases during that crazy busy night.
Now I'm going to go to bed. Thanks to everyone involved for a great and much needed night.




maybe sparrow by Neko Case

16 January 2009

16Jan- Schubert's 9th symphony 2nd movement
.
this morning I tweeted and facebook updated that Performance Today was going to play this symphony. They only had time to play the 3rd movement, though, and the 2nd movement is my favorite. So I'm posting that here in case I'm not the only one.


16Jan- so there's that
.
There's stuff going on. I've almost settled on a drinks menu. I think the beer menu is done; we've just got to sell through some old stuff before the new beers come out officially. In the meantime, there's a wonderfully crisp pilsner and a deliciously bitter, dark oatmeal stout waiting in the wings for anyone who wants one.
We're going to start taking reservations for Valentine's Day (the only day of the year that we take reservations.) I've got some fun new wines in by the bottle (a fantastic, aromatic Oregon Pinot Noir from Belle Pente, a rich, yet focused cab from Mt. Veeder, Napa, and some more dry rieslings -which I need to start getting at by-the-glass prices).
I still feel like my mussaman shepherd's pie has potential.
But what is most on my mind are the three large poinsettia plants I saw on the curb on the way home tonight. three perfectly healthy, living plants tossed to the side because the Man says they're out of season. It made me think of all the things that get forgotten because conventional opinion has decided to shun them at a certain point. "Sideways" and its impact on Merlot. Linen suits after Labor Day (though I still think that someone with darker skin can still get away with a light colored suit because a darker skin color implies tropicality.) There was just something so sad about these three plants sitting on the curb, like orphans resting their chins on their hands watching traffic go by. I wanted to pick them up, but I'm not terribly good with plants.
that's all.

10 January 2009

10Jan-enjoyment via context
.
I'm just starting to realize something about contextual enjoyment. There are some wines, it seems, that only seem to taste right with the right person. It's said that so much of wine is chemistry; I suppose it would make sense that the chemistry experienced with a certain person, with the accent of a certain chemistry-consistent beverage, makes for a total experience. But that's a literal chemistry and a kind of figurative chemsitry.
It's also been said that synapses in the brain get used to being fired in certain ways. It's not impossible to re-train synapses but they do seem to like to fire in a certain pattern, once established. So neurologically speaking it makes sense that a particular experience with a particular person begins to make sense and when the components don't add up like we expect them to, the total experience finds itself lacking.

The 2000Domaine Montille Volnay or 02 Eyrie Reserve Pinot Noir don't taste quite right if I'm not drinking it with Leigh. I've had neither with other people but I've had them by myself and there's a missing element. However, the Lange reserve Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley, which I regret to say I can longer find in town, I've only had by myself. And, for some odd, selfish reason, I feel like I want to keep those wonderful, clean, cherry and raspberry flavors to myself. I know those who would appreciate it but there's something private and quiet about my experiences with their work. I feel like that's my treehouse of a Pinot, where I can go to be myself and not worry about other people. If I could afford it, Gary Farrell's Russian River Valley Pinot Noir could do that, too.
St. Innocent's Mt Vitae 07Pinot Gris - that extraordinary, full, spicy, minerally thing - just doesn't hit the right spot when I'm not drinking it with Eubanks, with whom I first had it in Charleston at the Carolina Wine Source Oregon tasting. We hit a bit of that tonight, as a matter of fact. Components fall into place, gears mesh, things work and comfort is achieved. The senses are soothed when things go as they should and who doesn't want that?
I've only got one more bottle of the St Innocent at the restaurant and I plan to buy that Gary Farrell (a glorious, fresh tasting, lighter bodied Pinot that tastes so clean and uplifting that it's like eating fresh strawberries in a field on a picnic blanket under an azure sky with Billie Holiday lilting in the background on an old portable turntable.) for the by the bottle list, though to know it's there would be constant temptation. I'd think I'd be used to that sensation by now, with the wonderful things that live in the fridge behind me, but it still makes my heart flutter from time to time.
Anyway. Just a thought.



this song is just too perfect

09 January 2009

09Dec- "Be Prepared to Stop"
.

There's a street sign on my way to work (a construction sign, actually) that caught my eye the other day. It said in big words on a bright orange diamond with rounded points "Be Prepared to Stop."
While it's an imperative, like so many other street signs, there was something gentle about it. Its wording allows for me to decide when to prepare and, in that way, I feel like the sign understood me a bit more than other signs.
It reminded me of some watch words of my Tai Chi teacher "Don't pursue an opportunity that's passed." These words are designed to prevent me from over-reaching and exhausting my energy, which could allow a perceptive opponent to take advantage of that sudden lack of power and control.

But there was just something about that street sign. It encourages caution (certainly, but more layered than the too broad "Caution" sign) but maybe it's just another way of saying: be prepared for change. Be prepared for anything. One may not have to stop further on down the road, mind you, but just in case...be prepared.

then there's the possibility that not only do I have to be prepared to stop doing something, sometimes I need to be prepared to stop not doing something else.



07 January 2009

07Dec- Decided on some beers
.
I decided on a replacement for the Baltika 6. It used to be a big, brawny beer but has since smoothed out. With the help of the staff, I've decided on St. Ambroise oatmeal stout as an appropriate substitute. And, since Blue Tongue Pilsner is gone, the new pleasant, refreshing, easy-going but interesting beer is going to be something I can't remember but wonderfully Bavarian in name. Two umlauts!
So...that's happening.


05 January 2009

05Jan- seriously, though. Oysters @ cock&bull
.
fresh, light, briny, crispy, sea-y oysters in a wonderful pile with a ketchup-y kind of sauce.
I could eat a ridiculous amount. Oh my god. I want some more now.

update: had some last night. I want more now.

04 January 2009

04Jan- random video of Baan Sawan, after hours
.



Why is it in French? My back hurts. I don't have to explain anything.

03 January 2009

03Jan- in response to having been tagged
.
So. I've been tagged by pretty Mrs. P at the Daily Digress. The rules are that I also make predictions for what the new year has to bring, as she had to do here: tagged by blog-o-beth

so here are my predictions, as determined over this bottle of Boulaouane Morrocan rosé, whose peachy color, light melon and strawberry-ish flavors, and dry finish I happen to be enjoying after work:

1. I predict that I'll fall in love with a little-known grape or vineyard, talk it up for a month or two, then suddenly the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times will write articles about my grape or vineyard, thereby making me seem -to some- like a trend follower rather than somebody who happens to have travelled along a parallel track of taste and discretion.

2. I predict I'll approach Kristian Niemi from Gervais and Vine to start a Rat Pack-y kind of big band show during which we'll trade amusing, sometimes biting, quips and joke about drinking too much but then I'll remember that the restaurant industry doesn't allow for much time to put together and rehearse such a thing. Then I predict I'll be disappointed but ultimately glad that we won't experience the racial, and grammatical, tension of having me sing the Sammy Davis, Jr part of "Me and My Shadow."

3. I predict that all the lovely dry rieslings I buy will all be drunk by the staff and myself since too few customers act on the well-supported opinion that a dry riesling is one of the most versatile white wines, especially when it comes to spicy food. Then, when somebody finally does come in asking for one, I predict I'll be in an awkward position for having quite likely just polished off my last bottle the night before.

4. I predict there will be at least one night when I will have made the mistake of sitting too far back in Bar None on a night when I have nowhere to be then, as I try to make my way to the door, I'll be distracted by one person and another at a half-hour and a beer a pop, then finally push open the door to be greeted by the blue light of early dawn.

5. I predict that I won't win the Hearst Fashion Photography contest I entered but the pictures I took to submit (plus the growing portfolio on Artbreak.com/old_yout) will bring more attention to my photography and I might make a little bit of money doing natural light portraits. Then one day I won't be able to put my hands to a Borzoi to match a beautiful woman's Nottingham show coat and jodhpurs and I'll just give up the whole damn thing in an artistic, yet masculine, huff.

Furthermore, I'm to tag other bloggers. In blog-life, as in my personal life, I tend to shy away from claiming friendships (since I never want to introduce someone as a friend then hear: "Well, we just know each other.")
So Daily Digress was the only other blogger I'd have tagged at this point. Naturally, I thought I'd tag Shop Tart, but decided not to play semantics.
So, conveniently, we've just hired somebody with her own fashion-related blogspot.
Therefore, I'm tagging Gabriela at Columbia Street Scene. I love 03Dec. Great hair, great outfit. She looks like someone who'd look good in a tight, Argentine tango, assuming there's a slit somewhere there. Then, a fellow contributor to that website, there's Rachael at Softspoken. There are some fantastic looks on that first page. And never before have I felt like I needed a Crosley portable turntable as much. And that's pretty much taken care of any other bloggers to whom I have even a fleeting relevance, so I'm going to pick a cute one from Daily Digress': The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. This is a delightful romp through misunderstandings of that wonderful punctuation mark: the quotation mark.

I would like to have tagged Fuck You, Penguin. But I changed my mind. That one's a little weird. I love it, but it's weird.

Okay. That's my tag response. You three mentioned above? You're it.
Me? I'm going to bed. It's almost 1:00, for crying out loud.

And this song happened to be playing on Pandora as I was finishing up, so I thought I'd embed it. I rather like this version.


02 January 2009

02Jan- Myspace is Dead, I hear.
.
And so the restaurant is joining the Facebook thing. After all, I do have my fingers on the pulse of the generation. I with it. I'm hip. I'm a frequent user of modern colloquialisms, when it suits my purpose.

anyway, I suppose the Myspace page will remain vestigially active, like a yearbook on a coffee table, even though I haven't updated it in some time.

And the Facebook will receive updates, not unlike the twitter feed, but with the potential for pictures and such.
I don't know; this will just be another thread that makes up the textured and complex fabric that is Baan Sawan.

Facebook Baan Sawan Maybe this link will work, I don't know. If you're on Facebook, then you probably know how to find it if it doesn't work.

01 January 2009

01Jan- ooh. Pizzagna. Now, there's an idea
.
Stumbled across this. More than a pizza. More than a lasagna. I think I want to eat that

Pizzagna recipe