October 14, 2005
4000 Year Old Noodles Discovered
Professor Houyuan Lu said: "Prior to the discovery of noodles at Lajia, the earliest written record of noodles is traced to a book written during the East Han Dynasty sometime between AD 25 and 220, although it remained a subject of debate whether the Chinese, the Italians, or the Arabs invented it first. Our discovery indicates that noodles were first produced in China."
Duh. The Chinese invented EVERYTHING.
October 5, 2005
Monday night I met Michael and a few of his friends at Vin Bistro where the old Baby Louie's used to be on Kerby Lane at 38th, next to Kerby Lane Cafe. That location seems to have bad luck since so many restaurants have come and gone in that location over the past 10 years but I hope Vin Bistro finds some good luck and loyal patrons. I had already eaten dinner so I was just planning to have dessert and drink some wine. They have an amazing wine selection and every Monday, save for some really expensive bottles, all bottles are half off! We polished off two delicious bottles of wine for less than $30 and each got about 2 additional glasses for free for just tasting the different selections before choosing a bottle. It was a great night to go since it wasn't crowded and just cool enough to enjoy the outside dining area. I definitely recommend it to any wine and food lovers here in Austin before the half-price bottle secret is out!
The motto on their web site says "Come for the Wine, Stay for the Food." I'll say Amen to that. The first thing you'll notice when you look at the menu is they have a wine pairing for each item on their menu, so you know they are serious about what they are cooking. I broke down and decided to order a small salad and nibbled on everyone elses food throughout the night. Except for a few dishes the "contemporary American" menu doesn't really offer anything so special that you wouldn't cook at home yourself, but everything is wonderfully prepared with great attention to detail. And it isn't so overpriced that you couldn't enjoy your evening by worrying about how much you are spending.
The Wild Mushroom Risotto was earthy and creamy and made our bellies warm. The Spinach salad with warm goat cheese had a wonderful canteloupe vinaigrette. I thought it was a bit too sweet, but it might've just been that there was too much dressing tossed in. However the sweetness of the vinaigrette paired nicely with the fried goat cheese and tart apples. The soup of the day was chili that was so thick and wonderfully spicy, unlike any chili I've had before. We all fought over Michael's medium rare Pork tenderloin with fried polenta and zucchini covered in bacon crumbles. The not-so-light* Tofu Curry had so many flavorful layers to it, it was probably some of the best curry dish I've had in a long time. For dessert we split the Chocolate torte, which was my dream come true, the classic Creme Brulee and the surprisingly good Cinnamon Gelato floating in a pool of warmed Blackberries. After we drank all our wine, the waiter even brought us a few bottles of Dublin Dr. Pepper made with real cane sugar. Now that's what I call service.
Besides the half-price bottles on Monday night, they also have $5 glasses on Wednesdays. Another great reason to go.
* Tessa asked the waiter to recommend something light. For some reason he recommended the Tofu Curry. Curry, as far as I know, has never been a dish that I've considered to be light. She licked the plate clean anyhow.