My mother in-law was here over the weekend to "get some Christmas shopping done." I put that in quotes mainly because we all know that the primary objective of the visit was to get her hands on her grandson. But I digress.
With a babysitter available, Nena and I decided to take full advantage Saturday night and go out to dinner...without Jackson. It's only happened a handful of times since he's joined us here at LENNDEVOURS headquarters. After knocking around a few ideas for venue, we decided upon one of our favorite take out joints, that happens to also be a BYBO restaurant, Thai Gourmet in Port Jefferson Station. It's the kind of small, no-frills place that offers affordable, delicious food...thus it's a favorite.
So, I snagged a bottle of Selbach-Oster 2005 Riesling Kabinett from the cellar and we were off. We had an expectedly delicious meal of curry noodles -- Nena's with seafood and mine with chicken, extra extra extra spicy. The sweetness of the riesling really did well with the extra spice I asked for, and got.
As any of you parents out there know, when your kid(s) are young, you develop a less-than-pleasant habit of speed eating. I know that no matter how well behaved Jax is at restaurants (he's absolutely perfect, not one issue) I still feel the need to eat quickly so we can get out of there and not tempt fate. Stupid? Yes, but I doubt uncommon.
So between our food coming out quickly and our speed eating, we found yourself done with dinner quite early and wanting to at least go somewhere for a drink before heading home. More specifically, Nena wanted a good glass of wine somewhere.
Now, anyone who lives in our area of Long Island knows that if you want beer or crap wine, there are plenty of places to go. But, there certainly aren't any wine bars around, and 99.9% of the restaurant bars only offer plonk by the glass. As we were pondering our next stop (as well as just going home and opening something good) Nena suggested Ruvo down in Port Jefferson village.
You might remember Ruvo from our last meal out without Jackson. What you probably don't know is that the owner-chef and I had a bit of an email "discussion" about that post -- one that started out one way, but ended on a somewhat friendly note. That said, we decided to go to the bar there because we know they have a lot of Long Island wines on their list, including Nena's favorite rose this year, Corey Creek Vineyards' 2006.
The bar at Ruvo, even back when it was Printer's Devil years ago, was always a favorite of ours when forced to wait for a table. It's a big, copper, wrap-around number that it's always busy but not packed. After perusing the wine list, we decided to order a bottle, figuring we'd just take the leftovers home with us.
We picked out a bottle of Bedell Cellars' 2005 Taste Red and ended up talking to the bartender, Ricky, about Long Island wines. We were just getting ready to leave, when Chef DeNicola appeared with two glasses and a bottle of Lenz Winery 2001 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon. Turns out that after we introduced ourselves to Ricky, he was talking with chef a bit later an mentioned that there was a couple that seemed to know a lot about Long Island wines at the bar. So, he came right over with a smile. I think he was glad to see us back at his restaurant.
As we sipped what is probably a top two or three local cab, we chatted a bit about Ruvo, about some of the other things he's been doing like cooking at James Beard House and possibly opening a new seafood restaurant on the south shore. It was great to meet him in person and he seems like a great guy who is dedicated to local wines and foods. You know that impresses me.
And meeting him, along with a great-looking fall menu, has convinced us to go back for dinner again.