Restaurant: Mastro’s [1, 2, 3]
Location: 246 North Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210. 310-888-8782
Date: December 20, 2015
Cuisine: Steak House
Rating: My favorite LA Steak joint
My friend Sebastian picked Mastros for his birthday dinner — no complaints here — so we all hauled out the wines and headed across town.
For good times were to be had!
Sebastian brought: 1992 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. VM 91. Very fine aromas of quinine, lemon, lime, minerals and gingery; lightly musky suggestion of yeast autolysis. Very intensely flavored and solidly structured but already quite accessible and open to inspection. Slightly aggressive finish shows excellent persistence. Doesn’t offer the complexity or grip of the best D.P. vintages, but this is ripe and delicious wine.
A seafood tower for seven. The quality of the seafood here is impeccable and the only thing we had to complain about was that there wasn’t enough! Really for five we would have expected the two or three story version Still there were amazing shrimp, claws, king crab (didn’t taste frozen), and oysters.
One of the things that really makes the Mastro’s seafood tower are the sauces. We have cocktail, a spicy mustard, and the Atomic Horseradish. They use this particular magic brand (you can buy it here). The stuff is — pardon my French — fucking awesomely potent. I’ve taken to buying it myself for home. No other horseradish is this punishing. It has a nice flavor too. I particularly like it mixed in with the cocktail sauce. It can have you literally pounding the table in pain — ahem pleasure.
We broke out the appetizers into two separate courses, the seafood tower and salads/hot apps (below).
From my cellar: 2002 Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet. VM 94. Extremely unevolved aromas of pineapple, spiced apple and grapefruit skin. Thick, rich flavors of grapefruit, apple and minerals; showing a slightly flat, oxidized, resiny character today, as well as a leesy component. A very substantial wine, but presently awkward. My range is just a rough estimate of the wine’s potential quality. “The 2002 whites will need longer on their lees, even if they are transferred from barriques to vats,” says Prost. “They’ll be bottled on the late side, even if the reds get an early bottling.”
From my cellar: 2000 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest. VM 93+. Pale green-tinged straw. Reticent but ripe and highly nuanced nose combines peach, nectarine, lime, lemon skin, nuts and an intriguing, soil-inflected vegetal/smoky quality. Very dry, taut and reserved yet already rich and mouthfilling, with the ripe fruit notes perfectly supported by a flavor of liquid stone. A wine of great energy, finishing with explosive length and powerful minerality. Grand cru size and cut.
Classic escargot. Buttery garlic goodness.
Bone marrow and toast — have a bit of fat!
Caesar salad. Not a bad caesar. I’d still like it even punchier.
From my cellar: 1993 Dominique Laurent Grands-Echezeaux. 94 points. Still some oak. Strong Vosne spice. Really nice pinot. Chevy and I thought it was WOTN.
Fries and Burgundy! An extra bonus intermezzo course.
Then a Bordeaux flight:
1982 Montrose. Parker 88-92. The 1982 is nowhere near the quality of some of the Montroses made afterwards (1989, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008), but it has aged better than expected having developed more complexity and richness than barrel samples suggested. Sweet kirsch, black currant, crushed rock, and floral notes are followed by a full-bodied, opulent, fleshy wine displaying no hard edges. It still possesses beautifully pure fruit as well as good body, but it should be consumed over the next 5-8 years.
agavin: I thought a very lovely mature Bord.
2003 Pavie. Parker 96-99. At its release, the 2003 Pavie was somewhat controversial in wine tasting circles, but eleven years later it is obviously a great classic. Its deep purple color is accompanied by notes of vanillin, lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, plums, black currants and kirsch. Full-bodied, youthful and rich with terrific purity and texture as well as a striking opulence, its 40+-second finish, stunning purity and wonderful perfume suggest it can be drunk now or cellared for 15-20 years.
2000 Lynch Bages. Parker 97. Beginning to open magnificently, the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years.
We decided to order the mains “family style” by getting a couple steaks, sliced, and putting them in the middle. We brought them into two groups so we could arrange two flights of wines. This is the first grouping, which also included all the sides.
Salmon steak with olive tapenade.
Creamed corn. I love this stuff.
And even better, the evil “king crab truffle gnocchi.” Yes that’s right. Cream, cheese, truffles, crab, potato. What could be better?
This is “Gorgonzola mac & cheese!” Oh so light, oh so yummy.
Dave brought: 2007 Domaine du Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve le Clos du Caillou. Parker 100! Just another perfect wine (ho hum), the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Le Clos du Caillou is an incredible effort that matches the 2010 in terms of quality, yet has a larger-than-life, richer and more over- the-top style. Loaded to the gills with sweet black cherry, cassis, licorice, lavender, roasted meats and creamy licorice, it hits the palate with a massive, full-bodied profile that carries awesome fruit, building, sweet tannin, incredible depth and blockbuster length. Spectacular in every way, enjoy it anytime over the coming two decades.
agavin: pure purple Grenache.
Sebastian brought: 2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein. Parker 97. Starting with the Grenache release, the 2012 Grenache Stein is a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre, aged in 14% new French oak (15% was in concrete), that comes mostly from the estate’s Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, but also includes grapes from the Cumulus, Third Twin (Syrah) and Bien Nacido vineyards. Checking in at 15.7% alcohol, it’s no lightweight, yet it has considerable elegance in its sweet blackcurrants, white pepper, licorice, baking spices and hints of violet-like aromas and flavors. Possessing the hallmark purity of the estate, it’s full-bodied, concentrated, rich and textured, with sweet tannin barely noticeable on the finish. I don’t think it’s one of the greatest Grenaches from the estate, yet it’s still an incredible effort that will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 15-20 years or more of overall longevity.
agavin: even more teeth-staining purple!
Sebastian brought: 1995 Chateau d’Yquem. Parker 95. Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 1995 Chateau d’Yquem is moving into its secondary aroma phase. A deep golden color, it has a dense and almost Barsac-like bouquet with tangerine, apricot, acacia and melted candle wax. It displays good intensity, unfolding beautifully in the glass. The palate has a strident opening, with a slight bitter edge that lends this Yquem great tension. One can discern layers of marmalade infused with honey fruit, with a powerful, spicy finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is drinking perfectly now, but will surely age with style over many years. Tasted March 2014.
Chocolate sin cake. A lot like a soufflé.
This is “Mastro’s signature warm butter cake ala mode.” Basically a pound cake with an extra four sticks of butter or something. It’s really sweet and really good. Goes well with the magic whipped cream (see below).
Real whipped cream. Love it.
Mastro’s, while a zoo, and expensive, is a spectacular steak house experience. You can really feel your heart palpitating as you roll out of here!
Overall, a perfect steakhouse birthday!