Hedonists aren’t confined only to restaurants. Tonight’s meal features home cooked Pakistani cuisine at the home of chef Noorani Burstein.
And what a home it is, perched over Benedict canyon in Beverly Hills. Tonight we ate outside, and given the usual Southern California September heat wave it was absolutely gorgeous.
From my cellar: 1994 Robert Ampeau & Fils Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes. 91 points. Nicely aged white Burgundy with notes of butterscotch and citrus. It started promisingly, dissolving into a dry, pithy finish.
2005 Jomain Puligny-montrachet. A bit premoxed.
2012 Gilbert Picq & ses Fils Chablis. Burghound 87-89. There is a touch of mineral reduction to the cool and airy aromas of green fruit and iodine. The racy, intense and well-detailed middle weight flavors possess a discreet minerality on the lemon-infused and very dry finish. This should drink well early but also reward a few years of bottle age if desired.
Dokhra. Chickpea flour cake/Snacking bread with curry leaves and black mustard seed, fresh coconut and cilantro with a red hot chili sauce.
Eggplant Pakoras – Eggplant, Zucchini, dipped in a chickpea flour batter and lightly fried for crispness and flavor.
A variety of lovely chutneys. The tangy tamarind, spicy tomato, and cool cilantro coconut.
CHICKEN SAMOSAS with Tamarind Sauce Chutney.
BEEF KEBABS (Spicy ground beef patties) with Mint, Cilantro and Coconut Chutney.
As we finish the appetizers the sun sets.
And here is our chef, Noorani.
2007 Azelia Barolo Margheria. Parker 96. The 2007 Barolo Margheria was raised in cask and reveals a slightly more classic side of Nebbiolo. Sweet floral herbs, tobacco, geranium and wild flowers emerge from the bouquet. The firm yet well-integrated tannins frame a core of fruit loaded with Serralunga character, leading to a wiry, muscular finish. Hints of leather, licorice and iron linger in the glass. The Margheria is less immediate than the Bricco Fiasco at this stage, and it will require more patience, but it is every bit as compelling. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.
From my cellar: 2000 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire. Parker 96. The heady 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire is more evolved than either the 2001 or 1998. Extremely full-bodied, with low acidity, and a knock-out bouquet of blackberry and cherry jam intermixed with licorice, pepper, and dried Provencal herbs, this sexy, voluptuous, enormously concentrated 2000 possesses a huge, silky, seamless finish. Drink this irresistible effort now and over the next 12-15 years.
2002 Sean Thackrey Orion Syrah. Parker 96-100. A riveting example of Syrah is the 2002 Orion. It boasts a black/purple color with more mint and blackberry notes intermixed with exotic floral characteristics. With great intensity, full body, multiple dimensions, and superb purity as well as length, this blockbuster is incredibly well-balanced/harmonious. It should drink reasonably well young, yet keep for 12-15 years.
2001 D’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz. Parker 98. Readers should be on the look out for the 2001 The Dead Arm Shiraz, one of the greatest examples of this cuvee. Its dense black/purple color is accompanied by celestial aromas of melted licorice, graphite, blackberries, cassis, incense, anise, and toasty oak. Fabulously concentrated, with great purity, an unctuous, viscous texture, and an amazingly long, 60-second plus finish, this fabulous baby will need 5-6 years of cellaring, and should drink well over the following 20-25 years.
KARAHI CHICKEN: Boneless chicken cooked with tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and finished with dried fenugreek leaves.
BANANA RAITA – Spiced yogurt with sliced bananas, jalapenos and cilantro).
POTATOES with Turmeric and Black Mustard Seeds.
CHICKPEA SALAD with fresh Vegetable and a Tomato dressing.
SAAG PANEER – Spinach with fresh Indian cheese.
MUSHROOM CURRY. Dark and savory.
CORN RAITA. More like the classic.
Mutton Pulao. Under that layer of rice is a spicy layer of curried mutton. It was cooked for days to reach a superlative level of tender — and boy was it great. As Yarom says, “this dish was a 10!”
My plate, reminiscent of Thanksgiving plates!
Mango Lassi. The classic sweetened mango yogurt drink.
KHEER – Basmati Rice pudding. Also a 10!
SEVIYAN KHEER – Pakistani Vermicelli & Milk Pudding. Another great dessert!
Overall, a lovely evening!