Thursday at The Wednesday

Today I got back from a quick 36-hour work trip to Calgary, with a little side trip to Banff.

I flew in late Wednesday night, crashed at the Calgary airport Marriott, then early Thursday morning drove out to Banff to speak at a partner’s event. It was my first time out to the mountains in a lot of years, and the mountains made me feel as calm and peaceful as ever, even if I was only there for a couple of hours. This was the view from the Rimrock, where the event was held:

Later that day, after another work event back in Calgary, I had dinner at The Wednesday Room. The upstairs had a Shining theme; the downstairs was like eating in a 1970s basement rumpus room. The food & drink was pretty solid though:

  • cocktail: Fall Fashioned (pecan-infused bourbon blend, corn syrup, orange twist, 5 spice bitter)
  • starter: tuna tartare (albacore tuna, avocado, plantain, ancho aioli, sesame, tajin toasted nori)
    • Trimbach Pinot Blanc, Alsace
  • main: grilled ribeye (14oz cold smoked all-natural Alberta beef, jus gras, fried onions, stewed tomato, spanish olive oil)
  • side: jerk broccoli (w/ refried beans, puffed rice, chillies)
    • Chateau de Ferrand St. Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux
  • dessert: 20 year old Port

Leafy birthday

Yesterday was Lindsay’s birthday, the first time in a couple of years we haven’t spent it in Europe. It was a much more low-key day, but had a seriously delicious ending. We went back to Maple Leaf Tavern for the first time since we went for my birthday last year and, frankly, we killed it.

  • bread (red fife, sourdough, potato Focaccia) and butter
    • cocktails
  • whole Ontario Burrata (virgin canola oil, Baco Noir balsamic, seasonal garnish, toast)
  • risotto (pumpkin, duck, and sage butter)
    • Domaine Baud Pere & Fils ‘Brut Sauvage’ Cremant de Jura
  • 7oz Wagyu flat iron w/ tarragon butter
  • 20oz ribeye w/ red wine sauce
  • honey & cumin glazed carrots w/ parsley yoghurt
  • Hasselback potato w/ truffle butter, chilled foie gras
  • broccoli w/ chili, anchovies
    • La Lecciaia Sassarello 2012 ‘Super Tuscan’
  • sticky toffee pudding w/ caramelized white chocolate, birch syrup, vanilla cream
    • 12 year old Graham’s port
    • Stratus ice wine
    • The bartender brought over some Tokaj he thought about putting on the menu
Cover photo from Mike Tinnion via Unsplash

Cobbling gobble

This was never going to be a normal Thanksgiving weekend. I had a big — very big — work thing scheduled this weekend, which was going to run from Friday night through at least Sunday, and maybe Monday, to the point where it didn’t make sense to plan much at all.

The work stuff started Friday night and kept me awake for most of it. Saturday I managed to get a hundred things done in between calls, and we even ducked out to White Lily for dinner. We both got the hot turkey sandwich, so…check off one Thanksgiving tradition.

On Sunday I went to the office, and since there were dozens of us working onsite, the team brought food in. I was actually stuffed all day, but still couldn’t resist a piece of pumpkin pie, which the coordinator thoughtfully added to the menu, since everyone was giving up their holiday Sunday. Check a second Thanksgiving tradition.

I don’t want to jinx it, but it went well yesterday, such that I actually got home in time for dinner with Lindsay. I forgot that I didn’t have any Champagne in the house to celebrate with, but a bottle of Lightfoot & Wolfville 2012 Blanc de Blancs filled in nicely.

So yeah: no turkey, but no biggie. A huge work thing seems to have gone well. Lindsay and I might finally have a semi-relaxing day. Our families are good. Kramer’s good. Check check check.

.:.

Cover photo from Mike Tinnion via Unsplash

Yo, Mr. White

Lindsay started watching Breaking Bad, and I’ve jumped on board. I almost forgot how good it was. All these scenes. All these characters. We recently met Saul. Then Gus. Then Mike. And I keep thinking ahead to all the scenes yet to come, and getting giddy.

Anyway, we’re trying to blaze through it quickly so El Camino (imdb | rotten tomatoes) doesn’t get spoiled. But not too quickly.

Cover photo from hiddenbench.com

La Brunante

We were overdue for a wine-vertical-hangout with Laura like the one we did in February. This time we moved just down the road from Thirty Bench to Hidden Bench, and three vintages of their top-end Bordeaux blend: La Brunante.

The 2010 (33% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Malbec) got better in the glass as we drank it, but was just beginning to give over to vegetal characteristics.

The 2012 (80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec) packed a wallop. I’d have sworn there was more Cab Sauv in there, but Laura called the blend early. It tasted like chocolate fudge cake, though the fruit still showed through. Merlot, you’re slowly but surely changing my mind.

It was probably too early to open the 2015 (50% Merlot, 26% Malbec, 21% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon) as it just didn’t have the depth or power of the other two, but you can sense it coming, with the flavour bubbling under the structure. Here’s hoping, anyway.

So the star of the show was the 2012, with the 2015 showing lots of promise. Luckily I have another bottle of each stashed away.

.:.

Cover photo from hiddenbench.com