Wine tasting at Fort Walla Walla Furtive wine tasting at Seven Hills Washington State wine regions Meal at Salumiere Cesario L'Ecole 41 is in an old school house L'Ecole 41's school house motif

After sating her appetite at Whitehouse-Crawford the night before, the Gastronomer, far from her normal stomping grounds in Jersey City, struck out for some morning wine tasting on the mean streets of Walla Walla, Washington.  The stops are listed below:

  • Chateau Rollat Winery - A winery with a rich family history and a desire to faithfully replicate French wine making techniques.  I loved most of what I tasted there and walked away with three bottles: one white (Semillon), one rose (Merlot grapes), and one red.
  • Fort Walla Walla Cellars - An man cave experiment gone awry, to the benefit of “big red” drinkers everywhere.  We picked up one big red for the edification of my party.
  • Seven Hills Winery - One of the few wineries that trades in white so I did not taste much beyond their white selection.  But a good selection!  I very much so liked the wistful lilac viognier and snagged it.
  • L’Ecole 41 - A trailblazing vintner in the early 1980s, L’Ecole’s wine tended to be a little over processed tasting with a sort of uniformity in flavor.  They do have a decent selection, although they were sold out of their one rose, but we had fairly well tapped out our wine purchasing needs at that point.
Morrison Lane 2010 Viognier Wine tasting at Whitehouse-Crawford The world's most amazing onion rings Simple fresh stuffed pasta with peas Braised tofu with lemon grass and ginger Gramercy Cellars 2011 Rose

The self-indulgence did not stop in Idaho!  No - the Gastronomer took off across the Pac NW to drive across the Palouse, the Bread Basket/Amber Waves of Grain of the area, and to arrive happily in wine country of Walla Walla, Washington. 

That evening I dined at Whitehouse-Crawford, a high-end country chic restaurant that Frommer’s reviewed as well:

Housed in a former woodworking mill, this stylish restaurant brings a touch of urban sophistication to remote Walla Walla. The menu is as creative as you’ll find anywhere east or west of the Cascades and changes daily. Start out with the warm spinach salad that comes with smoked trout and grilled onions. Anything with Walla Walla sweet onions is a good bet. Even the burger is said to be the best in town. There are plenty of excellent wines available, and many can be ordered by the glass. You also can dine in the wine bar.

The wine list is nicely curated, featuring a selection of wines from Walla Walla and the rest of the Columbia Valley with a range of prices.  Rose is a little less popular, and white wines generally so, in Walla Walla due to the fact that the winters are too cold for white varietals.  But I ate like a king, dining on razor thin fried Walla Walla sweet onions accompanied by exclamations of delight from my cohorts who proclaimed that these onion rings, if you could call them that, have eternally ruined all onion rings for her.

The remainder of the meal was both innovative and excellently classically constructed.  Notable was the grilled pork shoulder with harissa and the extremely trouty smoked trout and bacon salad.  The meal was finished with a twice-baked chocolate cake garnished with tart candied orange peels.

Satis Bistro Launches New Wine Bar Tapas Menu


ShareSave Satis Bistro located at 212 Washington St. is expanding its horizons. After two years of fighting for Restaurant Row zoning and other attempts to obtain a liquor license the modern European restaurant finally got the right to sell alcoholic beverages this April and opened their newly constructed wine bar yesterday. Owner Michael Garcia said … (Read more at JC Independent)

Satis is an elegant eatery where you can enjoy some wine and now tapas.

Park & Sixth in Full Swing with Expanded Food & Drink Menu

The relatively new but well-established Park and Sixth Comfort Food, known for its - what else - comfort food, has just posted an exciting announcement to its Facebook page.  Brian Dowling, proud owner, writes that they are now serving two beers on tap, several bottled beers, wine, and some very “spicy” speciality mixed drinks.  Mr. Dowling also includes a sneak peek at some of the new recipes they plan to launch for your enjoyment, including what looks to be a revamped mac and cheese, short ribs, and two sea food dishes.  Park and Sixth also offers Lipitor and a sense of humor with their mashed potatoes.  Touche!