Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PRESIDENTS DAY



When I was a kid, we celebrated Abe Lincoln's birthday on February 12th....




and George Washington's birthday on February 22nd....



My father sketched these pen & inks while attending art college in New York City--and sold copies for 25 cents apiece to keep himself in pocket money.





Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MONTECITO (OLD) WINE BISTRO




All I ask, at 5:33, when I amble into the Casket after a busy day, is a fresh glass of wine.

And unlike the crockies around me, who drink happy-hour plonk at five bucks a pop, I pay premium—fifteen smackers for a glass of wine that would cost $22 a bottle at the local supermarket.

On this day, the bar, as usual, is chock-a-block with wine uncorked yesterday, the day before, and the day before that…


And so, as usual, I try to work with Eddie the bartender on exactly what I can order that is fresh i.e. a bottle opened, not necessarily in front of me, but on this day.


“Let’s start with chardonnay,” I say. “Foley or Louis Jadot?”


“I have a half of bottle of each from yesterday.”


“And you can’t pop a fresh one?”


Eddie shakes his head.


“Okay,” I say. “Let’s try red. Any Ridge?”


“I have three bottles already open.”


“From yesterday?” I say.


Eddie nods. “And older.”


“That won’t work. How about Beringer cabernet?”


“Same.”


“Anything else I might like?”


“I’ve opened a bottle of Malbec,” says Eddie.


“I’ll try it.”


Eddie pours a taster.


I sip. It tastes like Welch’s grape juice without sugar.


"You sure you can't open a new bottle?" I ask.


"I'm sure," says Eddie.


I grab my jacket.


“Where are you going?” asks Thom Steinbeck.


“Lucky’s, for a fresh glass of wine.”


On the way out, I run into Brainy Bill, just arriving. “Where are you going?” he asks in surprise.


“They won’t open a fresh bottle of wine,” I say. “So I’m going to Lucky’s. The Casket can screw itself.”


But the Casket is already screwing itself... shut.



Montecito Wine Bistro - Montecito, CA