Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finally Doing The Dorf

The Waldorf Hotel has had open doors - of varying degrees of success and sophistication - for 64 years now at its East Hastings location. For the last so many decades, the Waldorf hasn't had the most favourable of addresses. Other than perhaps an odd adventure to the perennially operating Tiki Bar, there likely wasn't a whole lot of reason for "nice folks" to patronize the Waldorf.

The hotel complex was "re-imagined" last year, however, and it re-launched itself as quite the happening locale. It brought in some intriguing names from the city's restaurant and bar scene and re-vamped itself as a dining, wining and music venue - while, naturally, keeping the Tiki Bar.

Some of our neighbours have become enthusiastic semi-regulars but, despite my wanting to, Boo and I haven't made it there to check things out yet. When Mickey & Rooney called us up to head out for dinner, the original plan had been to make our way to Delilah's - only to find out that an old favourite had finally lost its lustre and closed its doors. As an alternative, I suggested that we try out the 'Dorf and its primary restaurant, Cafe Nuba.

In addition to the regular Lebanese-inspired menu, the hotel has a novel "Chef-in-Residence program" to "provide exciting, culinary adventures." The current incarnation features a take, by newly arrived chef Rodolfo Sanchez, on an Argentine Asado. That sounded particularly attractive to Boo and I since we were dining on the real thing, down Buenos Aires way, around this time last year.

936. 2008 La Posta Cocina Blend (Mendoza - Argentina)

Given the menu specialties, we went with an Argentine wine as well. I wasn't familiar with La Posta despite some recollection of having seen their labels on local shelves. I've since read that the winery specializes in vineyard designated bottlings - not a common practice in Argentina where most wines are blended from multiple sites. Naturally, having said that, this particular wine isn't such a single vineyard bottling. Rather, the "Cocina Blend" is a bit of an entry level "kitchen sink" of a blend for the winery.

The wine is a 60/20/20 blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Syrah, combining fruit from three vineyards in different sub-regions of Mendoza. I was somewhat surprised to see as many blended wines as I did in Argentina last year since most of the Argentine wines I've traditionally seen in our market are straight varietal Malbecs. It's nice to see more of those blends making their way to Vancouver. There's so much more to Argentina than Malbec and I quite enjoyed the blends while down there.

We quite enjoyed our dinner out as well. We tried a bit of a mix'n'match from the two menus and, accordingly, had a good assortment of tastes at the table. We all agreed that we'd enjoy coming back - particularly since we didn't stick around to hit the Tiki Bar. That'll have to be another occasion - despite the fact that I'm not sure the wine selection will be able to command my attention over the Mai Tai's and exotic cocktails. I'm sure it's a problem I can adapt to though.

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