Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wine Wednesday

It's been quite awhile since my last post. Haven't been to many wine events lately...or perhaps the wine world just stopped inviting me. Go figure! But anyway, I heard about a book called 'The Bubbly Bar' and the author was going to be in DC to do a book signing at Masa 14. I'm thinking, what a perfect way to spend Wine Wednesday! There would be champagne and sparkling wine cocktails from the book paired with tapas from the restaurant. Too bad the event was canceled :-( Who knows why, but I figure that I would still head out to the restaurant since it's only a few months old and I hadn't been yet.

Masa 14 is a restaurant recently opened in the burgeoning area of Logan Circle in DC. Chefs Chef Richard Sandoval (Zengo), Kaz Ochochi (Kaz Sushi Bistro) and Antonio Burell have brought this concept together for Latin and Asian small plates. Since I arrived shortly after opening for the evening, I was one of the 1st people in the restaurant. I got to pick my seat at the 75-seat bar and decided the best place is right in front of the bartender. Happy hour was on, a selection of small plates, cocktails and house wine were $4 each. I of course went with the house red, a merlot blend from Vina Calina in Chile. Smells of plum and berries hit my nose as the bartender poured my glass. After a swirl, I still got the rich fruit aromas of plum but also a bit of black cherry and hints of oak. On the palate was a toasty cherry-vanilla flavor. Perfect for a cold night.

I ordered a spicy tuna hand roll so I could have something to snack on. Clearly not a pairing for the wine, but I couldn't sit there and drink with no food. Interesting presentation, the hand roll was served in a silver stand and by the looks, resembled a sandwich wrap. Pretty tasty, but I was still a bit hungry. I then ordered the wok fried okra...figured I'd get a vegetable in the mix. Delicious! Served with a slightly sweet soy sauce on the side with fresh herbs, it complemented the lightly fried okra very well and I cleaned my plate. By now the bar and restaurant had filled up and a woman that had sat down next to me earlier began to chat with me. She was hilarious! Then her friend joined us and I stayed another hour and ordered a mojito (before happy hour was over of course). By the time we left, the restaurant was full, the bar was standing room only, and there were people crowded by the door waiting for a seat. This is definitely a hot spot with great drinks and good service. Just don't come with too much of an appetite.

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