Our lunches at the Anaheim White House always seem to turn into a special event. This time we met, by chance, a long time acquaintance from the wine industry, Mark Abraham, So. Calif. manager for Pedroncelli Sonoma County wines. When we arrived Mark was meeting with Franco Pafundo, wine director and beverage manager at the White House.
Later he came over and sat at our table while we talked about old times. Pedroncelli wines are almost aways featured at the So. Calif. Restaurant Writers Awards Dinner and we told Mark how the dinner in March 2014 would be held at the new banquet hall of the Titanic Exhibition in Buena Park. The hall, when completed, will be a replica of the Titanic's first class dining room.
Then Franco came over to join us and asked if we had sampled the 2013 Beaujolais Noveau. We said no so he brought over a bottle of 2013 Georges Dubuff for a tasting. We both agreed that this year's vintage had inched up in quality from the 2012 bottling.
As usual we dined well. My dining partner and I shared a plate of Calamari which came with a memorable dipping sauce. My entree was breaded Sand Dabs with shallots while my partner ordered the Bucatini Con Gambai, a Sicila region pasta with shrimp. He liked the dipped sauce so much he ordered another bowl to go with the shrimp. Our desserts were Tiramisu for me, one of my favorites, and a Dolce al Zaagliore Sorbet for him.
I am a great advocate of the two and one half hour lunch.