I have a special fascinations with man made things which last through time. I remember looking almost in awe at the stone in London which had guarding rail around it and little plaque declaring that this stone was laid there in 1012 (I might be off by a few years, but you got the idea). On another occasion ( about 20 years ago, very shortly after I came to US), I was visiting Metropolitan Museum in New York, and I saw a large structure in one of the rooms which resembled Egypt Pyramid, actually bearing the age of many thousands years. I couldn’t help myself not to put a hand on the wall and touch those thousands of years – the very next second extremely loud and angry voice came out with the words “Don’t touch the Temple!”.
Wine holds special place for me when it comes to its relationship with wine (here is an earlier post on that subject). While in Miami, I was able to literally touch upon wine and time once again (only touch, not taste). We went for a dinner to the restaurant called The Forge, located in North Miami Beach. This restaurant is a landmark on its own, being in existence sine 1920s. But the object of particular interest is their wine cellar, located on the lower floor.
From the first look you take on those bottles, the only thing you can say is “wow”. Then you say it again and again, as you walk around that spacious cellar, beautifully appointed in mahogany. Inside the cellar there is a separate gated section which holds owner’s private collection. That collection has a full line of Chateau Lafite, starting from 1822! The collection is curated by the Chateau Lafite itself, and recently the bottles were re-corked and toppled off with 1982 Chateau Lafite, which was deemed “good enough” for that purpose.
Leaving owner’s collection aside, the main cellar holds so many jewels that any oenophile will tremble in the knees just walking around. Here are few pictures I would like to share with you.
Here is close up on the label, in case you can’t see well enough on the previous picture:
Mouton Rothschild Artistic series ( don’t know if picture is good enough for you to see, but it is Chagal and Picasso labels):
Domaine Romanee Conti, of course:
Look at this beauty – 1957 Petrus!
The cellar holds quite a few large format bottles:
And here are couple of general views ( note that cellar is available for private parties…):
And one more:
We did pretty good with the wine – 2006 Stella Maris Red Wine from Washington state was nice, round wine, with good red and black fruit both on the nose and the palate, good acidity, medium to full body. Overall, while wine list appears to be a huge book, split into countries and styles of wine, it is not easy to find something interesting and affordable at the same time. Of course, you will be gladly served that 1957 Petrus for about $45,000, so if you plan to celebrate something that special, can I please (did I say “pleeease”?) get an invitation?
Talking about the food, for the appetizers we ordered Salmon Croquets and Roaster Cauliflower florets. The Cauliflower was probably one of the tastiest I ever had, but the salmon croquets were on the mushy side. Here is the picture:
Then we had two steaks, and while the place is considered to be a steakhouse, they were just average, not memorable at all (I would gladly take instead Capital Grille steak at any time). Here are two pictures -
New York Strip:
And “steak and eggs”, steak was encrusted with coffee and pan-seared:
The dessert somewhat compensated for the entrees, though, as it was the best souffle I ever had – chocolate grand marnier souffle:
All in all, it was a great and very memorable visit. If you have an expense account, your possibilities are endless at The Forge. If you are like me, coming for the great “wine and time” experience, you might have better luck with fish. Cheers!