Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Pat Kuleto Special Episode (294)

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Check, Please! Bay Area’s second season Pat Kuleto Special episode (294) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:

1) Maria Manso World Cuisine : | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]

2) Canto do Brasil: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe [now Mina’s Brazilian]

3) Sociale: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe1 | recipe 2 |

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Pat KuletoPat Kuleto and Leslie Sbrocco Pat Kuleto and Leslie Sbrocco

Maria Manso World Cuisine’s Pulled Pork Cabbage Roll; Canto do Brasil’s Seafood Tropical; Sociale’s Goat Cheese and Pear Galette

Leslie SbroccoMy name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area.

Wines and cocktails highlighted on the show:

When Pat Kuleto and I opened the show, we started by sipping a specialty Brazilian cocktail named a Caipirinha. It’s a delicious (and deceptively strong) concoction of freshly squeezed, or muddled, limes with a dash of sugar and cachaça. Cachaça is the Brazilian rum-like spirit made from sugar cane. Since we have both recently been to Brazil, we drank to the memories.

Wine was also flowing as we chatted about Pat’s life as America’s foremost restaurant designer. With such star spots as Boulevard, Farallon, and Jardinière, his resume is impressive. But Pat is also a vintner, having started Kuleto Estate Family Winery high in the hills above Napa Valley in 1992. Kuleto Estate’s roster of wines includes Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese, and two wines we imbibed on set — his lovely Rosato and Pinot Noir.

The pink sapphire-hued 2006 Kuleto Estate Rosato is seriously fun to drink. Bursting with watermelon and berry flavors, it’s a dry pink with style. Kuleto Estate’s 2004 Pinot Noir would give any other wine pinot envy. Made with grapes grown at over 1,000 feet elevation in Napa, it’s lush yet racy with a silky texture. Packed with rich fruit notes, the Pinot is a wine to enjoy with dishes from fish to meat.

Other wines we showcased included a favorite of mine, the 2006 Eroica Riesling from Washington State. The lightly-sweet, floral-scented white is one of the best versions of Riesling produced in America. A partnership between Washington’s oldest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle and the famous Dr. Loosen winery in Germany, it’s a winner with spicy fare.

To wrap up our half hour together, I poured some “stickies” for Pat. The Aussies dub their sweet wines “stickies,” though I call them bellybutton sippers as these sexy wines induce romance. Our first bottle was the 2005 Yalumba Late Harvest Viognier from Australia. Yalumba is a top-notch producer who ranks among the best Viognier makers in the world. This succulent sweetie is like drinking peaches.

Our wine pièce de résistance, however, was the rare Gypsy Canyon Ancient Vine “Angelica”. Hailing from the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County, it’s one of the most unique wines I know. Crafted from century-old mission grape vines in the tradition of California’s historic missionaries, this fortified wine smells of orange peel, spice and almonds. Delicate and ethereal, it even made me feel a bit angelic.