Monday, July 25, 2011

I can't believe I ....

There was a very famous TV commercial that debuted (almost 40 years ago) for an effervescent over the counter product to make you feel better from overeating. The commercial stated : "I can't believe I ate the whole thing". Now, I did not come close to eating it all, but I sure wanted to. (And yes, I know ....I am dating myself as I remembered this commercial).

As Mercy prepares to debut a new menu offering, the first step is to serve the item and let the managers and staff taste it. As luck would have it, I was one of the first people in line to taste it. After sampling my share, and some additional portions that should have been allocated to three other people; I forced myself to stop.

The new menu item that I am speaking of is ...... Scallop Gratin (Coquille St. Jacques)...and while I will not provide all the details of preparation, it is a really, rich and scrumptious dish comprised of scallops, white wine, mushrooms and butter.

At this stage, we may offer this selection as an Entree and serve it with a side item or offer it on our To Share menu served with toasted flatbread. I personally would be pleased to offer it both ways..... for the times that I wanted to share it with others....and also for the time that I wished to keep it all for myself.

Ask your server the next time you visit Mercy and if I have not eaten all of the Scallop Gratin, you may be able to order some for yourself.

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Common names producing some exceptional wines

Michael and David ..... common names producing some exceptional wines ! Incognito, Earthquake, Rapture... oh yes ! Now you may know them !

The silky tannins and the showy body start to awaken your senses.

Michael and David's wines have been and are a big influence on the wine list at Mercy. Michael and David Phillips visited Mercy last week from Lodi, California. We were so honored and privileged to host their appearance and to be able introduce, these "down to earth" brothers to our guests at Mercy.

We had prepared for an RSVP event of 20 customers, however when 62 customers showed up ....yes....we were overwhelmed and overjoyed !

Our guests were able to have a special bottle signed by Michael and David (and yes, some of our staff availed themselves of this unique signing opportunity as well).

We are so glad to be able to offer their wines as part of our portfolio and even happier when you order it, share it and most definitely enjoy it !

Next time you come in .... ask us about Michael and David, we will happy to share that experience with you.

Earthquake $18 glass $55 bottle
Rapture $85 bottle

Vincent Havard
Operating Partner

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Center Court and more

Just back from a 2 week jaunt to the UK. A week in Cardiff, Wales and a week in London. I just love the Brits.

My first time in Cardiff and what a beautiful “big-little” city. With a population of 350,000, this is the capital of Wales and the country’s largest tourist city. It has the feel of Austin, Texas to me. Lots going on and a busy city but it still retains that small town feel. People were all incredibly friendly and open. Very much like Texans!

While the weather was spotty at best, the food was wonderful. Some really spectacular “old” restaurants. Some hundreds of years old, yes, hundreds of years. Cardiff has always been, till recently, a shipping port for their primary export, coal. These pubs were built for the seamen when they came into port. So much character. Had the pleasure of dining in a very old restaurant called, Custom House, which it literally was over a hundred years ago. Sitting right on the bay, it served as an entry point for goods coming and going to and from the country. A wonderful restaurant with a Spanish flair now. Fresh fish from the local area with simple but spectacular flavor. A great Spanish wine list which was very reasonably priced wines.

On to London and 2 days at Wimbledon center court. What an experience! This is as good as it gets if you are into tennis! There is something reverent about center court that is hard to describe. Of course I had to sample the strawberries and cream. The experience wouldn’t have been complete without that!!! Now there is a tradition.

The entire tournament is steeped in tradition. Something we are pretty unfamiliar with as Americans. London has so much to offer and difficult to take it all in in a few short days. We decided to find little out of the way restaurants and bistros and “nosh”. Loved the little bars on the streets with open patios and windows. Great people watching while enjoying a glass of vino. I found the European wines very affordable and a surprising amount of Chilean and Argentinean wines the same. There were very few American wines and those that I saw were higher priced and not our finest showings!!! So we enjoyed the French, Italian and Spanish wines, sampling many throughout the days travel.

One of the culinary highlights was a little Italian restaurant named Mimo’s in Hampstead Heath in North London. A very quaint little modern Italian place run by Mimo himself. He and his brother own a chain of restaurants all over the globe and this man has “lived large”! His menu was more northern Italy with a beautiful wine list that you can tell was hand selected by Mimo himself. Fresh Italian seabass was light and delicate but fresh and begged for nothing more than a bit of olive oil and lemon. Mimo made it a memorable evening for us despite the downpour half way through our dinner!

It was a wonderful 2 weeks that went by too quickly and wish there was more time! Next time!!! Well of course, I had to sample the fish and chips and drink a pint of lager, or 2!!!! Would not have been a complete trip without it!!!

Glen Agritelley