Keeping It Cute at Mignon

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The Downtown Los Angeles renaissance continues (minus the occasional corpse found in a water tower), and nowhere is that more apparent than at the corner of 6th and Main where a variety of bars and restaurants have sprung up over the years. Between Artisan House, Cole’s, The Varnish, The Association, Las Perlas, and the new Black Sheep. Slightly hidden behind all these spots is the cute, grab-your-date-and-go French wine bar, Mignon. Of course, I’m loath to call Mignon cute because, well, that’s so literal (the name truly means “cute” in French), but the truth is that Mignon is just so damn… CUTE.

A former dry cleaners-turned-watering hole (look for the chandeliers formed from hangers dangling above), Mignon is first and foremost a wine spot. It’s helmed by Santos Uy, who curates an extensive wine list (keep an eye out for an Austrian wine night on April 11th, call for details: 213-489-0131) and features bistro food designed by Chef Tim Carey of Papilles in Hollywood. Recently I was fortunate to enjoy a media-comped dinner at Mignon where I was able to sample many of the dishes magically conjured up behind the bar (there is no kitchen). After the jump, check out pic of the meal…

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Trip to Bridlewood Estate Winery Predictably Leads to Beautiful Scenery, Mild Drunkenness

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This past weekend, the good people from Bridlewood Estate Winery shuttled a variety of bloggers and media types up to Santa Ynez, CA to enjoy wine, art, and tranquility. I was one of the lucky ones who nabbed a seat on the mini-coach (thanks to Esi at Dishing Up Delights), which meant that I spent my entire Sunday in the throes of wine tasting MADNESS. Actually, it wasn’t quite madness. It was all a rather refined affair full of mature sips and tasty hors d’oeuvres. And yes, it was awesome.

For those who haven’t been, Bridlewood is a bucolic and downright gorgeous winery just north of Santa Barbara, and I can speak from experience that they crank out some delicious wines. In fact, when I went wine tasting with my parents last summer in the region, Bridlewood was our favorite vineyard (we even emerged with several bottles, much to my delight).

Anyway, this time around, the focus wasn’t just on the wine. It was also on the local artists from the Central Valley of California whose art draws deeply from both Bridlewood and the surrounding environs. We got to meet many of the artists as well as the people behind the wine, and I can assure you it all made for one of those unapologetic “I’m living the yuppie dream” afternoons. If Ina Garten were ever to branch out to California, this would surely be where she’d wind up (and yes, I must always bring everything back to Ina Garten).

Pictures from the excursion after the jump…

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Trying Out Ramona Pinot Grigio

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When Ramona Singer of The Real Housewives of New York City announced that she’d launched her own brand of Pinot Grigio, I knew I had to try it. The wine, aptly named Ramona Pinot Grigio (as opposed to something silly like ‘TRUE Pinot Grigio’) isn’t available in stores on the West Coast, but as luck would have it, I just spent the weekend in New York City, and there was no way I was going to leave the island of Manhattan without getting my hands on a bottle of RPG. Sure enough, after some phone calls, I tracked down a bottle on 68th street and Lex. Not longer after, the skies opened up, and as the rain came down, my friends and I declared it the perfect opportunity to cozy up inside and enjoy the Ramona Pinot Grigio experience.

Pics and impressions after the jump… Continue reading

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