Daily Archives: February 12, 2008

Richmond Vegetarian Update

Last Thursday I went to TJ’s at the Jefferson for my mother-in-law’s birthday for the first time. I was very excited to go as I have ogled at their unique vegetarian and vegan entrees they’ve had on their menu for quite some time. Unfortunately when we sat down, we were disappointed to see that TJ’s has changed their menu to include a total of ZERO vegetarian entrée choices. Although they did have some great veggie appetizers, I don’t recall anything vegan. The waitress felt very bad as just an hour before we had looked on the website to refresh our memories of what options we had waiting for us, an now we had almost nothing. The chef was able to create a nice trio of vegetables with brown rice for us that was quite tasty, which in addition to the nice goat cheese stuffed plum tomatoes and roasted red pepper terrine was all in all fairly filling. In addition, their wine list is decent with good selections and reasonable prices, and for desert, the pear tart was simply fantastic.

So unfortunately fellow Richmond vegetarians, TJ’s is no longer a place to go for a slightly upscale vegetarian meal.

The former chef Jannequin Bennett is now the executive chef for Ellwood Thompson’s, so her cuisine is not gone, it has just changed locations. Also, as of Monday the TJ’s menu now reflects the correct (new) menu.


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To The Rhone We Go

In an effort to try new “random” wines and to also purchase more wines in the $15 and under range, we picked up this 2004 Cotes du Rhone from E Guigal rather blindly off the shelf.  The 2004 is a blend of 55% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, 8% Grenache and 2% other (I wonder what the other could be???). E Guigal named for Etienne Guigal, is probably most famous for their Cote-Rotie than any of their other wines.  This isn’t all they produce as they have won awards and high scoring reviews for almost all of their wines which span from the appellations of Cote-Rotie to Hermitage to Condrieu and St. Joseph. Run now by Etienne’s son Marcel, Guigal is a large operation that makes quite a bit of fine wine. The winery (Chateau) is located in the town of Ampuis in the heart of the Cote-Rotie appellation where almost all of their wines are produced, aged and stored. The 2004 Cotes du Rhone was aged at Chateau Ampuis for one and a half years in oak foudres (big casks).  We purchased the wine for $12 (before our 10% discount) at the Wine Cellar.

My Tasting Notes

Nose – Tobacco, green pepper, lavender, vanilla extract

Taste – Black currant, raspberry, red bell pepper, leather

Mouthfeel- leathery tannins, and round full body

Finish – Very dry and firm, long in length

At $12 or a little less this wine is a great value, even if you had to pay a bit more for it.  Mostly earthy notes on the nose with more of the fruit coming through on the palate made for a delightful sip.  The tannins were still quite firm, and the fruit was quite present, so I definitely think the 2004 Cotes du Rhone would show really well with another year or so on its side.  With the wines large distribution you shouldn’t have a hard time finding this everyday drinker.


Categories: cotes du rhone, wine tasting | 1 Comment