Best Meals 2012: w/ Frank Cornelissen @SottoLA

We’ve had so much fun sharing new foods with Georgia P and taking her to eat at our favorite restaurants this year. She visited Sotto (above) in Los Angeles twice in 2012. She ate meatballs, long noodle pastas, burrata, and discovered ragù, one of her favorite dishes of the year.

Sotto was also host to one of my most memorable dinners of the year, an event we hosted for winemaker Frank Cornellisen (btw, Levi, I posted some of my notes from the dinner here).

The squid-ink noodles tossed in uni (below) was my favorite dish for the year, for its purity of flavor and for its inspiration (via classic Sicilian cuisine).

I’ll never forget when Frank took a first bite of the food that night.

“This is the restaurant for my wines,” he said.

Best Meals 2012: Sotto (Los Angeles, November).

We had a truly epic dinner at Sotto last night with Frank Cornelissen (above with chef Zach Pollack, left, and chef Steve Samson, right).

Even though I’ve followed the wines for years, I’d never met Frank, who was visiting the U.S. for the first time with his wines (he had visited before he started making wine many years ago).

With all the mystery and aura that seems to surround him, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I discovered that he’s a super cool dude, very approachable and just fun to talk to.

We spoke at length about what he calls the “zoo of Natural wine.”

“Natural wine hasn’t been defined and so we really can’t call wine Natural,” he said, noting that he doesn’t care for the term.

I was thoroughly impressed by his concept of “high definition” wines and I admired the respectful tone with which he spoke of his neighbors on Etna.

He speaks impeccable Italian, btw.

Levi always gets mad at me for doing this but I’m so slammed today (while on the road in southern California) that I’ll have to post my complete notes, including Lou’s thoughts, when I have a moment to catch my breath…

In the meantime, the seared tuna with raisins, pinenuts, and bread crumbs was INSANE (first food photo). And the squid ink spaghetti with uni was possible my top dish for 2012… amazing… And wow, what a thrill to finally get to taste the (declassified) Magma.

Levi, I promise to post all my notes asap!

Stay tuned…

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