Vito's Cafe

When I am not traveling, I can’t get through a week without going to Vito’s Café. The food continues to go from strength to strength with Chef Luca (originally from outside of Florence, Italy) manning the kitchen. The casual venue, inexpensive prices, high quality of the raw materials and their ridiculously cheap BYO policy makes this a real magnet. Furthermore, it is only 15 minutes from my home. The food was top-flight. While I should probably experiment more with the menu, I couldn’t resist their sensational double cut veal chop. Cooked pink with loads of flavor, it is as good a veal chop as I have had in many years.

The wines were all terrific except for another disappointing, oxidized white Burgundy, the 2001 Jacques Prieur Chevalier Montrachet. What a shame this is happening. I have heard no plausible explanation for this, although I suspect it is due to a multitude of factors that combine for this cataclysmic failure that is a true scandal. Certainly the Remoissenet 2005 Meursault Genevrières was beautiful. I do not believe it will oxidize given its freshness, minerality and excellent fruit. However, the white wine that stole the show was Martinelli’s 2006 Chardonnay Zio Tony Ranch. This sumptuous effort boasts loads of tropical fruit, orange blossom, mango and pineapple notes as well as great acidity, freshness, purity and personality. That was followed by some stunning Châteauneuf du Papes that are close to full maturity. The 1998 Cuvée Laurence from Domaine du Pégaü is coming out of a dormant stage and is now showing lots of new saddle leather, kirsch, damp earth, truffle and herb characteristics in a full-bodied, complex, aromatically thrilling style. The 1998 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée da Capo, the debut vintage of this luxury cuvée made from old vines (primarily from the La Crau sector) is still an adolescent. Its dense plum/garnet/purple color is followed by abundant aromas of burning embers, truffles, new saddle leather, bouquet garni, roasted meats and black fruits. This is a broodingly backward, rich, full-bodied, exciting wine that is a thrill to drink. It is still not ready for prime time consumption, but it is getting close.

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