Better late than never.
I need to preface my tale with the fact that I hadn't planned on going to Luce & Hawkins tonight. But I was in a bit of a foul mood after what turned into an emotionally rather trying day. I'm human. I have those sometimes. And I JUST WANTED A @%^K&*) BURGER! On the North Fork, that means Luce & Hawkins. It is by far the best burger out here. They have ruined me for sure.
As always, I was warmly greeted by the staff. (Shout out to Sarah, the new Beverage Director and Paul the Manager who ROCK!) My order was promptly placed and my beverage quickly in hand. WIN!
It was just getting to be dusk and there was a pleasant breeze and some amazing lightening off in the distance so I sat outside on the porch overlooking the duck pond. (They have free-ranging ducks and chickens... so cool.) This was the right decision. I had my own private fireworks display and Etta James serenading me from the speakers.
Since tonight was the Pinot Smackdown, I was jonesing for a pinot noir with my burger.
I decided on the Hearts and Hands Pinot Noir
I made some notes:
This wine has a gorgeous nearly transparent medium red color with almost no hint of violet. On the nose... pronounced licorice and a whiff of tobacco. Not much fruit at first sniff, but then a little boysenberry. On the palate a fantastic acidity and a spice explosion. I predict the perfect combo to my burger! A little pencil lead, and ooooooooh....THERE it is...my favorite quality in a pinot---delicate violets. There is blueberry and subtle leather on a lingering, acidic (in a good way) finish.
Now, Ima EAT!
3 cuts of meat ground in house, cooked to order
House made cheese
House made ketchup
House made sauce
House made pickles from cukes from chef's garden
Beautiful yellow tomato from chef's garden
Butter lettuce from chef's garden
A nice slice of red onion
This is all served on what I have come to refer to as the "crack" bun. Perfectly toasted sesame bun. OMG (eyes rolling back in head) I'm having a When Harry Met Sally Moment. The slightly sweet and slightly charred bun with its delicate crisp then pillowy softness is the perfect play off the savory, hearty business it envelopes. The tangy crunch of the pickles, the decadent ooze of the house made cheese on top AND bottom, combined with a generous perfectly toothsome and juicy yellow tomato and beautiful red onion (just 2 rings for me) make this one sublime burger.
So, you may be asking yourself, "How was the pairing?" Well, at first it was frankly MEH. I thought it was going to be too delicate to pull it off because the Hearts and Hands pinot is in a delicate style that I really love and this is one bad ass burger. I thought I might need a bigger, badder wine. The pinot dug deep though and pulled it off. After a couple of alternating bites, sips, the meal balanced into the wine or vice versa and it was just right. The spice and acid carried the day just like I hoped.
The pours here are generous and I have some wine left to sip after my burger is gone, Jeff Buckley playing. I could stay here forever. Sigh.