Friday, November 29, 2013

The 3 Mistakes To Avoid When Ordering Wine On A First Date

AskMen presents Rachel Kerswell, Sommelier. Learn the essentials to ordering wine on your first date.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Factors That Make A Memorable Fine Dining Restaurant

Many people know what it is like to go to a fine dining restaurant and find that despite almost everything being perfect, the experience is let down by one small factor such as poor service or a noisy atmosphere.

When choosing a fine dining restaurant, there are four main factors you should consider. Each contributes to a memorable fine dining experience - service, food and wine, ambiance and location. If your chosen fine dining restaurant gets the combination correct, you'll have a memorable experience and one that you will want to repeat!

Food and wine

This is number one because of course, you go to a restaurant to eat and drink! There are many factors that contribute to the quality of the food and wine. First up is quite simply, the taste of the food. This will depend on the chef and can be hard to judge - word of mouth or ratings from critics are often a good place to check. The other factor is selection; having a broad selection in the menu and room for changes such as specific dietary needs and requirements will mean that everyone at you table can find something to their liking. And don't forget the wine or drink selection - it is important that a fine dining menu includes a range of drinks to complement the meals.


Even some of the best restaurants can be tainted by poor lighting, noisy rooms or a poor choice of music. It is a fine balance - not too dark, not too bright, not too noisy to talk, but not too uncomfortably quiet! Everyone has their own preferences depending on the occasion, so the best way to check can be by visiting the restaurant to book in person, and by selecting your table to ensure that you are in a place you will be comfortable.


Not every great restaurant needs a great view, but it can certainly help. The location can depend on the occasion - you may want a romantic beachside or rural escape, or you may be looking for a bustling, lively inner-city restaurant. Choose a restaurant that has a location suited to your tastes and you will have a more comfortable and enjoyable dining experience.


Some diners like to have attentive, high-standard service with the likes of a Sommelier, while others prefer to be left in privacy. However, having your water topped up, empty plates taken away and orders taken without too long a wait (and without being rushed) is an important factor in any restaurant. Waiters, bartenders and maitre d' awards run annually - so if you are looking for superior service, do your research online to find a restaurant known for their high standards.

Next time you're searching for a fine dining restaurant for a special occasion, make sure you investigate these four factors and you will be sure to have the best experience possible!

Looking for fine dining in Blenheim? Why not book a stay at Hotel d'Urville located in the heart of Marlborough's central business district.
Article Source:

Article Source:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

60 Second Wine Expert: Chardonnay

America's premier wine expert, Kevin Zraly talks about Chardonnay with Elizabeth Shepard.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Items Added to Mankas Steakhouse's Dinner Menu!

Take a look at the entrees from our dinner menu, including some exciting new items:
Filet Mignon - 10oz
with Potato Gratin, Hickory Smoked Baby Carrots & Red Wine Demi
Grilled Dry Rubbed Rib Eye - 16oz
with White Cheddar Creamed Kale & Roasted Accordion Potato
Veal Osso Buco
with Risotto alla Milanese & Gremolata
Hickory Smoked Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
with Apple Slaw, Celery Root Puree & our House Made Vezer Cabernet BBQ Sauce
Pan Seared Pork Chop
with Delicata Squash & Roasted Quince
Grilled Whole Baby Chicken
with Brussels Sprout Leaves, Roasted Parsnips & Cranberry Salsa
Petrale Sole
with Rosti Potato, Fennel Confit, Pumpkin Seeds & Rhubarb Sauce
Sautéed Scallops
with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Baby Turnips, Chanterelle Mushrooms & Parsley Nage
Penne Pasta
with Pancetta, Wild Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Fontina Cheese Sauce & Sage

Monday thru Thursday 
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday & Saturday 
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Ladies Night 
Every Tuesday

2522 Mankas Corner Road
Fairfield, CA 94534


Sunday, November 17, 2013


Winemakers Eileen Crane and TJ Evans share their passion for making truly great Sparkling Wine and Pinot Noir. Please enjoy "Who We Are".

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Makes a Fine Dining Experience So Special

When the phrase "fine dining" is used, sometimes it's a little hard to picture something specific. Sure we can all imagine a nice restaurant with good food, but if somebody asked you to describe fine dining to them, what would you say?

A Step Above the Rest

A fine dining restaurant aims to provide high quality food, first class service and a beautiful atmosphere blended together in attempt to create the perfect experience for the diner. For the higher price, you aren't just paying for the meal - you're paying to enjoy everything from your arrival till the end of the evening.

In every area of presentation, preparation and service, careful detail is paid to ensure that you have an unforgettable night. For a special occasion or anniversary, a meal at a top quality restaurant is the perfect way to celebrate and enjoy the company of friends, family or a loved one.


The first thing that you should notice upon arrival is the service. After being escorted to your table and seated, you may have up to two wait staff responsible for ensuring your contentedness. Your waiter/waitress will be able to answer any and all questions that you have about the food or wines, make recommendations if asked and serve you professionally, quickly and politely without being intrusive to your experience during the night.


Obviously the main focus of the evening is the food. Portions are generally smaller, better presented with extreme attention to detail. Many fine dining establishments have limited menus that change more frequently - this allows fresher and better prepared food with less ingredients being stored and more focus by the chefs going into perfecting each meal. Only the most premium quality ingredients are used to create each dish. Liquor and wine is another important aspect with only the top shelf being offered. Wait staff should be able to recommend something complementary to each meal.


Depending on the restaurant and style of food, the setting could be absolutely anything. Some fine dining restaurants have a strict dress code while others just require you look smart; dress code is something that you should make sure you are familiar with beforehand. Quiet music in the background is common as well as subtle lighting intended to be easy on the eyes to create a more relaxed environment for diners.

As one of the more enjoyable luxuries in life, everybody should enjoy a fine dining experience at least once. It's the perfect way to toast a new engagement, honor a friend or family member graduating or just to celebrate one of the special moments in life a little differently.

Offering the perfect place to relax after a day exploring Marlborough's many attractions, Hotel d'Urville is a small hotel with eleven large, well-appointed rooms and a signature restaurant. If you are looking for a Fine Dining Restaurant, in Marlborough, New Zealand, book a stay at Hotel d'Urville located in the heart of Marlborough's central business district:
Article Source:

Article Source:

Monday, November 11, 2013

60 Second Wine Expert: White Wine

America's premier wine expert, Kevin Zraly talks about white wine with Elizabeth Shepard.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Look Great Ordering Wines at a Fine Restaurant Or Steakhouse

So, there you are - sitting at that fine restaurant, surrounded in dark mahogany and leather, your loving significant other looking at you adoringly; and a 25lb book of wines sitting in front of you. "So, honey - what wine should we have with our dinner?" 12,238 different red wines from 892 countries broken down into 3,348 different categories, and no, you are not intimidated. Of course not, you read this article first.

And I am not kidding about the wine list. We were in a great, steak restaurant in Orlando and I was looking at a wine list - no make that a wine book, which had a list that included wines from every region of the world. I asked the sommelier where they kept all that wine. He pointed to all the booths. Underneath the seats, above alcoves, they had wines stuffed in every nook and cranny of the restaurant.

By the way, I had a beautiful boutique wine from Washington State. It was 2002 Syrah from Yakima Valley. That wine was so intense; the color was nearly black, it was deep! My first taste knocked me out of my seat. It knocked the guy seating at the table next to me out of his seat. A full minute after I drank it, the Syrah still lingered in my mouth. Unbelievable.

How did I know to pick this beauty that thoroughly impressed my loving, beautiful wife (who is reading over my shoulder right now); I asked the sommelier if he had a new listing that he just loved. So, that is the first way to navigate your way through some of the ridiculously long lists that are out there.

So, let us say that you want to impress your date. One method would be to call ahead. Ask for a recommendation for what you plan on having, and also within a price range. Armed with that knowledge, you can effortlessly order away.

If calling ahead is not an option, then consider these points:

• For starters, pay no attention to all those who say, "Drink what you want - red with red and white with white is baloney." That bit of advice is more harmful than good, in this situation.

• There is a reason behind the old recommendations. The tannins in red wine complement meat dishes by cutting through the fat and cleansing the palate. Syrah has a gamey, earthy feel to it and with its tannin make it great match for steaks.

• Think of fish dishes, they always come with a wedge of lemon; which we promptly squeeze over the fish. The acidity brightens the fish. White wines are acidic. It lacks the tannins that can overpower a light fish dish.

• Think of where the dish you are ordering came from. If you are having Italian, think Italian wines. If you are having German, think German wines. In general, think European wines as European wines have always been crafted to be had with meals. If you are having Thai, think beer.

• Think like to like. If you have a sweet dish, think sweet. If you having a sour dish, think acidity.

• And there are exceptions. A meaty, oily salmon pairs well with an acidic, lighter bodied Pinot Noir (red wine with some acidity). But do not let the exceptions throw you - think like to like.

So, as you look at the wine list, again ask but this time; ask, "Well, we plan on having the seared lamb chops and the veal porterhouse. Could you make a couple of recommendations for red wines that have a gamey feel to it that would compliment what we are having?" Or you will ask, "I think we will be having the grilled mahi-mahi with panko crust and the seared ahi tuna. Could you recommend a couple of white wines that have a nice acidity to it that can complement our dishes without overpowering it?"

I assume that your server or sommelier will be savvy enough to understand and recommend an inexpensive wine and an expensive wine so that you can choose. If not, good luck.

Okay, so the truth is you are not going to learn enough in any article to allow you to navigate a great wine list or book on your own. What you can do is learn the basics of food pairings. Like wines for like foods will always serve you well.

Beyond that, you must utilize the expertise of the person or people who put that list together. They did it with pride and will gladly share their knowledge with you. But to get the best advice, you must ask good questions. To formulate good questions, again, you must learn the basics. That is all. And you will do fine.

Do not ask, "So what red wine can I have with this?"

H. Kim has been up and down the corporate ladder so much, he's on first name basis with each rung. Which is a good thing, because it lets him use all the successes, and more importantly the mistakes he's made, on his blog, [], a job seeker's helper blog
Strategies, Tips and Advice, a few laughs and a couple of words of wisdom, not to mention a pithy saying or two, are all it is. Visit him today and sign up for his free newsletter at []. Every edition has great tips, articles, and EBooks. Or just come on over; take a look; and drop him a note. He also evidently thinks he knows a thing or two about wines. One very, very small thing.
Article Source:

Article Source:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's Ladies Night Tonight at Mankas Steakhouse!

Grab the girls and join Mankas Steakhouse every Tuesday for Ladies Night! Enjoy great food and drink specials along with LIVE music from the Beer Brothers!!
For more information please visit our website at
See you there!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mankas Steakhouse Has Been Featured in the New York Times!

Mankas Steakhouse has been featured in the New York Times...take a look!

"Opened in 2012, the Valley's only upscale restaurant boasts white tablecloths and plenty of Suisun Valley wines. Get the "Whole Board," a $25 charcuterie-and-cheese platter featuring, among other selections, an earthy goat's milk cheese from Redwood Hill Farm in Sonoma County and La Quercia speck." Credit: Thor Swift for The New York Times