Wally's in Beverly Hills, the full-blown restaurant version of the longtime Westwood wine store. She had lunched there the day before and knew I would love it. Not just an eatery, there's a store full of wine shelved around the diners. I can't think of a better way to have food than when surrounded by thousands of bottles of wine. We sat near the Bordeaux stash, but it was a culinary trip to Spain for me.
The grilled chicken salad de La Mancha is a real delight, making the term "chicken salad" seem outdated, simplistic and downright foolish. It contains escarole, chorizo, raisins, piquillo, almonds, olives, shaved manchego, quince and toasted garlic dressing. I know it reads good, but you should taste it. You should especially taste it with a wonderful Spanish wine. The 2016 Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli, Hondarribi Zuria from Getaria. The Basque Country wine has been around since the 16th century. "Txakoli" is the style and is usually somewhere sparkling and quite dry. The grape is the "Hondarribi Zuria" and the location of origin is the town of Getaria. That's a tiny spit of land that barely juts into the enormous Bay of Biscay, just west of Spain's border with France. The wine is produced and marketed by the Txueka Etxaniz family.
The wine is extra dry, pale and smelling of wet rocks and cantaloupe. It's not particularly fizzy, but the winery makes another style that is. The heaven that happens when the wine hits the quince in the salad is simply indescribable. I often repeat dishes on return visits to restaurants, but I can't imagine getting the same wine when there are so many others from which to choose. Perhaps my next visit will be to Italy, or France, by way of Wally's.
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