Friday, May 3, 2024

Kansas City Beefsteak at George’s French Bistro Wine Bar Witchita

Kansas City Beefsteak at George’s French Bistro and Wine Bar Witchita 

We traveled to Kansas for an extended full weekend of activities including a wedding, visiting several Frank Lloyd Wright sites, and re-shooting an Arts and Crafts architectural site for a collaboration on an upcoming architecture book. 

We traveled to Witchita to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Allen House, and other properties. While there we dined at George’s French Bistro and Wine Bar located in the College Hill neighborhood, not far from the historic architectural landmark sites. 

It is owned and operated by Chef George Youssef, formerly of Wichita’s Nouvelle Cafe and Uptown Bistro. Originally from Lebanon, Youssef got schooled in French cuisine in Quebec, Canada.

George’s looks and feels like a true Parisian bistro with its decorating and design, indoor and outdoor tables, crisp white table clothes, an open kitchen and gleaming brass-accented bar serving classically prepared bistro dishes served by waitstaff in traditional black vests and ties.

We were seated in the dining room and while we were dining, the bar and dining room started to fill up, and only when we departed, did we see they had opened the front doors to spill out to the patio.  

Normally we might opt for authentic French cuisine at such an establishment, but being in Kansas, we ordered the Kansas City filet of beefsteaks. They pronounce that “We proudly serve Creekstone Farms Premium Black Angus Beef. Our steaks are hand cut and cooked to your satisfaction. Creekstone Farms is famous throughout the world for their rich flavor.”

In French style, the steaks were accompanied by Parisian Potatoes (pomme Frits, fried potatoes), and haricot verts, (green beans). 

Each filet of beef was served with choice of sauces which included BURGUNDY DEMI GLACE - Red wine veal reduction, AU POIVRE - Brandy peppercorn, HOLLANDAISE - Butter, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper,  or L’ ENTRECÔTE  - Fresh thyme & thyme flowers, full cream, white anchovies, Dijon mustard, hazelnuts, butter, egg yolks, salt & pepper.

I went simple with the Demi Glace. Linda opted for both the Demi glacé and Au Poivre. Both were excellent.

Our steaks were superb, and the preparations were perfect! 

Readers of these pages know I prefer my beefsteak prepared “Pittsburgh” style … but rather than traditionally rare, I specify ‘hot pink center, Pittsburgh style, or charred slightly”. 

Tonight’s steak was perfect - an object lesson in ideal preparation to my liking!

For a wine accompaniment pairing with our our dinner we ordered WBTG - Wines By The Glass, from the wine list. 

I ordered this Haut Lagarde, because a French Bordeaux Blend is my favorite pairing with beef. Moreover, I used to work with colleague Gary LaGarde, who had a distance ancestral relationship to the French wine producer of the same name. 

Les Hauts de LaGarde Bordeaux 2022

Winemaker: Maison Raymond

Appellation: A.O.C. Bordeaux

Location: Located in the Saint Laurent du Bois, Entre-Deux-Mers region, not far from the city of Bordeaux. The wines are sourced in the villages of Saint-Laurent-du-Bois, Saint-Martial, and Saint-Felix de Conclude

Dating back to  medieval times, the Raymond family have a long history of producing wine, dating back to 1850. The family property of the domaine du Château de Lagarde has been built up over the years by successive generations.

Varietal(s): 65 % Merlot, 25 % Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc

Ageing: 10% of the wine was aged in oak.

Vineyard Terroir: With close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, these vines are grown in a mild climate with lots of sunshine, regular rain, and clay-limestone soil, the vines and grapes are grown in the best conditions for Bordeaux varietals.

The wine was reviewed by Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator and Decanter. 

Published Tasting Notes: “A core of blackberry and black cherry preserves shows good energy as the flavors move through an anise- and sweet tobacco–tinged finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Attractive structured tannins and red fruits give this wine a good start in life. With the acidity, the dusty structure and the perfumed aftertaste, the wine will develop well. Wine Enthusiast

"Good fruit, raspberry and strawberry summery flavors from winemaker Lionel Raymond. A touch short but full of character, from a blend of 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc. Only indigenous yeasts used at this organic estate – the family has a full 180 hectares certified in the Entre Deux Mers region, with new cellars that are powered by 2,500m2 of solar panels.Decanter Magazine

Translucent ruby red hue with cool aromatics, green herbal notes, cedar, cypress, and red currant. Palate reveals ripe red fruit, red plums, raspberries, ripe blueberries, along with cigar box spice, pencil shavings, and a strong cypress note on the finish.

Beautiful crimson robe with intense purple reflections. This wine reveals great aromas of fresh fruits and spices. The fruitiness, roundness and tannic mouth give it a rare elegance.

The fruitiness, roundness and tannic mouth gives it a rare elegance. Ideal with pork roasts and your favorite cheese. A harmonious wine. This wine reveals great aromas of blackcurrant, blackberries and spices. Beautiful crimson robe with intense purple reflections. Enjoy with red meat, poultry, pasta dishes and your favorite cheese.

Varietal(s): 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc

Winemaker notes - “A core of blackberry and black cherry preserves shows good energy as the flavors move through an anise- and sweet tobacco–tinged finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Made with Organically Grown Grapes”

In 2000, Lionel Raymond purchased the Château Joumes Fillon organic vineyard. Because of Lionel’s strong beliefs in and respect for the environment and terroir, he decided to convert the whole vineyard (130 hectares) to organic agriculture. Most winemakers in the area thought he was crazy as it is twice the work of a conventional vineyard. Today, they are one of the largest organic wineries in Bordeaux, and part of the exclusive 7% of all wineries of the region who have made the organic commitment.

The Vineyards - The different properties of the domaine benefit from specific conditions: special orientation of the vineyards, composition of the soil, humidity, age of the vines…These conditions are refined during the winemaking allowing them to offer a large range of products. Over 20 people work in the vineyard and the cellars, and consistently looking for innovative techniques in terms of production, vintification with respect for the vines, soil and environment.

Vignobles Raymond produces classic varietals and Bordeaux blends: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Another label, Le Petit du Château de Lagarde is 100% Merlot. 

This provided great QPR and was a wonderful pairing with the dinner. It was carefully selected for the winelist. 

Garnet colored, medium to full bodied, pleasant easy drinking, round flavorful complex black berry and black currant fruits with notes of black tea, tobacco, anise and spice. 

RM 88 points. 

For Linda, and her pairing with the filet of beef, we selected a Southern Rhône River Valley “GSM” (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) Red Blend. 

Cellier Des Dauphines Reserve Côtes du Rhône Grenache Syrah 2021

Another carefully selected, high QPR, pleasant easy drinking wine. 

This is produced by the Cellier des Dauphins, a collective, group of winegrowers called “Union des Vignerons des Côtes du Rhône” which is a collaboration since 1967 of 2000 winegrower families of the southern Rhone Valley. With 12 000 hectares of vines, and around twenty appellations, Cellier des Dauphins has become the leading wine producer in the Rhone Valley in less than 50 years.

Cellier des Dauphins has become one of France’s benchmark Rhône brands. Cellier des Dauphins is now the first producer of Organic wines in the Rhône Valley founded to serve a devotion to the protection the environment. 

This is a blend of Rhône varietals - 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.

Winemaker Notes - “This wine displays a deep red hue with ruby tints and notes of sun-ripened black fruit on the nose. The palate offers a velvety texture and spicy notes underpinned by ripe black fruit, blackcurrants and black cherries. A more modern take on the traditional Côtes du Rhône style, this wine combines structure, freshness and smooth tannins. It has a seductively elegant, intense and long-lingering finish.”

Dark ruby/garnet colored, light medium bodied, tightly wound, structured complex black fruits with notes of black tea, spice, hints of black pepper and lavender notes on a pronounced lingering tannin laced acidic finish. 

RM 87 points.