Posted by: tomciocco | October 15, 2010


This, my 88th post, is built simply on some of the good things to be found at one very old shop as well as one very new one here in old Jersey City. This morning’s cool rich autumn sunlight steadily turned gray and blustery into the afternoon, with the smell of rain rising on the wind. Days like this can turn my dinner plans towards Basque, or Portuguese, or maybe Veneto…but then I thought STANLEY’S! Just around the corner, at the intersection of South and Central, J.C., N.J., is a true and top-notch throwback Polish deli – anything made from a pig – hams, sausages, bacon (most done on the premises!), soups, salads, sweets…Though this place is not very big, there seem to be more good and useful things there per square inch than almost any other place I can think of.

I walked out with a container of what I know as “Russian Salad” – Stanley’s version is a creamy small dice of potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, apple, egg/mayo…And then their  hand-cut, spiced, stuffed, AND smoked on the premises kielbasi, and a bag of their made-from-scratch sauerkraut and mushroom pierogis…and back out into the chilly afternoon.

So since I was doing more assemblage than actual heavy duty cooking, I decided to head downtown to check out a new wine shop called Madame Claude Wine owned by Alice Troletto and Mattias Gustafsson who not coincidentally own the namesake Madame Claude Cafe`. Though open just a few days, the tall and warmly spare shop is filling up nicely with a French-heavy selection of familiar and obscure wines for drinking with food. Everyday juice with heart. It’s the kind of wine shop JC has needed for years. I grabbed a couple of bottles (one of which was drunk with tonight’s dinner), wished Alice  In bocca al lupo, and headed back up the hill to the kitchen in the first spits of sprinkling rain.

Jour de Soif  Bourgueil 2009

Very vibrant deeply saturated crimson color. Layered scents of canned cranberries, molasses, plums, cloves, with a creamy raspberry robe. The palate is broad with smooth, leafy black cherry fruit, balanced by a tart, spunky acidity with secondary flavors of roasted walnuts and chestnuts, with more cherry and black coffee in the lingering finish. A very deft balance of  clean and rustic elements.


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