The Four Seasons Restaurant

99 East 52nd Street

New York, NY 10022

Tel. +1 (212) 754 - 9494

I don’t get to the Four Seasons as much as I used to, but it remains one of my very favorite restaurants in New York City. For the three years I worked at Deutsche Bank my office looked out over the entrance of this Manhattan landmark. After 50 years the Pool Room is still one of the City’s most striking and romantic dining rooms. The Four Seasons was one of the places I did many of my early tastings for The Wine Advocate. Even today, I look forward to a meal at the Four Seasons with much anticipation because the room evokes so many memories.

But back to this lunch. And what a lunch it was. A dear friend had saved a bottle of the 1985 Sassicaia to share, and that was the impetus for getting together. Although I have had the 1985 Sassicaia a number of times I have never been totally convinced. This bottle did it for me. It was as perfect as anything can be in this world. Still fresh, perfumed and full of life, the wine showed incredible detail and pedigree in a dazzling expression of class. To say it was profound would be an understatement. Life changing is more like it. Those who have bestowed the 1985 with the highest of praise must have surely tasted bottles like this one. Incredibly, a bottle of Giacomo Conterno’s 1985 Barolo Riserva Monfortino was next. What a privilege it was to drink – not just taste – these two wines side by side. It was a crummy, rainy Friday in New York City, with streets totally snarled in traffic because of President Obama’s visit. If ever there was a day to take a little more time at lunch, this was it. The 1985 is a fabulous Monfortino to drink today. This bottle was exceptional. Bruno Giacosa’s 1985 Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano completed this trio of profound Italian reds. It was soft, sensual and delicate. In other words: a sublime, mature Barbaresco from Bruno Giacosa.

Although much of our focus was on the wines, the food and service were equally stellar. The octopus appetizer was full of robust, smoky flavors that complemented the wines beautifully. The white truffle risotto was spectacular. Thankfully, the portion was on the small side, as the Four Seasons’s version is particularly rich. No complaints from me, though. By the time the tuna was served I was focused on the 1985 Santo Stefano, which paired beautifully with the fish and its accompaniments. I usually skip dessert, but I couldn’t resist a taste of the Devil’s Food Cake with milk chocolate ice cream.


Grilled Octopus, White Beans, Arugula Salad

White truffle risotto

Grilled Tuna, Roasted Fennel with Feta, Black Olive Tapenade

Devil’s Food Cake with Milk Chocolate Ice Cream 



Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia



Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino



Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano


-- Antonio Galloni

[Cover photo and credit: Four Seasons restaurant, New York]