Summer’s Rosé

Spring is here and so is the newest addition to the Gigi Wine List: La Grand Piece Rosé!  We are delighted to have this delicious rosé from Provence to offer to our valued customers by the glass and by the bottle.  It is the perfect wine for the warm weather that is finally touching the Hudson Valley.

La Grand Piece Rosé produced by Chateau La Coste a picturesque winery just north of Aix-en-Provence.  This 250 acre vineyard adheres to biodynamic principles, striving to preserve terroir, protect fertility and safeguard the essence of the soil.  At Chateau La Coste, they believe that this newest technology brings life to the old wine making traditions while ensuring the quality of the wine.  The result is a truly exceptional rosé. chateau la coste 2

No hard work goes without recognition and just sipping a glass of the La Grand Piece Rosé will show the effort and detail put into this wine making process.  This 2012 rosé is a blend of 75% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 5% Cinsault.  The nose is full of red berries and with a bit of floral notes.  La Grand Piece has an unquestionable crispness that makes it wonderfully refreshing.  Hints of strawberries and citrus leave your palate rejuvenated.  Drink this rosé with grilled vegetables, cheeses and light fish dishes.  We recommend enjoying a glass of this rosé with our Salmone with hearts of palm and fennel. rose photo 2

Not only are we excited to be basking in the warmth of spring at Gigi Trattoria but we thrilled it is rosé season again!  And what better way to celebrate spring then with Wine Wednesday at Gigi Trattoria.  La Grand Piece Rosé and all bottled wines are 30% off!  But at only $10 a glass and $30 a bottle, this rosé is a steal any day.  Come join us on the Gigi Patio and sip a little bit of Provence.

To learn more about this Rose click here or here.

T.G.I.F. Cocktail – Berry Rosado

Ahhh,  the coming of the weekend!  Two whole days away from the stress of flourescent lights, cubicles, and deadlines. This is certainly cause for the celebratory Friday cocktail (or two.) We asked the head bartender at Gigi HV, Lisa Butenhoff, for a festive and delicious drink we could make using fresh strawberries (that are so great right now), to help kick off the weekend. She suggested the Berry Rosado.  To say that people like this one is an understatement. When Gigi HV participated in the ‘Taste of Rhinebeck’, an annual fundraiser for Northern Dutchess Hospital,  she gave away about ten pitchers of this deliciousness. That’s a lot, when you consider each drink was only a few ounces! Luckily for you, you won’t be limited to just a few ounces, although some restraint will be in order!


   1 Serving  Berry Rosado

   1  1/2 oz Tito’s vodka
   1/2 oz  crisp, dry  rose wine
   Approx 3 to 5 strawberries (depending on size)
   1 tsp agave nectar (or refined sugar)
   Splash club soda
   1/2 oz lemon juice



 In  cocktail shaker, muddle strawberries with agave nectar (or sugar) and lemon juice. Mash thoroughly to ensure full strawberry flavor. Add rose wine and vodka. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice and top with club soda. 

You can intensify the strawberry flavor by infusing the vodka with strawberries (as we do at the Trattoria). Combine one liter of vodka with ½ pint of hulled, halved strawberries. Cap and let stand for 24 to 48 hours.

Lisa’s “virgin” version? Muddle the strawberries with a smidge of simple syrup or plain sugar and add to iced club soda or ginger ale.

BTW, if you’re too lazy or tired after your long week to ‘muddle’ through the recipe, you can always come in to Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck and we’ll do the work for you! Or, if you’re in need of the strawberries, you can always pick up a pint or two at Gigi Market  in Red Hook. Happy Weekend!

Strawberries & Rhubarb, Oh My

We at Gigi HV believe strongly in using what is fresh and in season which at the moment includes strawberries. While our strawberry balsamic BBQ sauce may seemed unorthodox but delicious (stay tuned for that recipe tomorrow!), using strawberries for dessert seems like a natural.

Also in season is fresh rhubarb which starts showing up in April and May at the Rhinebeck farmer’s market. It’s usually sold as a bunch weighing about two pounds, but I’ve seen it also sold loose, and you just pick out the freshest stalks.

Some people string rhubarb, running a knife the outside length of the stalk to remove the stringy fibers, which are similar to those found in celery. That might be a good idea with very mature stalks, but generally I don’t bother when using the young, slim, tender spring ones.

These two make a classic and elegant pairing with pound cake.

Pound Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote 

The term “pound” cake is derived from the fact that the traditional American version included one pound each of flour,eggs,butter,and sugar. While I wouldn’t call this recipe “light,” it is enlightened. I love a simple cake with juicy sweet-tart compote. Of course, you could always use store-bought pound cake (but I think homeade always tasted better!) Gigi pastry chef Louisa Demmitt always raids our retail cases at Gigi Market to prepare her rustic and sophisticated desserts.

Makes 12 servings

Pound cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter,softened
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3 egg yolks plus3 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1⅓ cups cake flour,sifted

Strawberry rhubarb compote

3/4 cup sugar
⅓ cup honey
¼ cup cornstarch
2 ½ pounds rhubarb,washed,dried and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup quartered strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour a standard-size loaf pan.

In a stand-alone mixer,cream together butter and sugar at medium speed. Add the eggs yolks and whole eggs,one at a time,scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add the vanilla,salt,and 1 teaspoon water. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and fold in the cake flour gradually by hand,a third at a time,until it is incorporated. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes,until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Tip the cake out of the pan and finish cooling on a rack.

Place a medium metal bowl in the oven until hot. Carefully remove the bowl from oven and add the cornstarch,sugar,and honey. Mix together and add the rhubarb. Coat the rhubarb with the cornstarch/sugar mixture and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The rhubarb will release its juices and the cornstarch will help thicken them prior to cooking.

Pour the rhubarb mixture into a saucepan with all the accumulated liquid. Cook over low heat,stirring constantly,until the rhubarb is fork tender but not overcooked,10 to 15 minutes. Pour the compote into a heat-proof bowl and set it aside to cool at room temperature. Stir in the strawberries now.

Serving suggestions: Slice the cake and top with the compote. A little whipped cream is also a nice addition. 


Use the compote as a pie or tart filling – see Rustic Tart (page 000). Simply pour the compote into an unbaked pie crust and bake at 425˚F for 30 minutes.

Enjoy the compote on its own with vanilla gelato or frozen yogurt.

Leftovers: In a cake container, the pound cake will hold for 2 days. Rhubarb-Strawberry Compote is good, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

Nutrition: Rhubarb is a great source of lutein, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants.

 Economy: $

Note: This recipe can be found in the Gigi Good Food Cookbook, Hudson Valley Mediterranean.