Eat Your Vegetables: What's the question I am asked most often? No question about it: What's a good vegetarian restaurant? I got that question, but with a different twist, a few weeks ago. A guy called and explained that his wife was a strict vegetarian, but that he himself had no particular interest in abandoning meat, dairy, fish or eggs. Did I have any advice? My suggestion: Get a new wife. But it's not really necessary to take such a drastic step. There is a way for otherwise compatible herbivorous/carnivorous couples to dine together. The answer: Think ethnic. Try Indian food, which is versatile enough to make everyone happy. India Palace Indian Cuisine, 16842 North Seventh Street, has vegetable korma, mixed veggies and nuts in a delicately spiced cream sauce. Taste of India, 1609 East Bell Road, offers bengan bhartha--roasted, pured eggplant blended with a spice rack of seasonings. And Shalimar, 616 South Forest in Tempe, puts out a superb saag paneer, freshly chopped spinach and Indian cheese in a divine sauce. Try Japanese food. Mikado, 7111 East Camelback, makes excellent vegetable tempura. And if your partner isn't fussy about the idea, order the seafood nabemono. It's a big hot pot for two, made with a subtle broth flavored with soy, sake and seaweed and stuffed with all sorts of aquatic life and vegetables. Let the vegetarian pick out the cabbage, tofu, spinach and bamboo shoots while the happy carnivore gorges on the clams, shrimp, scallops, crab and snapper. Or if you want something fancier (and pricier), try RoxSand at Biltmore Fashion Park. The menu always includes several vegetarian entrees, and they're always a lot more interesting than a pile of tofu and sprouts. You might run into sun-dried tomato risotto with Portobello mushrooms and spaghetti squash, or stir-fried rice mixed with veggies, cashews and litchi nuts. Proof-Positive: The September issue of Bon Apptit offers an entertaining primer, in the form of a 40-question quiz, on wine and spirits. Here are three of them: The waiter recommends foie gras as an appetizer. To accompany it, you confidently order: A) Chianti, B) Sauternes, C) Bud Light.
You notice California selections from Gan Eden, Hagafen Cellars and Baron Herzog. All of these wines are: A) made by doctors, B) kosher, C) bottled in Los Angeles.
Two kinds of glasses are placed on your table--one with a large, rounded bowl and the other with a narrow chimney shape. The large glass is for: A) red wine, B) white wine, C) spitting.
The correct answers are B, B and A.
Rocky Mountain High: People flock to the West for a variety of reasons--skiing, camping, scenery. But if you've been there, seen this and done that, don't despair. A new travel book offers a novel excuse to tour the West. Visit the wineries. Yes, that's right. Linda Collison and Bob Russell have just put out Rocky Mountain Wineries (Pruett Publishing, $16.95), a guide to 49 wineries in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Utah. It's not going to resemble chateau-hopping in France or the Napa Valley, but my own trip to several Arizona wineries down near Sonoita suggests that a tour like this should offer some offbeat fun.