Dinner at Vedge was great. For once there was a wine dinner I was presiding over where I was eating the same food the wine pairings were intended for. The setting was romantic, the food was fantastic. Full flavorful and masterful. The owners, Rich the savory chef and Kate who runs the front of the house as well as working double duty as the pastry chef, are sweet and the kind that inspire loyalty. They've been at this for quite a while and tend to see their restaurant as one devoted to vegetables rather than a vegan resto, but it is.
We started with the Ulysse Collin Champagne Blanc de Blancs, NV. One reaction was, "I never tasted a champagne like this, help!" I told her to think of it as whips and chains, a little sdbm in a glass, that will change as soon as she has one of them crispy, rosemary flecked potatoes. Worked.
grilled eggplant, green olive persillade, gazpacho jus
Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, 2010
Verdict? Pretty good match. But the Muscadet can do no wrong. I regaled them about how people in the Muscadet used to be so depressed they were committing suicide all the time, like it was 1929, every day, but now, they're in renaissance thanks to the people like Marc Olivier.
chilled English pea & arugula soup, tarragon, almond picada
Clos du Tue-Boeuf Touraine Blanc "Le Brin de Chèvre," 2010
Paulo said, "I never smelled anything like this." He was in love. Big love. Actually if the wines had been reversed, might have worked better.
Third Course:Roasted Maitake Mushroom, potato herb salad, charred broccoli
Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru "Île des Vergelesses," 2006
This course was drop dead delicious. And the wine, which worked better for me with the cauliflower (truly going against conventional wisdom) was stellar. At first I thought it was going to sleep, but it sure woke up at the end of the glass. I talked stems and biodynamics. Alice held forth on the beauty of limestone.
Fourth Course: Wood grilled cauliflower, bbq black lentils, smoked onion slaw
Eric Texier Côtes du Rhône Brézème Vieilles Vignes “Domaine de Pergaud,” 2009
You'd think this would be brilliant with the tight and rugged VV, but it begged for the burg. Go figure. The room was split on which wine they preferred.
cheesecake, lavender buttercream, berries
Vittorio Bera Moscato d'Asti, 2010
In honor of this beautiful Moscato I tasted some cheap shit earlier in the day, Allegro or something like that. What a relief.
Verdict? Lots in the room had never experienced wines like these, so common to me I often take them for granted. I delighted in the reminder.
Thanks to Dave McDuff for hijacking me to Philly, to Kate and Richard for their food and space and care, and to all of those excellent folk I enjoyed meeting last night.