We are now officially in that time of year…the time when one leaves the house wearing something short-sleeved, only to inevitably bring along or throw on a longer sleeved piece of clothing to wear later that evening. Fall brings hues of red, crisp fall air, back to school time, but perhaps the one aspect which excites me the most about fall is the change in food and wine.
Hard to think that only weeks ago we were blessed with heirloom tomatoes, corn, a bounty of summer crops filling our farmers markets, grocery stores and yours’ truly walk- in. Proteins were also fresh and plentiful this past summer and we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to share our inspiration and creativity with our guests. Take our 51 Lincoln Raw August for example.
This month- long event is devoted to celebrating the virtues of raw dishes. There is something about proteins in their natural state which is both feral and inspiring to a chef.
Ceviches, tartars and the likes fed our guests during the hot, humid end of the summer. We fed them well and our dishes allowed us to introduce them to some fantastic wine-pairings.
We paired our scallop ceviche with a crisp Verdejo from our by the glass list. This Spanish varietal is mostly found in the Rueda region of Spain. Often times Rueda whites are a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viura and of course Verdejo.
These wines can vary from aromatic and crisp to medium bodied and slightly creamy in texture, however the higher acid component across the board in them makes for a great food pairing wine. Our particular wine had hints of lemon and citrus on the nose, great minerality and a sharp, crisp acid finish which made it an excellent food wine and a match made in heaven for both, raw seafood dishes and our beloved bi-valves on the half shell.
Another example of a wonderful Raw August pairing was our truffle-infused steak tartar dish. We used Wolfe’s Neck farm hormone and antibiotic free sirloin as the base for our tartar. This carnivore’s delight was paired with a bottle of Freemark Abbey single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from our cellar. Like most well-made Cabernet Sauvignons this particular bottle had only gotten better with age. Smooth, rounded tannins gave way to layers of fruit and a long lasting finish.
As a chef living in this part of the country using seasonal ingredients is both a challenge and a privilege. In our case we are committed to using local farms for our vegetables. We try to use sustainable seafood whenever possible. We also take pride in then notion that we can do well by doing good. This past summer we participated in the Massachusetts Farmer’s Market Strawberry dessert festival. This city-wide event took place from June 11th through July 4th2010. Participating restaurants donated part of the proceeds from dessert sales featuring local strawberries to the Massachusetts Farmers Market association. The proliferation of local farmer’s markets around the city is a wonderful thing, there is nothing quite like going out and foraging for one’s dinner, even if it is in the middle of a parking lot or city square. We featured strawberry shortcakes, tarts and myriad of strawberry-centric desserts. We look forward to the success of this organization and the eventual creation of a permanent, local farmers market in our city.
Going forward we have a lot to be excited about!
Jim Buckle farmer at Allendale farm has expanded the root cellar there so that we will be able to have great fall vegetables for a longer time. Sugar pumpkins are really great right now!
This week will be the second week of wine flights at the bar. Last weeks’ Pinot Noir wine flight was a great success for us.
We filled our entire bar area and the chefs created a wonderful three component plate of duck liver pate, Great Hill blue cheese, and our house-made bresaola to pair with the selected Pinot Noirs.
This week we are doing a Chardonnay flight. This week’s flight will cover three continents and three different expressions for this varietal. We will be featuring a Macon Chardonnay from Burgundy (France), a Central Coast Chardonnay (CA, USA) and a Chilean cooler climate Chardonnay (Casablanca, Chile)
Thursday is of course our 51 cent wing night at the bar and going into next week it’s back to bi-valve Monday and Tuesdays with dollar oysters at the bar.
We added a number of amazing wine selections over the last couple of weeks; they are currently on our list and ready to drink. Until next time eat great food at independent restaurants.