Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Wine Kitchen

After reading about Chef Cassy’s “No Menu Monday”, I just HAD to try Home Wine Kitchen (http://www.homewinekitchen.com). Luckily, my best friend Tony saw my Facebook post about it and was a willing victim to go with me - for his birthday dinner no less!

Even though we had a reservation for two, the restaurant was already quite full except for the tall 2-tops in the front window on stools. At first I thought this was a cute little area, but then I realized how warm it got sitting right in the sun and after 30 minutes, it was hard to sit on a stool. Literally. I know that the point of Home Wine Kitchen is to make it seem homey and comfortable, but the prices and atmosphere really don’t quite match.

Anyway, we were troopers and were very excited about the whole concept of being surprised with three courses…quite the food adventure! It turned out to be a heavy appetizer, a large main course, and then dessert. I think I ended up eating off of Tony’s plate quite a bit as well because I enjoyed his courses the most.

At the very beginning you are asked if you have any allergies and then if there are any foods you dislike. I immediately mentioned pork (big surprise) while Tony voted down green vegetables. I then explain that Tony loves pork and I loved green vegetables so that we could still both get meals that we enjoyed without being deprived, but this may have been a mistake. We also agreed to the wine flight with each course, which I also highly suggest.

Our wines were poured first and I was given a Pinot Grigio, so I immediately guessed a fish of some kind. The server told me no but I ended up being close since I got a plate full of mussels. I almost squealed in delight! Tony was served a fairly heavy red wine and I was wondering what first course would require such a strong wine. Sure enough, he was served a beef pate on toasted bread. Unfortunately, neither one of us had enough bread to go around. I wanted to soak up the buttery sauce that my mussels came in and Tony didn’t have enough for spreading the pate. I refused to let the pate go to waste because it was so tasty, so I broke down and used my fork. (Is it OK to ask for more bread?)

For the second course, more red wines came out so again, I was thinking beef, although one was lighter than the other. I got the lighter wine, but I also was handed the lighter dish, a pork steak, while Tony got the Strip Steak with asparagus. I was really hoping that this was just a server error and we immediately switched plates (and wines). We both ended up much happier and our dishes were excellent. Although, if I had known I was getting steak, I would have asked for it to be cooked more on the rare side. The sauces on both were outstanding.

With such heavy meals and red wines, I was really in the mood for chocolate…which went to Tony. I got a bite of the Chocolate Pate and it was incredible. Oh. My. Goodness. It was hard not to steal the rest. I attempted to eat what I could of my fruity Italian ice that came with a Sherry. Unfortunately, the ice cream was so frozen, I could only eat half of it and I tried to pour the Sherry on top to give it more flavor, but it really didn’t work. Tony got a Port to go with the Chocolate Pate…an excellent pairing.

I’m not sure if the restaurant is in the beginning stages still...growing pains maybe…and I’m sure I’d like to try it again sometime. Possibly eat off the menu instead. But I’m not sure I’m in a big hurry to go back just yet.