France Terroir Tour at Brick Farm Tavern

January 2019

Terroir Tour Wine Dinner Series at Brick Farm Tavern

Brick Farm Tavern is one of those restaurants you visit and wish you were close enough to frequent more, a sediment we often have when we travel. For one, we are fortunate to have Brick Farm Tavern within a half hour drive. With their own farm and other locally sources ingredients, the menu is constantly evolving and challenging creative limits of food. Not to mention they have a kill wine and beer list, featuring Troon Brewing.

When we got an email advertising a terroir series exploring France, Spain, South America, Italy, and California we immediately signed up for all sessions very excited at the wine pairings and interpretations of traditional cuisine with local ingredients.

January: France

It is difficult to dislike the richness of french cuisine and we have certainly found it to be one of our favorites just from our short trip to Paris. We were blown away by the culinary excellence we experienced at every meal. While the menu was not disclosed ahead of time, we spent the car ride to Brick Farm guessing the dishes and the wines we would be enjoying. I was certainly hoping for a duck dish and a Cabernet or Merlot wine. Upon arriving, the wines were on display as the room filled with the evening’s guests.

 

Course 1: Salt Cod Brandade- potato soup, clams, grilled sourdough, Ronny Brook Farm butter

Pairing: Grenache Blanc/Macabeu Blend, Domaine le Roc des Anges, “L’effet Papillon Blanc”, Cotes de Roussillon, 2017

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This soup was out of this world! Everyone at the table was raving over this dish. Super flavorful and creamy. And the farm butter was so different that a traditional butter as it was soft and more fatty. We could had easily only had this and been content! The wine was crisp and clean, a great pairing with this rich soup.

 

Course 2: Grilled Monkfish- fennel and citrus salad, dried cherry, white almond puree

Pairing: Cabernet Franc, Domaine Fabrice Gasnier, “Les Graves”, Chinon, Loire, 2017

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There was a lot going on in this salad, probably more than I can speak to, but whatever it was it worked very well together. One aspect about this style of dining we enjoy is the relinquishing of control to try whatever is put in front of us. I would have never ordered this on a menu but was happy for the opportunity to get to know fennel!

Oh Cab Franc, you funky vegetative wine. We are slowly growing to appreciate and enjoy your uniqueness. This bottle was a well-rounded and delicate Cab Franc that was certainly more enjoyable than some of the offensive ones we have had in the past.

 

Course 3: Duck Cassoulet- Red Star egg, andouille sausage, northern beans

Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot Blend, Chateau Sipian, Medoc, Bordeaux, 2015

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Ding,Ding,Ding! Do I win anything for guessing duck and a Cab/Merlot blend? It is the most obvious guess for french cooking at a farm-to-table restaurant. The duck leg was incredible and with the crispy skin on top, all the happy feels. Brick Farm is known for their Red Star chicken eggs that pepper the menu so it was no surprise to see it incorporated. The sausage hash was quite spicy so I did not eat it but it was clearly a crowd hit- empty plates all around. The wine was also a crowd favorite for the evening- hard to go wrong with a beautiful bottle from Bordeaux.

 

Course 4: Almond Dacquoise- meyer lemon sorbet, vanilla bean meringue, honey bullion, creme fraiche

Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion/Muscadelle Blend, Chateau Les Mingets, Sauternes, Bordeaux, 2014

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We were all intrigued by the dessert selection as french desserts cover a wide range of offerings. I (of course) was hoping for a chocolate extravaganza and this was certainly the opposite of that. One spoonful and we were all wishing we could swim in this dessert! It was a pool of honey flavored liquid gold. Everything on this plate was delicious and I had to exercise extreme restraint to not lick the plate. We love Sauternes so when we saw this we were like- oh of course how could we not have guessed! Since the dish was very sweet, the Sauternes was actually a less sweet version- more nutty than honey like so the pairing was perfect.

We left Brick Farm very satisfied with the entire meal and wines selected. Each dish and pairing was artfully crafted with clear purpose. My only criticism was wanting a more generous wine pour with each course- Kevin always seemed to get a proper pour so perhaps I will speak up next time! Looking forward to February’s journey to Spain!

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