The Butterfly Wine Place

November 15, 2015

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That’s Dave McMillan, leaning across the bar at his Vin Papillon, doing what he does so well – talking about food.  Dave’s extremely opinionated, extremely knowledgable, and he’s cooked with just about everyone.  One of the great pleasures of a night at this warm, hip, cozy little wine bar is the sheer pleasure of his company.

Dave and his partners own the much-loved, much-talked about Joe Beef down the street.  But here they concentrate on vegetables.  The menu changes constantly; the other night it included this terrific celery root in a bagna cauda like sauce, the crisp vegetable shaved into thin pasta-like sheets, its edgy flavor tamed by the assertive sauce.  If you’re used to celery root that’s been slathered with butter or pureed with cream, this presentation is enlightening.

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Sliced into a muffaletta sandwich, the celery root displayed an entirely different character.  Crisp between the layers of soft bread, the flavor circled by a gentle mustard, it tasted like an entirely different vegetable.

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I loved these adorable little potato croquettes:

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and this cauliflower bordelaise.

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The place is dark and I was having way too good a time to bother lighting pictures. My apologies. And I was loving the wines. The sommelier,Vanya Filipovic concentrates on natural wines from all over the world. But for me there was at least one really nice discovery: the chardonnay of Norman Hardie in Ontario.

And now, of course, I’m dying to go eat at Joe Beef…..

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