November 15, 2015
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.
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.
I loved these adorable little potato croquettes:
and this cauliflower bordelaise.
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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