Archive for August, 2011
From the spa-friendly subtlety of a lean loin cut, to the sheer hedonism of bacon, cracklins and fatback, it’s hard to imagine another protein that is packed with more tasty potential than our friend the pig. How shocking to think that not long ago, during the fat-phobic 80s and 90s, pork was viewed as the enemy. Remember that whole “The Other White Meat” campaign, where glorious pork was desperately rebranded as nothing more than an adequate alternative to chicken breast??? Clearly this was the work of a culture whose priorities were out of whack; a people so tweaked on Diet Mountain Dew and fat-free triple fudge brownie-like polymers that they failed to recognize the superstar talent they had just relegated to second fiddle.
Fortunately now, with Americans relying a little less on dubious food science and more on chefs, time-tested dietary habits and their instincts, pig is king again. And on Monday, August 29th, Secco Wine Bar is proud to host six diverse culinary talents, each offering a dish that showcases the delicious diversity of pork. Chefs began by selecting their favorite part (interestingly, trotters and tail were the first to go) before strategizing their dish in conjunction with the group to ensure a cohesive six-course meal. Julia then selected her favorite part (wine) and came up with pairings designed to nuzzle the muscle, cut the fat and make every dish sing (squeal?).
Check out the menu below. Tickets are $75 per person or $90 with wine pairings. Only a few seats are left, so email email@example.com to make your reservation today.
Course One (Tim Bereika – Secco Wine Bar):
Tete de cochon with three condiments: savory tomato-berbere jam, watermelon rind mostarda & sauce gribiche
Course Two (Lee Baedke – Enoteca Sogno):
Squid stuffed with ground pork shoulder: hints of garlic, oregano, pecorino romano, tomato & pancetta
Course Three (Lee Gregory – The Roosevelt):
Roasted scallop, braised pig tails, lima bean succotash & pork jus
Course Four (Jason Alley – Comfort & Pasture):
Pig’s foot “Wellington,” pig’s foot crepinette, duxelles & white toast
Course Five (Michael Braune – Secco Wine Bar):
Braised pork belly, grilled tromboncino squash & leeks, padron pepper tapenade, fresh oregano, basil oil & yellow tomato sauce
Course Six (Rachel DiSylvester – Secco Wine Bar):
Pork rind biscuit, black raspberry compte, whipped honey & crystallized ginger
Throughout the month of August, Secco is celebrating The Summer of Riesling, with special flights, pairings and an increased portfolio of wines made exclusively from this grape among grapes.
I don’t know if it’s writer’s block, heat-induced laziness, or some weird, work-related version of absence making the heart grow fonder, but I can’t imagine writing anything that could top what Julia (just now returning from a 48-hour bender beach vacation) wrote on the subject last week. So, without further ado, I’ll cede the floor to our fearless leader, with some words on Riesling that are every bit as zippy and refreshing as the wine itself…(ok, now I’m just kissing ass).
Yes, we’ve seemingly, awkwardly, attached ourselves to the marketing coat-tails of Terroir in NYC and their endeavor to laud the amazing grape: Riesling.
It is said Riesling elevates the mood, lowers the core temperature and plays UN negotiator to even the crankiest, stinkiest border-region cheese. All true.
Also said: the great Meusault maker Dominique Lafon, has been quoted: “anybody who doesn’t like Riesling is a ******* idiot.”
But this is RVA, and all you need to do is look at the thermostat…you need Riesling as much as it needs you.
Light-bodied, low alcohol, mouth watering, COLD. We have flights, pairings and lectures galore. OK, I’ll back off on the lectures if you just TASTE the extra dry sparkling Fitz-Ritter! Then you’re MINE. Which rhymes with Rhein. Coincidence? Nein.
(Disclosure. Fitz-Ritter is from Pfalz. But the rhyme made it too hard to resist.)
Secco Wine Bar’s Summer of Riesling Specials:
NV Fitz-Ritter Riesling Sekt, Pfalz $8 glass / $30 bottle / $20 retail
’09 Rudi Wiest Rhein Riesling, Rheinhessen $6 glass / $25 bottle / $15 retail
’08 Erben Von Beulwitz Kaseler Nies’chen Riesling Spätlese Alte Reben, Mosel $45 bottle
’09 Loewen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel $8 glass / $32 bottle / $22 retail
’09 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett, Mosel $9 glass / $36 bottle / $26 retail
09 Merkelbach Riesling Spätlese, Mosel $9 glass / $35 bottle / $25 retail
Mosel Flight (two ounces each of all three ’09 Mosel Rieslings) $12
For even more propaganda in favor of The Master Grape AND to hear what Riesling sounds like when being slurped by one of the most beloved voices in public radio, check out this recent NPR piece.