Old World vs. New World: Wine vs. Beer At Wine Market Bistro
Last night, I was lucky enough to be a guest at a special and intimate dinner at Wine Market Bistro in Locust Point. Opened in 2004 by Chris Spann, Wine Market has been putting out beautiful food for a good while now – in the restaurant world, 10 years is quite substantial. And Le Garage is a welcomed addition to the ever-changing Baltimore food scene and has quickly become a neighborhood go-to for me. When Chris invited me, I knew right away that this was one dinner I could not pass up.
Chris wanted to do a dinner featuring the chefs of both Le Garage in Hampden and Wine Market Bistro in Locust Point, pairing dishes with both beer and wine. Chefs Eric Bos and Kevin Christian prepared eight small courses and Brendan Kirlin of Le Garage paired the beers, while Chris paired the wines. I have to admit, I am way more into beer, so I may have been (yes, I was) biased. However, the wines were pretty amazing – I will definitely be buying the rosé. It wasn’t a competition — we didn’t vote or crown a winner — but everyone definitely had favorite dishes or pairings. Mine was the first course by Eric Bos of Le Garage. It was squid ink lobster agnolotti, uni butter, roasted fennel, salmon roe, beurre blanc and Brendan paired it with the beer Leipziger Gose from Germany. The richness of the uni butter and lobster was a perfect balance with the tartness of the beer, which is brewed with coriander and salt. Perfect. I also very much enjoyed the rockfish with the rosé. The particular rosé – Turkey Flat Rosé – was more full-bodied and paired well with the slight spice of the romesco sauce. Here is the entire menu, including beer and wine pairings.
LG: Squid ink lobster agnolotti, uni butter, roasted fennel, salmon roe, beurre blanc
(Leipziger Gose, Germany 4.5%)
WM: Halibut, thai chili romesco, prosciutto croquette, borlotti beans, pickled chanterelles
(Turkey Flat Rosé 2013, Barossa, Australia)
LG: Baby artichokes, barigoule, scallop, spring pea favetta
(Dupont Posca Rustica, Belgium 8%)
WM: Wild mushroom soup, rosemary almond gremolata, crisp pancetta
(Inman Family Pinot Noir 2011, Russian River, California)
LG: Roasted lamb roulade, grilled leek, shaved fennel, oregano pistou
(Trappist Rochefort 6, Belgium 7.5%)
WM: Crispy suckling pig, pork jus, white apple purée, speck braised cabbage
(Robert Biale “Black Chicken” Red Zinfandel 2012, Napa Valley, California)
LG: Kumquat napoleon, walnut tuille, chamomile, orange dust
(Liefmans Cuvee Brut, Belgium 6%)
WM: Brown Butter Cake, sweet potato caramel, caramelized banana, roasted banana ice cream
(Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat NV, Australia)
Kumquat napoleon, walnut tuille, chamomile pastry cream, orange dust
Thank you, Chris, Brendan – and of course Chefs Kevin and Eric for the gorgeous meal. It is one I will not soon forget.