The other day at an affair, I was talking to another couple and we were discussing wine, as if you were surprised. The other thing we were talking about is restaurants, another popular subject for me. We were remembering several different eateries that we had been to and that I had written about. Then they mentioned Zinc Brasserie & Wine Bar and I had to smile. There was another restaurant that I had not written an article about, because as I have lamented before, there are no more books of matches to keep as tokens of great meals. Zinc Brasserie or just Zinc as many people referred to it, was rather a new concept when they opened up. The term Zinc is refers to the finish on the bars and is a colloquial term for a bar in parts of Europe.
Zinc was a fun and new concept here in town when they opened up as they offered some special brasserie style entrée dishes each night. They offered dishes like Osso Bucco, Coq au Vin, Beef Burgundy, Cassoulet, Bouillabaisse and Braised Short Ribs. They also had some great fish dishes which kept my Bride happy, and they also had great burgers, after all, they were owned by the same people that own the Redcoat Tavern. Most of the dishes were accompanied by Pommes Frites, the potato dish that I really enjoy since the first time I had it in New Orleans, which there is called Potato Soufflé.
Not only did Zinc Brasserie have great food, which was affordable, they also had unique wines and reasonably priced. I remember having a couple of wines that were off the beaten path and fun. The first wine that I will mention is from the Kermit Lynch, Wine Merchant collection and it was Domaine Tempier Bandol 2002; Bandol wines come from the Provence wine region. One of the main features of Bandol wines is that the wine is required to be made from at least half Mourvedre, a very spicy grape and is usually blend with Grenache, then Cinsaut, Carignan and Syrah. This is not a wine that is usually encountered and when paired with Continental-style dishes makes for a great choice if you ever find it. Another wine that we had was off the beaten track and from Spain; Finca Sandoval 2001 is such a wine. Finca Sandoval comes from Castilla La Mancha, and of course that would catch my eye on the wine carte, as everyone knows of the Man of La Mancha. This wine is actually from Manchuella, which is lesser known, and only recently got their own recognition as the area is known as “Lesser La Mancha.” Manchuella fought for their own designation because Castilla La Mancha is known more for their table wines and bulk production. This wine is primarily made from Syrah with just small percentages of Monastrell, Bobal and Tempranillo. Since this wine is also still in production, it may not prove totally difficult to locate and you will have a chance to try something a little different. Alas, after several years as Zinc, the owners changed the venue into another Redcoat Tavern, but usually we go to the original over this one, even though it is closer to us, go figure.