My Favorite Daughter came to town for a quick trip and visit and of course she wanted to dine in Dearborn, which is her home town. Alas, the city has changed and so many of her favorite haunts are now just memories. I had heard some great reviews about Osteria 222 and thought we should try there for dinner. I am so glad that they did not seat us along the window, because I would have been over looking the empty strip center, where once the clothing store that I had worked at for some thirty-five years was, but the store was a victim of eminent domain and all for naught. The building that this particular restaurant was located in was at one time a furniture store, that was famed for their clocks and clock repairs as well. The furniture store also was famed for having an old fashioned ice cream parlor, which has been relocated to Greenfield Village and not relegated to the garbage dumps. After the furniture store left, the large building was converted into a “mini-mall” and I would frequent the assorted restaurants that once did business there; at one time it was “Peaches” and later became “Bistro 222,” and the funny thing is, there is still a sign outside that still reads “Bistro 222.” I kind of felt like the proverbial country bumpkin coming to the city when I entered the restaurant, because the room arrangement was totally different, and not to mention the stacks of empty wooden wine crates that were artfully arrayed proclaiming some spectacular wines. It was going to be an interesting evening. After we were seated, another couple was seated near us, and I remembered them from the clothing store and I think they were surprised that I recognized them. Also there was a pianist with an accompanying singer, and the singer knew my daughter, it was a very small world that night.
We started off by having some appetizers, and there was so many choices to be made, and since we ordered a couple of different glasses of wine, so the pairings may have been a bit odd, but that was alright, since they had some rather unique choices by the glass and why should we try something basic, when there were some fun options to choose. My two ladies decided to split a salad and it was good that they did, because if they had each ordered the salad alone, they might not have had room to enjoy the entrée that they were selecting. I so enjoy listening to my Bride try to pronounce the dishes that she is ordering and though I and the waiter may have winced, she did accomplish it. The salad that they were splitting was Barbabietole e Capra, which was a medley of roasted beets, roasted pine nuts, dried cherries, red onions, goat cheese and Nebbiolo vinaigrette. My order was much more basic, the Morsi di Manza “222” which was organic grass fed beef tips, seared and served with a red wine demi-glace.
I was trying to find a different white wine for my Bride, as my Favorite Daughter doesn’t drink wine normally, and yes we all have our crosses to bear. The first wine that I selected was no longer available, and the waiter offered a suggestion of a fine California Chardonnay, but I thought with the ambience of the evening, that she should have an Italian wine. She had a glass of Barbanera Orvieto Classico DOCG 2014, and I have to admit that I had selected it for her, as it had been some time since I had tried an Orvieto wine. Orvieto is from Umbria which is in Central Italy and sixty percent of the production is in white wines, of which eighty percent of the white wine is Orvieto and Orvieto Classico. Orvieto Classico is only used for white wines, both sweet and dry, and the wine she was enjoying was dry. The Orvieto blend is traditionally Procanico (Trebbiano Toscano) and Grechetto, and these two varietals must be sixty percent of the blend. The balance is usually Canaiolo Bianco and Malvasia Toscana. Since we had come in from an early hot Spring day, I was also looking for a chilled wine to begin the meal with and I had chosen Cantina Sociale di Monte Porzio Il Frascati DOC 2014. This wine comes from Lazio, which is also from Central Italy. The wine was a blend of Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc, which is used in France for Cognac production) and Malvasia Bianco. The first taste was a bit off-tasting, but as it sat in the glass and opened up, it was quite mellow and refreshing, though my Bride thought it reminded her of the wines of the Jura. It may not have been the best selection to pair with my appetizer, but I made it work, and as I said, as it opened up, it was much more enjoyable. I shall discuss the dinner entrée choices in the next article, as just like the evening, there was too much to absorb in such a short span of time.