So here I am sitting in Dearborn with my Bride and my Favorite Daughter across the street from where I worked for thirty-five years with a sense of deja-vu, because I had been in the building and even the restaurant in prior times and names. I had the good fortune to meet the manager of the business and we had a mutual friend to start off our conversation. I was not only in a neighborhood restaurant, but one of quality. As I looked around at wooden crates and at the wine carte, I was able to see many old names that are friends to me. I mean if I was on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at a local bistro, but I was not expecting to see some of the wineries that I did. I mean I was impressed to see Sassicaia, Gaja, Tenuta dell Ornellaia both as “Ornellaia” and “Massetto,” Duckhorn Estate, PlumpJack, Silver Oak, Rudd, Ramey and Pahlmeyer; as well as a collection of affordable, but more esoteric labels that showed some thought in the selecting.
My Bride and my Favorite Daughter had decided to share two different entrée choices. The first dish was Risotto di Pere e Noci, which was a dish of brown butter and Sage Pear, roasted walnuts, cream, butter, Pecorino and Arborio rice. This dish was an eclectic combination of flavors and textures that showed nuance and taste and they were both glad to have split the dish as they felt that it would have been light for dinner. The other entrée that they shared was Persico Croccante, which was crispy Lake Perch, Idaho and Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, grape tomatoes, green beans and Lemon Caper Sauce. My Bride was apprehensive as she is not a fan of fried foods, but this will light and non-greasy, so she was very happy. As we were all looking at the menu, the two ladies immediately knew what I was going to order. I had the Petto D’Anatra Tricolore which was a dish of Culver Farm Duck breast prepared Medium Rare, along with roasted beets, Brussels sprouts, Cannellini beans and Cherry Fig Mostarda. The breast was perfectly cook and arranged on the plate, and I was completely happy.
When the manager was having a chat with us, we ended up talking about wine, and I was looking to see what I should order to pair with the duck, and the Pinot Noir that they had was not what I was thinking of. He left for a minute and returned with a bottle that was not on the wine carte, and it was a wine in the category of what all the restaurants like to term as “Super Tuscan” and I asked him if it was available by the glass and he assured me that it was. My Bride was happy with the Orvieto Classico and my Favorite Daughter was having Iced Tea, and I was going to have a glass of Cantina dei Colli Viccentini Meret Veneto Rosso IGT 2012. The wine was a blend of seventy percent Merlot and thirty percent Cabernet Sauvignon. The Veneto IGT was created in 1995 to allow greater flexibility and freedom for the wineries, especially in the use of non-native grape varietals. The evening was wonderful for having the chance to spend some bonus time with my Favorite Daughter and that we found a charming restaurant that does not break the bank and was not offering just the run of the mill selections of Italian food, we shall return.