I don’t know if you are like me, but I tend to read articles in the newspapers and in the slick paper magazines about new restaurants and trends. I guess I am old fashioned, and by now you know that, but some of the trends just don’t get me excited. I guess I still do it, because when I was gainfully employed I liked to keep abreast of the current restaurants as a clothier, as if I was a concierge, because there is a whole world beyond what one does for a living, and you have to have intelligent conversations with your customers. I have noticed that new “critics” and “authorities” and “clerks” lecture about their own personal thoughts, instead of listening to the customer. So, I was intrigued to read about a new Italian restaurant that a critic, who admitted that he wasn’t around in the early days, but he could take cheap shots at some of the local chains, while talking about a potential new chain of restaurants, which made me laugh. I was curious, because when I finally found in the article where the restaurant was, I could not place it and I mentioned it to my Bride, and she couldn’t either. I got out my phone and did a map search and discovered that this new restaurant replaced another Italian restaurant. We called our son in town and made a date to try the food since it is between our two homes.
Bar Verona wishes to infuse the traditional with the unconventional. The first thing I noticed is that they seated us in a booth, and they must have gone to the airlines to study how to fit one additional booth into a section, as the four of us could barely squeeze in on each side of the table. We ordered an appetizer that was touted in the article that lead us to dine there. We had the Tuna Crudo with charred Shishito pepper relish and house potato chips, with the concept that one would use the chips as a utensil to dine on the tuna. Our son laughed and said it was the first time that he ever had Sushi with chips, and outside of me, the others enjoy Sushi. My Bride had the local Whitefish with carrot puree, spiced cauliflower and lemon gremolata. I ordered the braised short ribs with whipped potatoes, roasted lemon broccoli and breadcrumbs. Granted, we did not have real Italian entrée offerings, but after the appetizer, the menu was open. I have to admit that our dishes were done very well, and our Son and his Wife did order Italian dishes and they were happy with their selections as well.
We selected a festive type wine in case our Daughter-in-Law wanted to join us with some wine as she thinks our wines are too dry. We ordered a bottle of Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé NV. Outside of Champagne, Cremant d’Alsace is the second largest region for sparkling wine in France and the manufacturers must abide by the rules, just as in Champagne. The Alsace appellation law requires that only Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Auxerrois plus Chardonnay, which is not otherwise allowed in the region, but because of the acceptance and success in Champagne it is allowed in the Cremant, and by law the grape varietal must be indicated on the label. This particular bottle was made entirely from Pinot Noir. As with all Cremant appellations, the Methode Tradittionnelle is used to make the wines. The wines must spend a minimum of nine months on their lees, to aid in creating a certain accepted level of complexity. This allows the wine to impart some of the terroir and a better finish to the wine, and the traditional dosage concept is used, as this wine was a Brut, which had a small dosage to keep it dry. It was a very easy drinking wine and easily paired with our dishes, and the bubbles and the color made the table more festive. We will probably go back to this restaurant, not because of the exuberance of the youthful (I surmise) critic, but because of the location, and the food was well prepared, though I don’t think we will sit in a booth, unless they redesign the interior.