One of my favorite times of year has arrived. Wine and Dine! Oh yeah. Super good food for a great price paired with wicked local wines = good times. We were lucky enough to have a babysitter for the evening (shout out to bullshine!) so we browsed the participating restaurants online and chose one that had one of the best sounding menus. Oh and don’t be one of those lazy places that just “features” something of the regular menu. That is lame. Get creative and make people want to try your food. Sorry about the side rage……..anyways. The winner was Vines Restaurant. And just so you are aware we have been here multiple times and every time is unbelievable.a.
Here is the menu:
For the appetizer I had the wild boar pasta. This dish was damn incredible. The pasta was so delicious and tender and cooked perfectly. Those little piggys……..those little piggys I tell you were rolling around on my tastes buds like a pig in shiiiiny new shoes! Oh was it good. If I closed my eyes I could hear those little buggers snorting and frolicking through the forests like boars do……….and then ending up on my plate! The mushrooms were a well balanced with the boar and the beans added some texture and lightness to the dish. Amazing
She had the spotted prawn bisque and let me tell you……I almost bisqued in my pants!!! The intense flavors of the ocean hit you like tsunamis hit Japan….yes I did! The cilantro and salsa added a fresh hand to such a stellar dish. Just lifting those flavors ever so slightly more and then slapping you in the face with prawn action. BOOM! Best soup EVER!!!!
When this plate was placed in front of me I nearly fell out of my chair. It looked and smelled absolutely incredible. I wanted to caress it gently and savor the moment but I drooled and ate it instead. This is how a braised short rib should behave. Touch it with the fork, fall to the plate. That easy. Crazy right? It was out of this world tender with a perfect glaze. The polenta was creamy and smooth. The braising juices with the blackberries was brilliant! It was rich and robust and was paired with one of my all time favorite wines. The Vines Foch. The vegetables were outstanding as well. Just the right amount to compliment perfection. Vines…….Foch.
She had the tuna and she loved it. The tuna, generally used for sushi or lighter fare (canned tuna and square fluff bread sandwhiches do not count), was giving the task of creating a substantial dish while keeping true to its lighter side. The lentil ragout was superb. Just saying ragout is awesome anyways! But the flavors throughout were matched perfectly with the braised vegetables and relish on the tuna. The tuna was cooked the only way it should be. Rare inside with a beautiful sear on the outside. If you were to look closely you could see his little tuna friends swimming with joy in the Ragout Ocean.
For dessert I chose the Valrhona chocolate and hazelnut bar. I do love chocolate and this bar is about as rich and chocolatey as any I have ever had. It was dense yet smooth in texture but not overpoweringly sweet. The orange marmalade was a citrus/chocolate mating made from perfection. Slap a spoon of vanilla bean ice cream on top and hold on to your pants……because they will depart company from your body as you have a joyous moment of dessert awesomeness.
The biggest surprise of the night was this pretty little piece of creamy goodness. Yep, it is a goat cheese cheesecake. First bite was like hmmmm…hmmm and then it just became such an addiction I was ready to bake the whole goat and eat that too!!! You might be thinking that the goat cheese was to strong to be a dessert. No. You are wrong. Put down your KD and ketchup and listen up for a second! The goat flavour peaks instantly and then is smoothened out by the sweetness of the grapes and the coulis. The tartness the cream cheese itself has also helps keep the goat balanced but prominent throughout the course. Frick yeah!
This was another unforgettable dining experience for us. Made even better by the fact that I was able to share and evening out with my beautiful wife (you’ll find a box of tissues to your left). And it seems every time we go they put is in the far corner, table for two with the best view out of the dining room looking down over the vineyards, valley and lake. Service was exceptional and precise. If it was up to me we’d still be sitting there sipping wine and sharing stories. Go check it out. Grab the remote, throw it behind the couch and take your partner out for an unforgettable evening. I’m giving Vines Restaurant a contemporary locally inspired paired with a glass of 5 stars out of 5! Thank you and you and you and yyyyyyou not so much. Later people!