Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everyone Needs a Neighborhood Nosh Place

I have been hankering for some time to find a neighborhood food place. The kind of joint you can go to regularly without getting bored of the food or the ambiance. A place close enough to home so you can drink wine and walk back to the pad. A place that can equally fulfill a nice dinner out or a solo meal at the bar. A place where the staff actually strives to know your name. So I am not at all embarrassed to admit that I was at 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro three nights in a row last week.

How can I help myself? It's got what I consider the perfect meal. Yes, this means I actually ordered the exact same thing three nights in a row as well. At least I had three different dinner mates and I can get away with the excuse that I am so in love with the food and this particular trio of menu items that I just felt compelled to turn my friends on as well, but the truth is I would've ordered the same thing solo.

First off is the duck confit flatbread. A large slab of wood comes with this exquisite faux pizza made with a light thin dough, a sweet truffle oil base, and generous hunks of shredded rich duck topped with peppery arugula leaves.

Second is the artisan cheese plate served with four kinds of cheese including two little hunks of decadent bleu drizzled with honey, toasty slivers of broiled buttered baguette and walnuts, dried cherries and apricots.

And last but not least the bowl of large creamy mussels swimming in a tangy wine sauce topped with a pile of thin truflfle oil fries dotted with aoli to soak up the juice.

And to top it all off, Melissa my favorite waitress recommended an addicting $15 bottle of Sean Minor pinot noir from the restaurant's in-house wine store that was so good, I now have to bring a bottle home after every visit.

My three dinner dates on those three nights in a row were wildly diverse. The first was my artist friend Michael Hinkle and we spent an hour discussing our passion for painting. The second was a facialist friend Tanya who regaled me with tales on keeping the skin clean while we sampled the cheeses. And the third was an old pal Stephen who sucked me into a three hour conversation on spirituality. All three companions agreed that the meal was amazing and the wine great and thanked me for turning them on to my favorite plates!

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