Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Wining and dining in Burbank with Luna Vine and Romancing the Bean...
I've mentioned a few times that a new wine bar is coming to Burbank. It's finally under construction, and should be opening in October. In the meantime, Luna Vine Wine Bar owner Shannan VerGow, her General Manager Nick Caballero, and good friend and colleague Kerry Krull of Romancing the Bean, have been keeping the buzz going with monthly tastings on Magnolia Park's Ladies' Night Out. A week before Labor Day, they collaborated on the first of what I hope will be many more wine dinners.
JD, Shai Cellars winemaker Shawn Halahmy (whose wines will be on the menu at Luna Vine) and the Goddess walked to Romancing the Bean. Yep. Walked there. Perfect.
We arrived and were handed glasses that were immediately filled with a 2012 Markowitsch Gruner Veltliner from Austria. This is a wine I actually have in my own cellar. It's crisp, fruity and dry as a bone. The perfect aperitif. The cheese course was set out, and we all gathered around the bar to fill our plates.
The 2011 3-Brooms Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand was the perfect match to the next course of chilled cantaloupe and mint soup. Some diners were not sure about the texture of the soup, but I found it refreshing and different on a warm night.
A 2012 Westwood 3-Part Rosé from the Sonoma Coast was paired with an unusual, slightly honeyed chicken liver mousse with Marsala gelatina. We all loved the mousse, which we happily smeared on more toasted baguette, but I found the Rosé a bit one-note - and that note was mainly watery strawberry. At the table, opinions were mixed about the wine - but not about the mousse!
The 2009 Stone Dweller Shiraz from the Strathbogie Range, Australia was a terrific match with the braised short ribs with baby veggies and polenta with Pecorino cheese. The portion arrived "to be shared by two," and it was just right for JD and me.
The dinner was designed and prepared by Luna Vine's Executive Chef Wes Pumphrey and Romancing the Bean's Chef Dawn Bassett. An excellent collaboration!
And then we walked home. Walked. Home.