Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vin de Set

Bill and I decided to try Vin de Set because of the positive reviews it had received from both friends and critics. The reviews held true. Good food, great wine, great atmosphere.

Here's the scoop:
We arrived a little early so we headed to the bar for drinks. I ordered a Malbec (if it hasn't already acheived "it" status among local hipster wine drinkers I predict it's on its way) but the bar guy, I think, winced. When I asked about it, he offered me a wine tasting. Fast-forward and I'm drinking a big ol' glass of Cabernet Franc from Cali. Very smooth. Very alcoholic. Very delicious. After a few drinks we made our way to the dining area, where we had the opportunity to sit outside in the covered, heated rooftop dining area. Wasn't expecting that option in mid-March but we went along with it since part of the point of coming to Vin is the rooftop dining experience. And, the roof did have a nice view, one that I suspect is better under more natural, more appropriate alfresco weather conditions.

On to the food:
We started with a delicious baked brie with roasted garlic and apricot and walnut chutney. Bill ordered steak and frittes, which he called "delicious" and gave a big two thumbs up. I ordered the sirloin burger w/roquefort bechamel & angel hair onions. It was very tasty too even if the cheese, and I hate to criticize cheese because it is really the most perfect food, was a little too rich for the burger (maybe that's a French culinary preference). We finished by sharing a vanilla creme brulee, which was good, but not memorable.

The assessment:
In fact, the last sentence of the last paragraph sums up my assessment of Vin--that the food was good, but not especially memorable. But, here's what's also very important to remember: food and ambiance work in tandem. Great food can be made bad by a bad presentation or environment (example: The Tin Can near Tower Grove Park--good food that registers bad because of its bad environment). Conversely, as in the case of Vin, good food can be made great by the presentation or environment. I'll fondly remember the Cabernet Franc and the view of the rooftop dining area and the great fun that I had with Bill. And, because of those positive memories and associations, Vin's good food gets thrown into the mix and becomes great too.

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