Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Morrell Wine Bar and Cafe

After looking at the lights and the tree at Rockefeller Center, we decided to stop in at Morrell Wine Bar and Cafe. A friend had suggested it for a snack, and since we were in this part of town, it seemed like a great time to try it out. You can see people sitting outside enjoying a couple of bottles of wine, and in these seats you have a perfect view of the tree. Since it was relatively warm last night, I'll bet they enjoyed their wine and ambiance!

We thought about just having a knosh and a glass of wine, but it was dinner time, and who wants to cook later? So we stepped inside, and they did have space for 2 for dinner. The bar was jammed, so it was a pleasant surprise that there was space.

I ordered a nice sparkling wine, and Rick ordered a Cabernet Sauvignon - both were wonderful, though I can't tell you which they were as the web's list of wine by the glass is not up to date.

We started by sharing the onion tart - a puff pastry with caramelized onion, gruyere and creme fraiche. The appetizer menu was filled with lovely sounding bites, and this tart did not disappoint. The crust was crisp and flakey, and the filling was creamy, flavorful and just a little bit sweet. We both liked it a lot!

For dinner I ordered the Red Beet Risotto. It was fine. I wish there had been a nicer balance with the watercress and bleu cheese. There was only a few pieces of watercress, and the cheese was so mild that I wonder if it really was bleu cheese. Rick ordered the Bolito Misto, described as: braised veal cheek, boiled flat iron steak, thinly shaved tenderloin, purple peruvian and red chile pepper potatoes, baby carrots, scallions, beef jus. It came as a bowl of unbelievably salty pot roast. Honestly, I would have sent it back. When I tasted it, the salt almost burned my tounge. It was crazy.

So, the lovely list of wines and the appetizers (at least the onion tart) I would happily repeat. It is nice to be able to go to a wine bar as our local wine store only has a few wines at any given time. This would be a nice place to bring a friend for an improptu wine tasting as there are over 50 wines by the glass! Next time!