St Vincent’s Tavern in the Mission decided to start a popup dinner series set in their own restaurant on a Sunday night, an evening that they are normally closed. Paying homage to New Jersey and east coast Italian-American tradition of Sunday suppers, the series is appropriately themed Sunday Sauce at St. Vincent’s.
Chef Bill Niles started cooking at an Italian-American restaurant, Pompeo’s in the Jersey Shore Boardwalk, so it made sense to focus the theme on his past experience. Owner-Sommelier David Lynch paired the $45 pre-fixe 4-course family style meal with wines from Piemonte, one of our favorite Italian grape regions; so it was a no-brainer for us to participate.
The Antipasti Misti course offered pickled pimento peppers stuffed with provolone cheese, marinated mushrooms, artichokes and Castelvetrano olives:
A 2010 Oddero Langhe Bianco “Collareto,” a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Riesling aged only in stainless steel, was paired with the antipasti. This is a departure of the typical Piemontese white wines that are familiar to us, such as the Arneis or Favorita, but it was crisp and refreshing and more importantly, it paired well with the pickled and brined flavors of the antipasti:
They brought over some house-made fat breadsticks that were deliciously studded with cheese and garlic:
The pasta course was a baked ziti with a smoked tomato meat ragù:
The smokiness of the tomatoes in the tasty sauce was a nice update to the ragù. It paired really well with the 2010 Gillardi Dolcetto di Dogliani “Cursalet”:
The main entrée featured slices of Braciole made with Bavette steak. The beef roulade was stuffed with a garlic and herb mixture which flavored the perfectly rare meat. Accompanying the steak was some wickedly good sautéed rapini (broccoli rabe) and various seasonal roasted vegetables (eggplant, squash, potatoes, carrots):
Barolo (Nebbiolo) is to Italy as the Burgundy (Pinto Noir) is to France. Barolo has all of the complexities and nuances of a great Burgundy, and this Oddero Barolo convinced us that 2007 is a good year to stock up on:
With what room we had left in our stomachs, the Cannoli alla Siciliana and assorted gelati (cherry, chocolate and vanilla) was very satisfying and filled in the cracks:
This was a perfect Sunday supper where all choices were made for us, and we didn’t have to worry about selecting menu items or wines. A terrific value, it was announced as a series of popup dinners, so be on the lookout for the next one (announced via email or on their website).