Another visit to Barrel Thief this past Friday provided us with another great time. (click here for my previous review)This time we took my sister Elizabeth and her husband/my best friend Jeff up to sample what B.T. had to offer. Although they were crowded, we did not have to wait for a table this time. They had a new selection of 12 wines by the glass this week, pitting American wines against their French counterparts. We decided to peruse the shop to decide what wines we would be having with dinner. However, when we sat down to order our bottles, our waitress McLane (hope I spelled that right), who was also our waitress last time, informed us that if you buy any bottle of wine currently available by the glass they wave the $6 corkage. Of course, this information changed the game completely, as we thought we had our wines all figured out after our walk around the store. Also since the bottles were on the by-the-glass list, she was able to give us a tasty taste of the wines we were considering.
To start out for the evening we decided on the 2004 Robert Denogent Macon-Solutre Clos de Bertillones from Burgundy ($27). This was a really nice Chardonnay, excellent full bodied and round mouthfeel with just a hint of toasted notes and honey on the finish.
We were impressed to see that even though it was only 3 weeks since our last visit (I know too long) they had made some changes to the menu. On our first visit we had eyed the brie appetizer for 2 that our table neighbors ordered and noticed how good it looked and that it may take more than 2 to finish it. Since we were with Jeff and Elizabeth we decided to split it 4 ways. It was covered with apricot preserves and slivered almonds, a change since our previous visit (looked like it had a dark berry topping). It was delicious, and it paired very nicely with our White Burgundy.
For dinner Megan and I chose the same Portabello Panini that we had last time, as well as one of the new additions to the sandwich menu – a grilled vegetable Panini with goat cheddar, olive tapenade and balsamic reduction. Of course we loved the Portabello Panini again, but of the two, the grilled veggie Panini was our favorite. Even though the sandwich contained 4 things with very different and powerful flavors – all were present on the palate and none were masked or overpowered by the other. Another excellent addition to the menu!
We were also excited to see a nice drizzle of Balsamic on the plates this time, dressing up those stark white plates very nicely. Another nice addition to the menu is the fact that you can now add a mixed green salad to your Panini for $2.
Jeff and Elizabeth also shared the Portabello Panini as well as the citrus smoked salmon, cream cheese, shaved red onion and capers Panini. They were also delighted with both and thought they were very tasty, but of the 2, the salmon won out for them.
To go with these great sandwiches our second bottle of wine, which was also on the by-the-glass menu, was the 2005 Joguet Chinon Les Petites Roches ($20). It was a really nice Cab Franc. We were really impressed with its great red currant aromas laced with clove, and it had a nice slightly earthy finish with a hint of oregano. Again, this wine paired very nicely with the sandwiches that we had chosen.
For dessert Megan and I chose the pound cake and Nutella Panini again, and it was again fabulous. Paired with our pound cake we shared a glass of delicious Vintage port that I can’t remember the name of. Jeff and Elizabeth decided to try the house favorite – Krispy Kreme Strawberry Shortcake. That is definitely a toothache waiting to happen, but they enjoyed it, and we may have to try it next time we are there.