Posted in Uncategorized by EVWG on the May 31st, 2006

mainfada.jpgAll I have to say is Fada. This little French bistro in Williamsburg (I put the link in the title of this post) on North 8th and Driggs is absolutely awesome! My wife and I were on our way to see a performance piece and wanted to have dinner in the area so we could just mosey on over afterwards. I was in the mood for some French food and especially some French wine. Actually wine is what helps me make all my decisions about where to eat. I think of the wine I am in the mood for and search out the appropriate cuisine. I wanted me some Rhone. I went onto citysearch and found two French style places in the area we were going to be in and this one just sounded right…and it was. We were greeted warmly by a server who sat us in a prime location at a table by the front of the restaurant that was wide-open letting in the day. As we looked over the menu and perused the wine list a basket of warm bread with a ramekin of black olive puree was brought to our table to help us along. The puree was very fresh and screamed for some wine to accompany it. The server came over and asked us just the right question; if we wanted some wine. I ordered the Rhone on the list and she suggested one of the wines on special for the evening. My suspicion kicked in as she pointed to the chalkboard. Sometimes the special wines can be mediocre depending on how serious the wine buyer for the establishment (usually the owner) is. But with one word my interest was peaked. She said Vacqueyras.
Vacqueyras is an appellation in the southern Rhone Valley that was established in 1990 so it is a fairly young appellation considering. The grapes grown here are Grenache, syrah, mouverde and cinsaut. I love this part of France and these are some of my favorite grapes. I ordered a carafe of it in a second and was ready to explore. I hadn’t had a wine from this region yet and could not wait. The Vacqueyras we had was a blend of Syrah mostly and grenache and surprisingly some gamay according to the owner. Upon my initial sip I could see why the Gamay was in there. It smoothed out the rough edges of the syrah and granache wonderfully. It was a great wine for the price and worthy of a specials board.
We started with a small plate of the house cheeses. They were great. From semi soft to hard-pressed they paired splendidly with the wine. For an entrée I had the steak tar tare and was in heaven. It was served on a wooden block with diced accoutrement in small amounts around it like a painter’s palate. There was diced cornichon, diced white onion, diced parsley and diced capers surrounded by three ramekins of ketchup, mustard mayonnaise -The ketchup and mayonnaise where for the small mini-me bucket of fresh homemade (at least they tasted homemade) – frites. To top it all off, literally, an egg yolk in a half shell was gently placed on top of the tar tare. This was going to be fun. I poured the runny yolk and dug in. My wife had the salmon encrusted in what looked like cayenne pepper and dusted with a paprika and perfect placed on a bed of mesclune with some vinaigrette.
As if this wasn’t enough, our server actually came over during our meal and asked us if the wine was ok. Wow. That doesn’t happen. I was so happy that she actually cared if we were enjoying everything or not. Of course we were. When we were finished we asked about dessert. I like to save a little wine in my glass for this because so often red wine and dessert go so well together. We had an amazing homemade caramel tort that just melted in our mouths while the wine decadently washed it down. I topped it all off with a nice espresso at a good grind and promised myself I would tell everyone about this amazing place. Please go. It is really, truly a French cuisine experience. And check out the wine specials list. You will not be disappointed.

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