Sunday, January 19, 2014

eM Restaurant, Winchester

Breakfast Breads at eM
Ann and I desperately needed to get out of the house for some adult time so this weekend we decided to drop in on Will Mason at his new restaurant eM in Winchester. Though this is Will's first restaurant in Winchester, I've known him a long, long time. I lived next door to his parents for 20 years.

The space is tiny but well appointed; tables are situated on top of each other. That's just a fact of life in such a small space. Although we were at our own 2-top, we were seated cheek-by-jowl with others in a line of 5 or 6 other 2-tops, making it seem as though we were at a communal table. I'm OK with that. The front door opens right into the dining room, so we felt a cold blast each time the door opened. Again, nothing really that they can do about it. You'll just have to deal with it if you go: no space is ever perfect. I guess I say this because I am sure that people will be whining about these things on the on-line review sites.

The brunch menu is limited to about 8-10 items: Ann chose crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise; I chose scallops on grits. Both dishes were well enough done, though I am not a fan of the red pepper and seafood seasoning in the crab cakes. That's a personal thing: I want to taste the crab.

Scallops on Bacon Grits
Crabcake, Poached Eggs, Hollandaise
We wanted to get a bottle of wine to go with lunch and the by-the-glass list wasn't doing it for us. Despite the steep markups on the list, we ended up ordering a bottle of Alain Jaume Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Vieux Terron" 2010, a rich wine with plenty of blackberry, black cherry, and a touch of chocolate flavors. The soft tannins were surprising: I wasn't expecting this much structure, but this is the first 2010 CdP that I have tasted and I don't think I've ever tasted this particular cuvée.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape for Brunch? Why Not?

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