I don't usually write a review of anything or any place after just one visit. You want to be sure that there's a consistency, good or bad, before you recommend or discourage folks from going somewhere.
But seriously, I totally can't do that here.
Because The Wine Kitchen, located on Carroll Creek, next to Hinode, is JUST THAT AWESOME.
I kid you not.
Fantastic. Wonderful. I may even go so far as to say, Just Right. Because for me, it totally is.
Let's start at the beginning: A few weeks ago, a friend and I stopped at The Wine Kitchen's Leesburg location (don't get all "it's a chain" panicky on me here -- there are just two...relax) after a funeral. We were sad, and hungry, and it was a grey, rainy day. So we threw down. A cheese course. A charcuterie plate. A salad. An appetizer. Four or five main dishes. And let's not forget dessert.
For two of us.
Hey - I said we were sad and hungry.
Before you think we totally gluttoned out (ok-we totally did), we did indeed have half of each dish(except the cheese, the charcuterie, & dessert) packaged and took them home. We just wanted to try everything we could. And It. Was. Good. Really, really good. It stoked the fires of desire for the Frederick location to bust a move and open it's doors. Pronto.
And so they did.
The Frederick Wine Kitchen opened quietly on Saturday, October 1, and the Twitterverse started to hum. "Excellent service" I heard. "Reasonable prices" hit the interwebs. "Great food!" You had me at Hello.
So I grabbed the nearest spouse and was a total door buster this past Saturday night. They currently open at 5:30 for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. I'm assured that lunch service will begin shortly and have already decided to host the annual TKS holiday soiree there in December. because this place is great.
Scott, our server, was knowledgeable, friendly, and had a great sense of humor. We were off to a good start.
Before even really looking at the menu too hard, we ordered cheese and charcuterie plates, along with two flights of wine. For those unfamiliar, a flight is a series of glasses of wine, not full pours, but slightly less so that you can try more options. Since I'm one of those annoying "red wine gives me migraines" people, I stuck to the only all white wine flight on the list, which went for 9 bucks. My whites were a little brighter & lighter in flavor -- good for warm weather. I'm hoping they add a Winter White flight of really buttery, oaky whites perfect for fall and winter soon. Each wine comes with a clever descriptive paragraph. Being married to an English teacher, we dissected the writing. It was a fun little touch that we both enjoyed.
JVB tried the Pinot Evil flight (3 different pinot noirs for $12) and was very, very happy. So happy in fact, we even bought a bottle and took it home with us, partially because the deal was so great. See, if you try a wine and you love it and want to take a bottle home, The Wine Kitchen will sell it to you for 10 bucks off the menu list price. Buy more bottles and the deal sweetens from there -- woo hoo!
But back to the vittles...The cute dish runner (she needs to work on her pronunciations and menu knowledge a bit - buy hey, they've been open a week) brought our board loaded with 3 cheeses (a camembert, a Humbolt Fog, & a blue) and charcuterie (coppa, some variety of prosciutto...I think...and the most luscious chicken liver pate, topped with glorious duck fat). Seriously -- the fact that I even left the place is a miracle. I did everything but lick the pot the liver was served in. It was that good. It was served with red onion jam & coarse mustard (and needed a bit more of each of these on the plate to balance out the quantity of liver), and a fruit compote of some sort to go with the cheeses. The portions felt reasonable and not the least bit skimpy. Very nice for $12 each.
Dinner included the scallops with pork cheeks (so tender I almost stabbed JVB so that I could eat every morsel from his plate) and the biscuit chicken, which was simple, but cooked perfectly. I cleaned that plate, and good.
We had saved a bit of room for dessert (duh), and imagine my surprise when at the very end of my pbj deliciousness, my mouth started popping...like mad! There were some sort of pop rocks of all things included in the dessert. Heaven I tell you. Heaven.
The only (slight) damper of the evening was when my new friend Scott knocked over an entire glass of wine. On me. I was soaked right through to my undies (tmi?), but there were 3 people on me in seconds with towels to help clean up the mess. Scott was very apologetic, but I assured him that it really wasn't that big of a deal. I was in a good mood, had a nice meal, and was relaxed. What's a little wine between (new) friends?
So The Wine Kitchen? Yup -- you need to get there asap and give it a try. You won't be disappointed, your mouth will be happy, and your soul will be fed by gracious and knowledgeable service. I'm even rounding up a group of ladies and headed back this weekend. I can hardly wait. :)