A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend “A Taste of Burgundy” at Satis Bistro in Jersey City. It’s a beautiful restaurant and lounge in the Paulus Hook neighborhood. The space, which once housed a bank, was meticulously restored and updated with a lovely main dining room, a cozy loft-like second floor dining area and a popular lounge accessible from the dining room or street with a speakeasy feel.
The wine event was held on the intimate second level and I took a seat near the railing overlooking the downstairs dining room – sort of dinner and a show.
Satis typically offers Pan-European food (think of a blend of Spanish tapas, French bistro and Italian salumeria) and an eclectic, well put together beverage program.
On the evening I visited, Chef Michael Fiorianti prepared a special menu crafted to complement wines from Burgundy that John Criscitiello of Vineyard Brands educated our group about. Following were the dishes and wines served:
Foie Gras and Caramelized Sweet Potato Terrine, Cranberries paired with Delamotte Brut, Champagne
Mussels Meunière, Crisp Potato and Leek paired with 2011 Domaine Louis Michel & Fils, Petit Chablis, Chablis
Jambon and Gruyère Popover, Smoked Pork Rillette paired with 2011 Vincent Girardin Domaine de la Tour du Bief Close de la Tour, Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais
Red Wine Braised Venison, Bacon, Champignon and Baby Carrots paired with both the 2011 Domaine Mongeard –Mungeret Les Narbatons Savigny les Beaune, Premier Cru and the 2011 Thibault Liger Belair Nuits-Saint-George La Charmotte, Côte de Nuits
Bittersweet Chocolate and Raspberry Clafoutis, White Chocolate Chantilly Cream
I’m a foie gras aficionado and this terrine was sublime, especially paired with the tart cranberries that were a needed contrast to the rich foie and the sweet potato. The dry, mineral bubbly was a wonderful match to the decadent dish.
After the rich amuse bouche, the light, citrusy mussels dish was a smart way for Chef Fiorianti to proceed with the meal. Soon, our table had a sizeable mountain of discarded black shells that spoke volumes about how much our group enjoyed the course. The Petit Chablis with its slightly slate-ish flavors was another solid pairing.
The popover was the lone “okay” dish of the evening. Little more than a ham sandwich. I like ham sandwiches, but this could have been left off the menu…except that it was paired with lively, slightly earthy Gamay, which I’m a fan of. For those who see Beaujolais on a bottle at a wine shop or on a wine list and scurry away, give this type of Beaujolais a chance. Not the fruit bomb Nouveau some uncork in November. By the way, it was clever of John Criscitiello to serve us a Beaujolais on #BeaujolaisDay, I took notice.
The braised venison was the star of the evening, in my opinion, and not only because it was served alongside two different wines. The meat was expertly seared with a gorgeous rare doneness. The pleasantly toothsome carrots and earthy mushrooms were gilded with bacon flavors – stellar dish. The 2011 Domaine Mongeard – Mungeret Premier Cru was the wine of the night.
I often feel dessert is overlooked at tasting dinners but the clafoutis was anything but. The tart chocolate and raspberries were super paired with the Chantilly cream and my last sip of the 2011 La Charmotte.
I’m looking forward to returning to Satis for a romantic meal focused around the beautiful cheeses and salumi calling my name from behind the display case, perhaps in the privacy of the bay window in the downstairs dining room.
212 Washington Street
Veronique Deblois, Food & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.