Well I'd been thinking about the discussion we had earlier about Charleston, so I decided to head to a restaurant that, in terms of food pricing, is roughly equivalent. Even better, it was within walking distance- Preston's 500, at 500 W. University Parkway. We did a Zind-Humbrecht wine dinner there about 6 months ago, but, unbelieveably, I had not been back since.
Kirsten and I started out with a bottle of Ployez-Jacquemart Champagne, not unreasonably priced at $45, and split the seared sweetbread appy, which was priced at $9. It was perfect, and I had a little trepidation about the whole sweetbread concept. Delicious, perfectly done, with a light bodied but flavorful brown sauce, almost an au jus. Then we moved on to a salad which was good but not worthy of discussion.
My main course was seared scallops on small potato and leek cakes, with beurre blanc. I think Kirsten had grilled shrimp, but I can't say for sure because I was completely captivated by my scallops. Cooked to perfection, they were delicate and juicy, and married very well to the sauce, which had a light citric zing without shutting down my arteries the way Charleston's hedonistic sauces can. We ordered a bottle of Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Heimbourg 1997 for $55. That's retail, folks; usually close to $100 on a restaurant list. Not everything on the wine list is so amazingly priced, but none of it is gouging, either.
We adjourned to the cozy, warm, moodily lit bar for an after dinner drink. I probably spent a little less than I would have at Charleston, primarily because the wine is not priced as, ah, aggrsively as Charleston. I still enjoy Cindy's place, make no mistake, but I am pleased to have found a quiet, laid-back alternative right in my backyard. I recommend it without hesitation, and would have voted it on the tip sheet if I had gotten down there earlier.