The natural wine movement is moving through eateries world wide faster than the black plague and Le Verre Volé may be at the epicentre of the trend. Walls are filled with bottles from those who abhor cultured yeasts and sulphur and like to harvest, ferment and bottle at just the right cycle of the moon (I just wish every day could be a root day). Don’t let this put you off if you are not a fan of the natural wine movement as this is a great place.
We warmed up with a bottle of 2010 Maison Pierre Overnoy Pupillin Arbois. It is one funky, on the edge, dry white, but I like it very much. It has some nutty, flor yeast type smells along with notes of preserved lemons and earth. In the mouth it is tart, with lemon pulp flavours and sherbet like acidity fizzing around the gums. There’s some green apple and a little flora and it has good intensity and length of flavour with a final impression of grapefruit. It worked particularly well with a fabulous entrée of rabbit rillettes. We also shared fromage de tête de porc that was gelatinous, full flavoured and also a great match with the lemon fruits of the wine. A salt cod brandade was served on squid ink with a baby octopus, it was fresh and saline and bloody good.
The children had an artisanale lemonade from the Jura called Elixia. Patrick described it as fizzy with bubbles that go up your nose, out of your nose and in your tummy. Lily thinks that it was also really bubbly when it went up her nose and tasted like it had a real lemon in it.
I’d ordered hanger steak for main course and asked one of the keen, polite young staff members to recommend a glass of red. The 2009 Jérôme Jouret ‘Sueurs Froides’ is raw, funky Grenache. It is a little wild and cheesy with some stalky, stemsy notes and some red currant and tart berry fruit. It is full and velvety without a lot of structure or body. One fears it may collapse like an over-ripe round of epoisses with bottle age. Mr Wriggly would love to attain the level of ‘chewyness’ in my hanger steak but the flavour was excellent as was the Dijon mustard. Accompanying mash of celeriac and beautifully roasted carrots were quite perfect. Heidi had a lovely piece of pork, a little like corned beef with delicious creamy mashed potato, the ultimate comfort food.
Our meal with water, wine and two coffees came to $111 euros, an out and out bargain. It is a tight space and you will be ‘shoe horned’ in, food is full flavoured, robust and homely and service is friendly and good. We will certainly be back.