City Pulse

By Stef Schwalb

Food and wine lovers rejoice – especially if you’re headed to the East Side. Because there you’ll discover a fab find, VERO Restaurant & Wine Bar, serving up some delectable dishes paired to perfection with some worthy wines. We recently popped by to sample some summer goods provided by chef Sean Olnowich with wines selected by in-house sommelier Paul Cappiali.

Considered by locals as the ultimate neighborhood hangout, VERO doesn’t rest on its laurels. Instead, they continue to experiment with innovative food and wine pairings on a regular basis by bringing together unique ingredients and complementary vintages from around the globe.

Among the tantalizing servings we tasted, the steamed mussels with roasted fennel, bacon lardons, vermouth, and cream paired with Markham Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2010 and blackened mahi tacos with cabbage slaw, cilantro lime ailoli, and avocado paired with Domaine J.A. Ferret, Pouilly Fuissé, Burgundy, France 2008 were definite highlights. Light, yet flavorful food combinations abound here, and there are more than 100 wines to choose from. Speaking of which, here are three suggestions from Paul on summer reds that rock.

“In the summer months, I tend to choose the lighter, more fruit-forward-style reds, but I still like some body and even a little spice,” he reveals. “They have to keep up with whatever’s on the grill. Torcalvano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Toscana, Italy) is 100% Sangiovese so it’s all about the fruit. It’s bright and the notes of minerals and cherry go perfect with summer days. Benziger Merlot (Sonoma, California) offers dark fruit and pepper aromas with full flavors of currant, black raspberry, anise, and ripe plum. It’s a supple, full-bodied wine with a velvety texture and rich flavor. Its emphasis is on the fruit; leave the alcohol and big tannins for the winter. ‘B de Loudenne’ from Chateau Loudenne (Bordeaux, France) is a subtle blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, offering fruity aromas, which add to the wine’s freshness. It’s a fresh, easy drinking wine; what more can you ask for in a summer wine?”

For oenophiles who want even more info, VERO also hosts a wine school series that introduces attendees to different wines and regions from around the world. The next session starts in the Fall.

1483 2nd Avenue (Between 77th & 78th Streets)
(212) 452-3354

1004 2nd Avenue (Corner of 53rd)
(212) 935-3530

Originally published August 2012
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