Monday, July 07, 2008

Stagecoach Tavern: Taking it to the Country

It's not the heat, it's the humidity that gets you. I first heard that line in Houston, Texas in the summer of 1994. And it's still true. I don't mind if the thermometer tops 100, as long as it's dry heat. But even a mildly hot day, say 87, can feel unbearable when it's also very humid.

It's been hot and very humid in NYC for much of the summer so far. BrooklynLady and I were incredibly excited to get out of the city on a recent weekend, excited to escape the heat but also show the BrooklynBabyGirl to a more rural setting. We went to northwest Connecticut to see her grandparents and then left her with them for Saturday night and went for a little husband and wife time in nearby Sheffield, Massachusetts. Right near Great Barrington. It's gorgeous there - horse farms everywhere, rolling hills, thick forest on the side of the roads.

But it was incredibly hot and humid. And there were way more mosquitoes.

We still had a blast, and one highlight was the Stagecoach Tavern, the unassuming but delicious restaurant where we ate dinner. Lots of local food featured, including specials of fiddlehead ferns and baby turnips. BrooklynLady's salad was simple and delicious, buttery bibb lettuce and sparky radishes with a subtle lemon dressing. Her braised chicken was excellent and my hangar steak with braised local greens and the aforementioned baby turnips was truly excellent. Without trying to do too much, this was a delicious and satisfying meal, and we loved every minute of it.

And get this - the wine list was wonderful. So many wines that I would have loved to enjoy with our dinner, it was hard to select just one. It's as if many of my favorite wines got sick of the heat in NYC and went for a weekend vacation, and happened to stay in this same little town.

I have this thing for pairing blood-rich cuts of meat like hangar steak with full bodied Chenin Blanc. BrooklynLady likes Chenin Blanc it was settled. Too hot and humid for red wine anyway. We loved our bottle of 2004 Domaine de Belliviere Jasnières Les Rosiers. Who knew that the Dressners have invaded small town Massachusetts? More complex than I remember, this wine had a great summer fruit perfume and also a slight woolly funk, just a lovely nose. An energetic feeling on the palate, with great purity, richness, and also elegance. Not really off-dry, but not entirely dry wither. Maybe vin-tendre would be the right designation. A delicious wine that paired well with everything we ate, including my medium-rare hangar steak. There's something about the way high quality Chenin from the Loire compliments the pure mineral bloodiness of hangar steak. Maybe it's just me...

1 comment:

Marco said...

Next time try