Tuesday, November 17, 2009

#3 - Indie Café & '06 Gross Sauvignon Blanc Sulz

Monday night is our Friday night in the Ney household.

Quick and good Monday dinner options are sparse in the city but there's a few we like.

Kuma's is always on the table. We're fans of Semiramis. Avec always gets the seasonal visit and Blackbird, our favorite restaurant, is made that much better by being open on Monday.

But one of the best values in the city on any day is Indie Café on Broadway, just south of Granville: Criminally cheap, nice atmosphere, pleasant staff, fresh ingredients and clean, well-prepared food.

It's Japanese and Thai, something you think would suffer from trying to be all things to all people but never does. It's a universal North Side favorite.

Pairing wine with sushi can be mildly difficult, mostly because you never know which direction you're going to go in until you get there. But some basic rules apply.

At its most basic, white wine is the norm, but a nice case could be made for rosés and a fruity sparkling. You want something dry or off-dry with a nice crispness and something that brings acidity and nice, bright citrus fruits to the party.

Riesling and Grüner Veltliner are the typically recommended selections. An Albariño would be nice - though I've never tried it with sushi - and Italian whites, especially often-neglected Southern Italian varietals like Falanghina and Greco would probably be great (haven't tried those either with sushi). In the end, delicate whites are going to get gobbled up so bring something with a spine that's not Chardonnay. Don't even let red enter the discussion.

We went with an Austrian Sauvignon Blanc just for poops and cackles.

Food: Rangoon, Wonton, Tuna, Duck and Salmon

Crab Rangoon
Chicken Wonton Crisps
"Mexico City" Maki - Tuna, whitefish, cucumber, avocado, jalapeño, chili, tempura...
Hawaiian Duck Curry
Ginger Salmon with soy sauce and scallion

Usually, we go a bit more in the raw vegetable vein at Indie with more dishes ordered as well. Essentially, we ordered what we wanted to eat, pairing be damned.

I finished it off with green tea ice cream, of which I could eat a bucket. Just leave me alone in the corner with an entire bucket. Don't bother me. And I don't even really like green tea.

Wine: 2006 Gross Sauvignon Blanc Sulz - $11 Wine Discount Center

We never had an Austrian Sauvignon Blanc before and figured what the hell. They're a bit rare.

By itself, it has the typical grassy notes you get from a Sauvignon Blanc but with a little more delicacy found in a New World style. Kinda between a New Zealand and a Sancerre in weight and intensity but with a pleasant oily finish, a cross between olive oil and motor oil. Light herbs in the background with a fruit note that was probably honeydew and grapefruit (I don't know) with enough acidity. Nothing spectacular outside of a nice change of pace.

Pairing: Fair to middling, leaning towards bad

Interesting with the maki, oddly intriguing yet short with rice and curry. No on the duck and hell no with soy sauce. Fine with the crab rangoon and the best with the chicken wonton.

Bit of a mishmash but the unique oily quality was marginally worth the trip.

Wouldn't do it again.

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