Bold food paired with the right wines at ONE
For Valentine’s Day, Jack and I enjoyed lunch at a new restaurant called One Fine Food. It is an Italian-themed, market-style gourmet food store and restaurant rolled into one, located at 800 Erskine Avenue (http://onefinefood.com).
I did not drink wine with lunch but certainly scanned their wine list. Impressive. Italian. None of the wines are available through the LCBO, encouraging you to dine at ONE to enjoy a fabulous glass of Italian wine with your meal. The list offers 35 different wines, 4 offered by the glass and ranging in price from $8.50 to $10.50 (for an 8 ounce pour).
I’m not a fan of parsnips or kale. I refrain from purchasing these items in the supermarket and certainly avoid eating them when dining out. I’ve just never had these ingredients prepared for me in a satisfying way that has my palate sing in delight. I have personally never prepared these items in a way that works for me either.
To test Chef Brian’s culinary mastery, I decided to order the Northern Italian Roasted Parsnip soup (with beef broth) garnished with parsnip chips and basil oil I also ordered thin-crusted Fungi pizza topped with pesto, mixed mushrooms, roasted garlic and fresh kale. Both dishes were downright scrumptious. I have fallen in love with this culinary jewel-of-amarket-and-restaurant.
Our waitress also proved be highly professional, possessing etiquette, knowledge, warmth, and enthusiasm.
The market-part-of-the-store is loaded with Italian, gourmet and healthy products and ingredients, encouraging you to prepared a homemade meal at home to partner wine from the LCBO.
The market includes a bakery, butcher and seafood bar, an Italian cheese counter (also featuring some local cheeses), groceries, and gourmet prepared foods.
All of ONE’s pastas are made fresh, by hand, and from semolina flour. You can buy prepared fresh, Italian noodles by weight and jars of their prepared sauces to quickly toss together at home.
Fresh noodles available for sale include spaghetti, linguini, farfalle, fusilli, conchiglie (seashells), gnocchetti, penne, and others.
It’s the flavour and weight of the sauce that must be considered when choosing a suitable wine partner. ONE’s Bolognese sauce is meaty and incorporates the most flavourful part of Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese – the rind. This sauce is best to be served with a full-bodied Italian red like Barolo and Barbaresco. Both varieties are highly aromatic and celebrate a good balance of acid to tannin and astringency (structure) to clean and satisfy the palate.
Talk to your wine consultant who works at Vintages within the LCBO to recommend the tastiest and most reasonably priced version of these two Italian reds to buy for your meal.
ONE’s Leek and Wild Mushroom Sauce tossed with your favourite Italian noodles can be served alongside a glass of Valpolicella Ripasso from northern Verona in the Veneto Region of Italy. This Italian red retains its Valpolicella acidity and vibrancy but is more robust and flavourful.
During its vinificiation, the undergoes the ripasso technique.
Simply said, Valpolicela wine is infused with the pomace (grape skins and seeds) from the fermentation of Recioto and Amarone for a period of extended maceration.
This adds to the resulting wine more structure and depth of flavour.
While classically French, ONE’s Bechamel sauce with garlic is rich, creamy, and downright fatty. This sauce tossed with noodles demands a big, fat white wine. Co-owner Matthew Choma suggests an Italian white to match, specifically Italy’s Falanghina or Falanghina Greco, an Italian grape of Greek origin. This is actually the name of the grape, grown in Campania in southern Italy.
Similar to Chardonnay, this wine offers flavours of apple and pear, but with a big oily mouthfeel. It has its own unique and delightful identify. Hence this is why the wine has enough substance to stand up to this French roux and butter-based sauce.
Again, speak to your local wine consultant for recommendations of specific brands to try of these wines.
New eatery ONE, located on Erskine Ave. near Lansdowne Place, serves fine Italian fare and offers the ingredients instore to take home. The wine list, Shari Darling discovered, has wines you can't find anywhere else.