Last night, Husband took me to a restaurant called Vermilion to celebrate my birthday. I had been to Vermilion somewhat recently, but I knew the menu had recently changed, and I was excited to go back. One thing I love about Vermilion is that they use local, farm-raised products whenever possible. We opted for the tasting menu with wine pairings.
The waiter said “I understand we’re celebrating a birthday tonight?” and my face must have looked panicked. I said “I’m sure you don’t sing here” and he assured me I didn’t need to worry, but that he’d take care of recognizing my birthday another way. That way, incidentally, was with extra wine and dessert. My kind of waiter.
The experience began with this amuse bouche*, butternut squash soup with pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds. It’s about the size of a shot glass and was delicioso!
So cute! I love to eat food with interesting presentation.
* Husband pulled that term out of his you know what. We Googled it right there at the table because I didn’t believe him. Merf: 0, Husband: 1
Four courses, four half-glasses of wine. First glass was a 2009 Patrice Cacheux Chardonnay from Burgundy, France. See Husband back there? This is the most you may ever see of him!
The first course was supposed to be Carolina White Shrimp, but they hadn’t received their shrimp delivery, so instead we got fried oysters over a slaw made of fennel and spearmint. I was very hesitant and almost substituted something else, but I decided to trust the chef. Glad I did – it was very tasty!
Next up was Chesapeake Bay Rockfish with brussels sprouts, local apple, hazelnut, squash and pancetta. This was paired with a 2007 Francois Mikulski Pinot Noir, also from Burgundy, France.
Rockfish is Maryland’s state fish and is also known as Striped Bass. The meat is bright white and has a texture similar to salmon. It is listed as a “Best Choice” by the Seafood Watch program (we have this app on our iPhones and always check it before ordering seafood).
Next up was local all natural beef striploin served with pastrami, wild mushrooms, spring carrots, and green peppercorn. This was paired with a 2008 Celler Cecilio “Negre” garnacha blend from Priorat, Spain.
I am no wine expert, but I can tell quality wine from box wine. These wines went down very easily. It was absolutely worth the additional $30 to have the wine pairings.
P.S. I totally missed on the menu where it said this came with green peppercorns. I thought they were capers and ate five at once. So gross. The rest of this dish? Delectable.
All good things must come to an end, and the fourth course was dessert. The dessert on the tasting menu was rhubarb upside-down cake with candied marcona almonds and marscapone ice cream. It was paired with my new favorite wine ever, a 2008 Elio Perrone Moscato D’Asti from Piedmont, Italy. I absolutely must go buy a
case bottle of this.
The bottle was almost gone, so check out my pour versus Husband’s. Lovely waiter.
My last little lovely surprise from the waiter was an extra dessert plate. It’s called “cookies and confections” and has homemade versions of a Hostess cupcake, cashew snickers, oatmeal cream pie, pudding pop, and black mint-chip ice cream.
They served it with a candle… and no singing. This place really amuses my bouche.