Categorizing an area for restaurant reviews on my website, and calling that category “Eat This”, should just happen. Mood noted.
I don’t go to Morristown for two reasons; (1) I have a destructive ex, in the industry, that trolls the land, and (2) I never think of Morristown as a qualitative “foodie” place. Great bars, young pretentious hipsters, younger girls vomiting in the corners of bars around 2 AM…
Not judging, but I totally am. Last night, I found South and Pine in Morristown – changed my mind on what I thought was going on in this busting at the seams town. Where there is a bar/restaurant/meeting place on every corner, I dare you to search for an eclectic and direct outline of someone else’s vision of true culinary art-forms. Cookie cutter “lets get drunk”, “how weird can I make the wine list”, and “I’m so trendy” cocktail locations have dominated and sickened the overly ambitious crowds. Time to take a breathe, realize we are mature human beings and not animals ready to choke on cheap booze, and relish in a true, clean expression of “farm to table’ and in the moment design of a restaurant.
And yes, it’s a BYOB. Glory BE! When I go out to eat I want the server to run the show, make me feel like the queen I am, and tell me I am a genius wine goddess for owning such beautiful specimens I have brought to the table.
But I screwed up. The wine I brought sucked. Just sucked. Thank goodness my dining partner thought deeper into the menu and what wines made sense; he saved the day. (whew, that could have been a tragedy!)
What do I mean by this? As noted, the menu is consistently changing to match foods that are seasonly appropriate. Right now, you will find pumpkin soup, pork belly, lamb sirloin, and just wait… Braised Bison. You heard it, and I cannot lie, this made me loose my mind. One of the BEST grapes for the Fall, and for this menu, is Pinot Noir – hands down. This grape shows an abundant cranberry fruit, fall sweet spice, and a structure to hold up to a cornucopia of autumn flavors. Our Pinot Noir choice, and this may be a surprise to you: Celine et Vincent Dureuil, Rully 1er Cru ,”Vauvry”. Yes, your wine girl is drinking Pinot Noir AND a Frenchy; two things I’m not a fan of. Let’s break this down and tell you why it worked:
- Fruit for this wine is sourced from a Premier Cru Vineyard (pretty freaking good) located at the top of a hill. Lots of sunshine giving this wine a plumpness and bountiful fruit expression without being over the top in candied flavors.
- Aged 18 months in French Oak, picked from 40 year old vines, and one of the best producers in this region. The oak gives this wine oomph to the structure, and the older vines add a complexity to the fruit composition. Basically, making everything I hate about Pinot Noir sing a different song.
- Rully is a village in the larger area of Burgundy, France called Cote Chalonnaise. Not a lot is written about this area of Burgundy, mostly because they are not known for wines of an elegant nature. I am not elegant in nature, so we have something in common. Instead, you will get a rustic wine approach with earthy tones, black pepper and spice; and maybe not the best focus. However, these wines are affordable, have a sound framework, and pair generously with the season.
Recap; go pick some apples, drink a few Octoberfest beers, and finish your day at South and Pine with a bowl of steaming Mussels. Let the staff smile and wipe your chin, watch through the open kitchen all the hustling and bustling, and bring a bottle of Pinot Noir with you. Ignore the 20 somethings passing by the window, but do flirt with your dining companion. (and maybe the cutie floor manager!)
Side note; surprise starter was a split bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne. Just the right amount and just the right bubble to clean your palate for the fatty flavors of Fall. Check out this review/sales pitch from my friends @ Drizzly if you need some more info!
One response to “Eat This: Dinner at South and Pine With A Little Pinot Noir”
Love your column!