This is no time to deprive yourself of good wine.
So it seems most nights, anyway when just before dinner, with BBC World News broadcasting non-stop death and suffering in the background, I peer into the wine fridge and contemplate the options. Why should I drink a run-of-the-mill Sancerre with the halibut and beurre blanc when I could instead enjoy the 2017 Domaine Vacheron? No, wait! What am I hanging on that 2015 1er Cru Meursault for anyway? It’s not getting any better now and what if I wake up with a cough? Yes, bring on Henri Boillot…
If you, too, feel that right now every good dinner at home is fundamentally a special occasion, then your cellar may like mine very soon need replenishing. Don’t wait, we say; be proactive. And with a view to that, we’d like to pass on a few tips. For starters, those long, metre-interval-staggered queues you see snaking their way down the sidewalk out of your neighbourhood LCBO or SAQ or what have you–skip them. What you need is home delivery by the case from wineonline.ca or vivino.com. Or in the Toronto area, you’d do better still to sign up for Charlie’s Burgers‘ wine program, which is currently donating all profits to the Sunnybrook’s COVID-19 research response fund. Either way, you’ll have cases of wine showing up on your front step without any personal contact at all.
Another attractive risk-free drinking option is to directly support a local restaurant with a great cellar that you used to favour. Yes, many are pushing wine at great prices with their takeout and deliveries. But note also that lots of other restaurants are for myriad reasons not doing takeout at all.–and so need new cashflow even more. Many such places are more than happy to make a deal for any old mixed case you care to rustle up from their online wine list–all for a modest markup that flows straight to their staff payroll. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you exactly which restaurants are doing this (because some such transactions fall afoul of provincial liquor law). But if you try your luck , we assure you that it won’t be long before you find yourself drinking for a cause.
Stay safe–and don’t stop eating well.
Editor in Chief
(GOOD) FOOD NEWS
In other news, there are as always developments in the food and wine takeout business, coast to coast. Here are a few we recommend:
Lee Cooper’s L’Abattoir is now doing three-course takeout meals at $48 per person. The menu changes weekly. The current offering includes a salad with cold-smoked albacore tuna and horseradish dressing, followed by pan-roasted duck breast, with confit in pastry and a bean and vegetable ragout.
Darren Maclean’s vegetable-forward Nupo is offering healthy options for vegans and vegetarians. plus sushi both fresh and aged in their dry-ageing chamber.
Many a restaurant here has segued to survival kits. Which is to say weekly takeout and delivery boxes of pretty much everything you need to scrape by for the following seven days. Fresh meat, fish, and vegetables sourced from the restaurant’s excellent suppliers. Some coffee, flour, house-made hot sauce and maybe even sauerkraut. Even..toilet paper. Check out the Grassroot Food Box at montgomerysrestaurant.com
An hour and a half outside of town, in Jordan, the exceptional team from the Restaurant at Pearl Morissette is doing something similar with their Country Market. Their boxes, pre- ordered through Tock, include local farm product from cheese to duck eggs, butter, meats, vegetables–and of course Pearl Morrisette’s fine wine and breathtakingly good crusty sourdough. Click here for details.
Everyone knows the best lamb to be found in town was always on a table at Toqué! And now, just in time for Easter, chef Normand Laprise is selling the same product he used to cook there via his restaurant-traiteur Beaumont. Saddles, burgers, brochettes–whatever you need. Along with select cooked dishes for rakeout.
STUFF WE LOVE
Reading about wine was never as sexy as it is in Noble Rot. A blend of food, wine, and British cheekiness, think how much better your wine literacy will be when this is all over. Subscribe here.
Pancakes don’t get any more famous than the ones made at Toronto’s Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. They’ve generously decided to share the recipe on their live Instagram feed this Saturday April 11 at noon EST.
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