Sunday, May 1, 2011

Black Bottle, Gastro-Tavern

919 Bellevue Way, NE
Bellevue, WA

Last night we tried a newly opened Black Bottle in downtown Bellevue. This is a modern gastro pub with a slick, industrial, open-air space softened with the abundant use of warm wood and the gentle glow of stylish incandescent lights. We sat at the bar and had some big decisions to make. On the beverage side of the house, they have an extensive selection of interesting draft beers that showcase many small handcrafted brews representing a large variety of flavors and styles... no Bud Light here! Their wine list is equally impressive with a well chosen diverse selection of wine from around the world and from our own pride and joy, the Columbia and Walla Walla Valleys. We ordered a bottle of the 2008 Tapiz Cabernet Sauvagnon, from Mendoza Argentina, to enjoy with some tasty food from their eclectic menu. “Food designed to be shared", we were told, as we ordered the Lamb Meatballs and a Flatbread of Nicoise Olives, Feta, Roasted Tomato and Arugula. Both food choices were well made, delicious and satisfying. The Lamb Meatballs dish had a Middle East meets India feel as savory meatballs were accompanied by grilled vegetables, Tabouli salad and Tandori spiced cubes of Paneer. Our flatbread was served in a rectangular tinned steel fluted tart pan and had a crisp, chewy crust that was perfectly topped with high quality cheese, olives, roasted tomatoes and arugula. We had the pleasure of conversing with the Black Bottle’s Beverage Manager, Noah Goldman, about their interesting wine list and how these wines have been carefully selected to represent wines of high quality and diversity at a reasonable price point. Bottles are fairly priced with many in the mid-twenties to low thirties and no bottles over $50. Since yesterday was the last day of my birthday month, I decided to celebrate and finish our meal with an order of warm Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce. Sweet, fragrant and gooey, this house-made confection was a perfect ending to a fun evening. Last night, the Black Bottle was abuzz, packed with a high energy crowd enjoying the nightlife in yet another Bellevue "hot spot" for excellent food, libations and camaraderie.

Tapiz, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008

This wine has a deep opaque ruby color with a purple hue. On the nose this wine reveals complex berry notes, chocolate, licorice and hints black pepper and cinnamon. It delivers a broad mouthful of dark fruit with cherry, currant, black raspberry balanced by mocha, coffee and some toasty oak. There is excellent depth and length and it shows plenty of complexity with sweet tannins and enough acidity to make it versatile with food. This was a solid wine to pair with our flavorful food.