Baldwin in the summer.. charming, warm and full of life. (I used to live in the area) Ever since my chouchou sis mentioned of this new place opening, its been on our radar.
unique label, deep red wine
A black board with the menus clipped on the street, in front of this small brick house; adorable script wordmark on a bordeaux-red siding, and a food doodle-like illustration on the side wall. Before the entrance - a stone patio with long wooden benches, which I'd love to see it in the summertime!
sweet oak, blackberry, plum
Once in, there are tall, narrow, wooden stairs leading upstairs. I sneaked a view of the charming bay window table and bar before we were greeted and walked upstairs. The place was roomy due to the lovely tall ceilings. It was also mysterious and elegant with its upstairs level all wood. The interior was completed with white walls, red window frames and four wooden beams in the middle which had hangers on them (a good design solution).
hints of licorice, earth meld
We sat at a cute side table and a sweet, timid asian lady gave us our Modern Alsatian Cuisine Lunch menu. We got water very quickly and she informed us of their daily specials. The menu consists of Tarte flambées and Sandwiches mainly. It is very well organized with plenty of breathing space. Soon after we noticed the wine menu on the back and handwritten on the wall's blackboard. After some time of being excited to spend some time together and forgetting we need to make some decisions, the waitress was back. We asked about their wines. Sylvaner 2010 from Alsace, we saw and had to check what it is. She was relatively knowledgable. By the sounds of it, Sylvaner would be definitely one my sister would enjoy. I asked for their Pinot Noir after agreeing on their Tarte Portobello and daily Sandwich.
sumptuous textures, round tannins, one-of-a-kind character
We had so much to catch up on, that I would be a poor judge on our time before all arrived. The Sylvaner was lovely - light, fruity, hints of minerals and semi-dry. The Pinot was worthwhile as well, very typical.My sandwich arrived with mixed greens, cranberry, sunflower seeds salad on the side. The sourdough bread was grill-pressed and inside was the intense combination of caramelized onions and sauerkraut on top of the marinated hanger steak with a hint of their unique horseradish mayo. Perhaps a dish more suited for dinner and to be enjoyed with a heavier red wine. The Tarte Portobello had chunks of portobello, tad of sundried tomatoes and grated gruyere on top. The tart itself was like a very thin pita bread, oven-baked with all the lovely ingredients on top. It was an artisan dish - more for snacking then a substantial meal. However sharing both with my sis, it all worked out.
We lingered on our flavourful food, light wine and lovely company. We felt very private as it was getting later on in the afternoon.We next decided to share their famous tart flambée for dessert with some of their Kusmi-Tea. I picked their St-Petersburg (citrus, red fruit and caramel) while my sis got the classic Darjeeling black tea. They came very quick together with the flambee. I was not that fond of this tart flambée - apple, cinnamon and some cinnamon formage blanc. I would definitely recommend some honey to it, as opposed to the described cinnamon sugar (and something more..perhaps some nuts). The flambé would be a dream-come-true for any cinnamon lovers out there, though. With the lovely tea, it really made us feel like its snowing outside, on this light, sunny day.
long, ripe, smoky finish
And so with the light french music in the background, time just seemed to slow down..it turned out we spent hours in there, we realized, as we were the last ones in the restaurant; an hour after it was supposed to close for lunch.. oooops!
I must add, we got our bill with a lovely business card.. thick, symmetrical, well spaced out - a pleasure to my eyes and fingers. thanks!
overall.. a complex Bordeaux with a strong character.