By: Laurie Wallin
Capital Cooking Contributor
I love wine, and more importantly, I love learning about wine and discovering new ones…and if the wine is paired with an amazing dish? Even better. The Wine Kitchen on the Creek, in Frederick, MD, offers all this and more, with its extensive variety of wine flights, hand-crafted cocktails, spirits, and delicious food. Located in the heart of Frederick, enjoying a leisurely three-course lunch was a wonderful way to spend a recent Saturday afternoon.
The Wine Kitchen on the Creek, as its name suggests, offers over 40 different wines by the glass and specializes in wine flights. There are around 10 different flights offered at any one time, with creative names such as “Triple Bubble” (sparkling wines), “Local Flavor” (focusing on wines from Maryland), and the one I chose, “Pinot Evil” which featured three Pinot Noirs, one from California, one from France, and one from Oregon. Even better, the flights are all accompanied by tasting cards, which details the wine including the winery, the varietal, where the wine is from, and the year (“who, what, where, when”), as well as a detailed description of the wine’s nose and flavors. My favorite wine from my flight was the 2012 Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir from Monterey, California.
Of course, here, wine is only part of the story. Executive Chef Jeff Beard is creating truly delicious dishes that pair wonderfully with the extensive wine list. My lunch began with a Baby Beet Salad with arugula, apple, walnuts, cider vinaigrette and mascarpone mousse and Tuna Tartar Tacos with avocado, cucumber, and jalapeno. Both the salad and the tuna tartar tacos were extremely fresh, with the mildness of the mascarpone mousse pairing nicely with the apple and beets, and the tuna tartar tacos had quite a kick from the jalapeno which was balanced by the creaminess of the avocado.
I had the opportunity to sample the House-Made Pappardelle with country ham, sage, butternut squash, brown butter, and country olives and the Grilled Rainbow Trout with chanterelle mushrooms, haricots vert and spring onion pesto. Between the mushrooms and the spring onion pesto, the trout was like eating spring in a dish – the mild fish was complemented beautifully by the spring produce and paired wonderfully with the Tomaiolo Pinot Grigio 2013 from Italy. The pappardelle was cooked to a perfect al dente with the butternut squash pairing nicely with the ham and sage – a classic food pairing!
Dessert began with a Dulce de Leche Pot de Crème with housemade granola and Chantilly cream and concluded with a Banana Split Trifle with bananas, an ice cream trio, chocolate sauce, flourless cake, and brittle. The Banana Split Trifle was delicious; a wonderful dessert for chocolate lovers! The Dulce de Leche was incredibly creamy and paired beautifully with an Expedition Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2011 Chardonnay from Washington – one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while.
The Wine Kitchen on the Creek is a charming restaurant, with its exposed brick walls and warm, inviting lighting. The bartenders are incredibly friendly and helpful and always willing to offer a suggestion. The restaurant is located in charming Frederick, right on the creek, and while it poured the day I visited, I could easily see myself on their patio enjoying a flight of wine when the weather is nice. In addition, they also offer happy hour and bar specials – I wish I lived closer so I could visit more often!
The Wine Kitchen on the Creek adheres to the idea of “Eat, Drink, Simply” and with the high-quality and delicious food coming out of the kitchen paired with their extensive wine list, I completely agree! For more information, please visit http://www.thewinekitchen.com/frederick/