Asheville is still the Paris of the South
Have you ever been to a Wine Dinner? The Market Place’s (www.marketplace-restaurant.com/) William Dissen and Steve Pignatiello of Pcomms Wines (www.pcommswines.com/) recently partnered to produce such an exceptional experience for a very grateful table.
In the partnering process, you think of pairing the wines with the food, but it goes beyond just having wine with food. In this case, both the wine and food did not just complement each other, but brought to the table a special pairing of climate, soil, culture, and heritage unique to both.
The Market Place’s new owner, William Dissen (www.marketplace-restaurant.com/about/chef-william-dissen) has the credentials and experience to bring together a discerning table that speaks well of his use of local food and the time and talent it takes to produce the best food experience!
The dinner theme was “Springtime in Paris” and each course presented an ideal picture of Farm-to-Table fare. The oysters from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, marinated in a champagne mignonette sorbet with a sprinkling of chervil scented rock salt incorporated a light sweetness that ended with a hint of salt as though they had just been plucked from the bay. The wine was a Servin 2007 AOC Chablis “Special Reserve,” very crisp and did not influence the taste of the oysters at all, rather like the backdrop of a painting!
Steve Pignatiello (www.pcommswines.com/our-company/about-steve/), the wine master, has made it his life calling to tour France, leading tours, and selecting wines from small vineyards that do not distribute outside their villages or regions. Several of his wines were of batches of 75 cases to 500 cases. And the prices were from $25 to $50 a bottle. Of course he has many varieties and prices, but here you will find wines that reflect vineyards and winemakers whose heritage and experience span generations and whose soils and climates reflect the characteristics of only a few acres, if that much. These wines are what you will find by living in France and dining at a small, local brasserie.
All the dishes were exceptional and a credit to The Market Place. The confit local rabbit crepinette, wild morels and aleppo oil was a masterpiece of technique and time. Shredded and molded, it was fork-ready and melted in your mouth. Rabbit has never tasted this good. The pâté de foie gras took several days to make with meticulous care to bring forward the creamy yet firm texture.
William took the time to discuss his techniques, his background, and the changes he has planned for The Market Place. With many wine dinners planned, there are many opportunities to meet this youthful chef. Steve continually engaged our attention in his descriptions of the wines, wine makers and Terroir (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terroir) that made each wine unique and special. He only leads two small tours a year, (www.pcommswines.com/tours/) and his experience, knowledge, and personal relationships with the French are unique.
However, if time is limited and travel to France is too far in the future, you need to visit The Market Place, especially for a wine dinner, or get with Steve for a selection of his great French wines. After all, it is because of these people and many others, and what they bring to our table that Asheville has always been referred to as the “Paris of the South” (http://wikitravel.org/en/Asheville).