Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Bottle Rock, Part 2
I went back to Bottle Rock the other day for lunch. Same great wine, cheese, and salami, this time they had 3 new salads and pastries. I was dying for the truffle cheese panini which I heard about on my first visit, and had been fantasizing about ever since. It was pressed on the flat side of the panini press ( I prefer the crimps, but as long as it is toasted nice and dark, which this one was, I forgot all about the crimps). Unfortunately it was a little disappointing. The walnut bread overpowered the truffle cheese - I could not detect the truffle flavor. Cafe Surfas made this same mistake with their "ultimate grilled cheese," using raisin bread. A nice simple country white would be much better to showcase the wonderful cheese flecked with truffle.
On the other hand, the salads were spectacular. A delicate tuna and white bean salad, an heirloom tomato, cucumber and feta salad, and a riff on a Caprese salad with bell peppers and a perfectly tangy, almost fluffy balsamic mustard vinaigrette emulsified to perfection.
The pan au tomate reminded me of my time in Spain eating tomato rubbed bread for breakfast. This one has a nice thin layer of minced tomato, a delicious warm up to the cheese plate and salads.
They now have some pastries, including this chocolate pecan tart. The tart was fabulous, a nice buttery crust, and a soft, rich chocolate filling. I just felt it was a bit out of place in a wine bar. I would much prefer a nice little dark chocolate truffle, or pot de creme to nibble on along with my dessert wine. The tart was just too big and fancy after plates of rich cheese and salami. A smaller, more delicate dessert would help complement and showcase the true star - the wine.
3847 Main Street
Culver City, CA