Bar Reverie will have a special menu Wednesday.

Get a Glimpse of Bar Reverie’s May 29 Wine dinner

Pam GeorgeHeadlines, Culture

Bar Reverie will have a special menu Wednesday.

Bar Reverie will have a special menu Wednesday.

Despite the name, a wine dinner is not all about wine; the special events give chefs the chance to think outside their daily menus, which is why they’ve become so popular.

Indeed, featured dishes and ingredients often stray from the restaurant concept. Consequently, it’s rare to get a glimpse, let alone a taste, of what the chef is planning.

However, on Wednesday, May 22, I attended a Chef’s Table event at Bar Reverie in Greenville. Chef Steve Taplin will repeat the menu at the Rombauer Wine Dinner on Wednesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m.

So, if you’re on the fence about going, my experience may influence your decision. At the least, consider booking a Chef’s Table at Bar Reverie for your special occasion.

Releasing Control

Omakase is a Japanese phrase that means, “I’ll leave it up to you.”

In America, restaurants call it a tasting menu that consists of several courses —nine, for instance, at Bardea Steak in Wilmington.

Regardless of the courses, the guests do not choose the selections. (The chefs will typically accommodate people with allergies or dietary restrictions if they know in advance.)

At Bar Reverie, the Chef’s Table is a small L-shaped bar in the corner of the dining room that comfortably seats four. On that Wednesday, my partner and I joined two other participants.

From my vantage point, I could see the wall on which the restaurant shows classic movies, such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” So, it was dinner and a show, although we could not hear the sound.

Our attentive server, Normandy-born Bruno Chevrier, poured the wines selected for each course—two for the main course. (The wines for the Chef’s Tasting were from different vineyards.)

Memorable Meals

The first dish, my favorite, featured silky curls of Ora King salmon cured in nori seaweed and artfully arranged with verdant asparagus, snap peas, radish slices and crème fraiche.

Bruno advised us to take a bite of salmon and quickly sip French wine—no chewing first. But I couldn’t control my mouth, which immediately began savoring the delectable salmon.

Roast pork belly “bahn mi” was a deconstructed version of the Vietnamese hoagie. A neat square of pork belly was a platform for thinly sliced carrots and cucumber, a shiitake cap and slender baguette crisps.

Perfectly cooked halibut came with apricots, sunchoke and a charred spring onion placed in a curlicue on the plate.

By now, we were full, but the next course was a generous cut of American wagyu beef tenderloin with maitake mushrooms and sauce Robert, a French demiglace with shallots and mustard.

Of course, every chef’s tasting—and wine dinner—ends with a dessert.

The Basque cheesecake bears little resemblance to the American version. There is no crust, and the purposefully “burned” surface gives the dessert a caramelized flavor. It’s creamy and, oh, so rich.

Local pastry celeb Gretchen Sianni, formerly of De La Coeur Café et Pâtisserie in Wilmington, trained the team that made the dessert. However, Sianni recently left Bar Reverie for the University of Delaware.

A Toast to the Tasting

At the Chef’s Tasting, we sampled wines from France, New York, Oregon and Tuscany, selected by General Manager Tom Austin.

For the May 29 wine dinner, each course will be paired with wines from California-based Rombauer Vineyards.

Tickets are $180 per person; click here for more information.

Share this Post