Veggies worth a fight at Uptown cafe

“Are you ready for me to take your plate,” the waiter asked when I had three bites of vegetables left.

“Dude, live to see another day! You never take a woman’s food away from her!” exclaimed the carnivore.

Okay, I wouldn’t actually kill anyone over vegetables.

But the vegetables at Uptown Cafe were so good, I wasn’t sacrificing a single morsel.

We were going to do one of Uptown Cafe’s meatless Mondays, but in the end, we couldn’t wait that long. So we bellied up to the bar for a weekend dinner. After all, a restaurant that has meatless Mondays has got to know what they are doing with vegetables.

We were not mistaken in that premise.

Our appetizer of crisp tortilla, tomato, mozzarella, pesto, pine nuts, and balsamic reduction was beautiful and delicious. Like so much tasty food, it’s also messy. I recommend eating it with your hands, using the tortillas as a base.

I moved on to the risotto cakes. This is an impressive dish, one that I will have to put on rotation, in part because I don’t think I could ever learn how to turn risotto into a cake. I struggle with homemade vegan burgers.

(How do you get them to stick together? I usually add an egg in despair. And then some cornstarch. No wonder we go out for dinner so often.)

I know there are people out there who would regard the spinach, tomatoes, red onion sauce at the base of my cakes to be disposable garnish.

I just happen not to be one of those people.

I hate syrah, but love grenache, so I took a chance on the Gerard Bertrand corbieres, a French blend of syrah, grenache, and mourvedre. It was gorgeous, the excessive syrah texture well tempered by the other varietals.

With the help of Wikipedia, I discovered that wine experts refer to this blend as GSM. I also learned that the mourvedre grape grows, not just in France, but also in Spain, California, Oregon, and Australia. It is a fussy grape that needs vast quantities of both sun and water. Unfortunately for the mourvedre, we live in a world where you now have vast quantities of one or the other.

The carnivore does actually like vegetables, a paradox I have learned to live with.


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