Duncan Scott, the new owner of 4th & Vine, has a message for you: “We’re not just a place that serves wine.” That’s why he recently hired 26-year-old chef, Lindsay Porter — one of the city’s few female executive chefs — to give the seasonal menu a new up-do.
Porter, like Murrieta’s Shane Chartrand, came from L2 Grill. She has remade the menu with small plates, entrees and desserts, each wildly creative and always with a note of fruit to make pairing easy. Scott can presents three different flights to go with each dish, which are equal in size and price to one six-ounce glass of wine.
For the feisty, Sambuca-flamed beef Fireballs, he recommends a crisp riesling from Niagara that extinguishes the heat, while complementing the bed of pickled apple. For the creamy mushroom bread pudding, a light-bodied New Zealand red, Paritua, accentuates the red currant jam and melted brie top.
It also goes well with the Merguez lamb, served on the same bread pudding, but Scott prefers you drink it with a more bodied Zinfandel to complement the savoury sausage and tease the pico de gallo’s lightness. But if you really want a good “red,” it’s the steak fillet, ordered rare, with truffle and creamed corn, horseradish butter and, of course, grape — tossed in by Porter to give it some “pop.” (11358 104 Ave., 780-497-7858, 4thandvine.ca)