The day job sent me to Coal Fired Bistro and Wine Bar way out Pelham Road this week to interview Chef Anthony Gray. He’s doing some pretty amazing things at the restaurant. Besides just making their own everything (pasta, bread, sausages, pickles, etc) in house, Chef Anthony sources food from suppliers who are using humane and organic practices and to get closer to the source, he’s starting a restaurant garden where they will be growing heirloom vegetables to use in their restaurant beginning this spring. I was nervous to meet him in the first place, but liked him even more after the interview. And somehow I ended up forgetting to get a picture with him. I have to quit forgetting that!!!
I decided while I was there, I might as well have lunch. It’s not every day I venture that far out into Greenville.
To begin with, the waiter brought out crispy crusted sour dough bread to dip in a little dish of balsamic vinegar suspended in olive oil with rosemary, fresh garlic, parmesan, and crushed pepper flakes. At Chef’s suggestion I ordered the salad and pasta combo. The beautiful chopped salad came greens, carrots and cucumbers, olives, onions, feta cheese, and pepperoncini peppers with Italian vinaigrette. It was really a huge salad for lunch.
And I chose the Tagliatelli and Meatballs. The noodles were long, wide delicate strips of silkiness covered in a nice tomato fennel sauce with lemon parmesan gremolata. The meatballs were made from heritage pork and veal. They were nice, but a little oversalted. I was so stuffed from my salad and bread that I saved half the noodles and meatballs for the next day’s lunch. (And it was even better the second day.)
I can’t wait to go back and explore the dinner menu. Whereas the lunch menu is small and mostly pizzas, subs and pasta dishes, dinner promises higher end fare with aged steak and a wider selection of pastas.
Being that I have a 3:30 rule when it comes to wine (most of the time), I am also anxious to return to try the self serve wine bar. At the bar, you put some money on a little card and you walk up to this round serving center where twenty or so bottles sit for the sampling. You can choose a tasting, a small pour or a full pour. It’s a great way to sample something you wouldn’t just drop big bucks on blindly.
It’s definitely worth the hour it takes me to get there to give it another go.