|The selections of wines being poured at B.T.G.: Rosé Edition.|
"Pop-ups are a good thing. But what I like most are restaurants with visiting chef programs. I love it when I hear a chef say, 'We have a guest chef coming in and doing a menu for a couple of days.' I think that's great. Coupled with a sort of theatrical booking concept - 'Now appearing Laurent Gras, with Laurent's menu: buy your tickets in advance' - I think that's really exciting."
|Maitake mushrooms and grits.|
While B.T.G. bills itself as a pop-up wine bar, I can say with conviction that the majority of patrons are more interested in the food. Regardless, those who appreciate a well contrived list of interesting wines at affordable price points - even those who shun rosé as a trend which jumped the shark back in the summer of 2009 - would have been smitten with Joe Briand's selections. All total there were 11 wines to select from (compared with a food menu of just 6), all available by the bottle or the glass. Their origins ranged from well known rosé regions like Provence to less prominent selections from Germany, Austria, and even Lebanon. Hefty by the glass pours ranged from $5-$7 and the bottle list topped out at $35, with most priced at $30.
|Brown butter sweetbreads.|
I am a sweetbread fanatic, and over the years I have deduced that the best preparations highlight the richness of these glands without causing overkill. La Boca's grilled sweetbreads are the apotheosis of this method. B.T.G.'s brown butter sweatbreads ($12), lightly crusted with flour and seared on the griddle, are a close second. What made the dish was the corn and squash sautee underneath, which brought crunch and contrast. The presence of The American Slider ($3) - a miniature version of the namesake Company Burger adorned simply with griddled onions and melting American cheese - was a nice bridge to the true identity of the restaurant. Krystal ain't got nothing on these babies.
We arrived at 7:00 just when service began. By the time we left just before 8:00, the line at the counter was 15 people deep and inside table space was at a premium. The speakers played an eclectic mix of tunes ranging from Dr. Dre to Stone Temple Pilots and Michael Jackson. The vibe had edge and pretentiousness acceptable only when backed up by great wine and food. Mission accomplished.
B.T.G. - Birdie/Eagle
4600 Freret Street