Crush Wine Bar, recently acquired by the Lais Hotel chain, is returning to its roots, according to Executive Chef Michael Wilson. Competitive pricing for locally sourced produce is the name of the game and attention to seasonality is very calculated.
Examples are obvious in the dishes sampled on a recent lunch visit. The Green & White Asparagus ($12) salad sings spring. A frill of greens, slivers of smoked Berkshire ham hock with a sweet little poached quail egg is light and refreshing, especially with the recommended wine, Chateau des Charmes Estate Chardonnay.
The clincher is Ricotta & Spinach Agnolotti ($22). Freshly shelled sweet peas, asparagus and sweet cherry tomatoes tint the beurre blanc. I go for the suggested addition of lobster and it's luscious times two. "Chef Wilson works with industry professionals for feedback when he creates new dishes," Moffat mentions, "to perfect his ideas." There are new sandwiches like the Lobster Clubhouse ($18) and a return to other classics on the menu. Wines-by-the-glass suggestions match every dish, courtesy of GM and sommelier, Mark Moffat and his well trained team. Of course, you can order by the bottle anytime.
Desserts are fun. Rhubarb Roulade sees an angel caked rolled up with rhubarb compote. Pastry Chef Karen Clark uses the rhubarb stewing juices to create a pretty, deep pink jelly, cut up into little squares and joined with a sweet dollop of maple infused cream. Light, airy and pretty...or go for some of the luscious chocolate creations or house made truffles.
The wine list, as always, is full of wines that are sourced from private importers.
Moffat's latest plans include taking some interesting risks. Dom Perignon by the glass with six oysters ($65) from Oyster Boy sounds like an elegant treat. Where else in the city can you order this champagne by the glass?
French style "Cinq a Sept", otherwise known as happy hour, offers wine flights and a bar menu discounted by fifty percent, which will be changing nightly to keep things fresh.
Crush Wine Bar continues with $1 corkage for bottles that patrons bring to dinner, on Monday evenings. Patrons can attend wine soaked events in the private rooms below the restaurant or call to book these rooms for private events, dinners and parties.