Monday, March 03, 2008

Beneluxx Tasting Room

Friday night, my lovely friend Meg and I met up at the Beneluxx Tasting Room for dinner and let me tell you, any dinner that consists of mini-pizzas and cheese fondue is totally okay by me. The Beneluxx website is pretty uninviting, but I found some positive reviews online, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

We got there at about 7:45pm and it wasn't crowded at all, which was surprising because it's also not that big. There's a bar along one wall and tables along the other and the whole place is below sidewalk grade. Which makes it kind of cool, actually. Now, perhaps I should have been wary about a semi-empty restaurant on a Friday night in Old City, but for some reason, I wasn't.

Our waitress was brand-new and not very knowledgable, so Meg and I were on our own as far as deciding which wines and which food. Fortunately, I don't really care what goes with what and choose wines based on what I like, so much on what I'm eating. You can order what is essentially wines by the ounce, so to start Meg and I each tried three different kinds (her, red; me, white). The different wines each come in there own little beakers along with one white glass. There's a funky rinsing device on each table to rinse your glass between tastings. I've never seen anything like it before, but it was neat.

We each ordered a mini-pizza, as well as a Swiss cheese fondue, bread, veggies and fingerling potatoes. The cheese was wonderful and dipping the bread into all that melty goodness was comfort food at its finest. I'd get the veggies again, although I think they need to make the slices of red and green pepper thicker so they can actually hold the cheese. The fingerling potatoes were a huge disappointment though--I thought they tasted like they had freezer-burn.

The mini-pizza however, with gooey mozzeralla cheese, basil and juicy tomato slices totally made up for it. Because we are total gluttons, and I'm not sure how we arrived at this decision, but I'm so glad we did, we ordered a second order of cheese fondue, the chef's special, provolone cheese and Stella Artois (I think, at any rate, it was some sort of beer I enjoy).

At some point, we ordered more wine to taste and then finally, full glasses. Lastly, we sampled white, milk and dark chocolates for dessert. All in all, it was a completely sinful eating experience but I really enjoyed it. And the crowds, by the way, started rolling in about halfway through out visit. I would defintely go back again. I enjoyed the wine, most of the food and generally, the vibe of the place.

Afterward, Meg and I hit Oceanaire for a nightcap. I love the decor. And I love the "generous pour" the bartenders provided--all of whom seemed to recognize Meg immediately. Interesting...Anyway, I'm not one for seafood, but the barstools are comfy and although the wine is pricey, it's a good place to go for a first or last drink.

All in all it was a great night out and I can't wait to do it again.

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At 9:35 PM, Blogger Meg said...

so I am now in Vegas and I walked by a bar and thought, hmm, maybe I should stop in for a glass o'wine. Then I sighed and thought, oh no - this isn't as good as Benneluxx. Vegas is still good tho- tomorrow it will be 72 degrees. Hope my conference room has a window :)


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