Vin de Set unveiled a new, more French-centric menu late last year, and we’ve been anxious to give it a go for a while. We finally made it over to the Choteau Avenue eatery recently, and came away impressed—and satisfied!
We’ve always enjoyed the ambiance at Vin De Set. The dining room is equal parts rustic and industrial, and the high, wood-beamed ceilings, exposed duct work and plenty of bare brick make for a warm, inviting space. We opted to stay indoors this time, but Vin De Set also has one of the best rooftop dining spaces in town, and now that spring is in full effect, we plan on stopping back by to enjoy some al fresco dining soon.
We decided the best way to sample a good cross-section of the menu was to take advantage of the Prix Fixe option, which offered a choice of dishes from either three ($33) or four ($39) menu categories. We went with the four-course option, which included dessert, and chose the Shrimp and Spinach Crepe, Mixed Field Greens, Brie & Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Creme Brulee. We rounded out the meal by ordering an old Vin De Set standby, the Eggplant Napoleon ($16).
Crepes are the quintessential Franco fare, and Vin De Set’s version is both traditional and delicious. Our crepes came two to the plate, and were thin and tender and filled with an abundance of shrimp. The mixed field greens were a simple yet substantial mix of said greens with tomatoes, caramelized onions, sunflower seeds and gouda, dressed with a subtle yet flavorful Champagne vinaigrette. The stuffed chicken medallions were chockfull of spinach and brie (one of our favorite flavor combos), and coated with bread crumbs, which added a nice bit of crunchy texture that complemented the juicy chicken well. The dish came with a generous mound of smashed potatoes and a spray of delicate green beans.
The Eggplant Napoleon was a delicious tower built with alternating layers of battered slices of eggplant, juicy tomatoes, spinach leaves and chevre, and dressed with a balsamic reduction. The eggplant slices were well-cooked and succulent and avoided being either flabby or desiccated, which so often is the case. The batter was judiciously applied, giving the slices just the right amount of texture without being thick and doughy and covering up the natural charms of the veggie. The dish came with plenty of pomme frites and a small version of the mixed greens we had with our prix fixe combo.
Our affection for creme brulee is well-known, and Vin De Set did right by us with its simple, straightforward version. The sugar on top was nicely carmelized and crunchy, making an oh-so satisfying ‘crack’ under our spoon.
We’re not sure if it was a front or back of the house issue, but our only complaint for the evening was that service seemed a bit slow for the amount of diners that were present. However, the quality of the food certainly made up for any lag in delivery time.
Vin De Set, 2017 Choteau Ave., 241-8989, vindeset.com.