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Belly Wine Bar

This place is basically how I want to eat forever, until I remember that I'm supposed to eat vegetables.
Belly's by the glass wine list features a couple of really nice orange wines on the menu - both mellow ones and more aggressive options (Denavolo Dinavolino and La Stoppa Ageno, for example).

Charcuterie:
Crepinette du veau was outstanding, having been wrapped in caul fat, I would hope for nothing less.
Our rabbit rillete was a close second in terms of deliciousness, but perhaps I just love shredded rabbit.
Pork & parsley terrine was the only dissapointment - they had plated it by cutting it up into chunks, but really it was just a bit bland.

Salumi:
lamb mortadella - my DC was obsessed with it. i loved the pistachios
cured duck breast with balsamic - awesomely fatty

Cheese:
Two types, named "blue" and "earth" on the menu. I missed the names, but appreciated the honey dipper as an accoutrement along with ubiquitous fig jam and toast.

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  1. Where exactly in One Kendall is it? I wanted to stick my nose in the other day, but I was in a hurry, and couldn't find it immediately.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Take the stairs down towards the Blue Room, and take a left. They basically just put a wall through the middle of the old 2 sided Blue Room bar.

      I've been in once so far, but want to go once more before I put thoughts down on paper.

      1. re: mkfisher

        Whoa, they stole a chunk of the Blue Room bar? No wonder I had no idea where to look.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          same owners as blue room. he just remodeled what used to be function space and was most often empty.

    2. Where else have y'all seen orange wines by the glass ?

      12 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Just had a bottle of Domaine de la Tournelle "Terre de Gryphe├ęs" from Arbois (Jura) at ICOB this past sunday. Salty, slight toffee, almonds with a beautiful refreshing acid to balance it all out. Great with oysters and fried clams. At $46 a bottle it's actually a good deal considering I've only ever seen it sold at central bottle for $22. I actually first had this wine this past winter at a supper club where it was paired with lamb; it was by far the most interesting and unique pairing I've had all year.

          That said, orange wines still aren't popular in the area (the waitress said that's why they don't list the Tournelle as Chardonnay even though it is 100% Chardonnay; they don't want people to be disappointed if they don't know what to expect.

          I still think Central Bottle is the best wine store in the greater Boston area if you're into exploring unique, interesting wines with a staff that really does know each bottle. I think they understand the idea of curation better than anyone; the idea that the wines they stock are good examples of each region rather than just another generic version. On the one occasion I bought something that wasn't to my taste, I could at least respect that it was a well-made example of what it was. That said, I can't wait to get to Belly if it's from this team.

          1. re: Klunco

            Belly had that wine by the glass. They listed it under their "rocks in your mouth" section rather than in the orange section.

            CB is my number 2 spot. I like Wine Bottega more, partly because I think their staff is, across the board, more enthusiastic and engaging than the CB staff. Their location drives me nuts, though.

            1. re: DoubleMan

              My mistake. I always thought oxidized whites fell under the "orange wine" umbrella but perhaps they are something different.

              I'll have to check out Wine Bottega, despite the fact that that's even more inconvenient than CB. I liked the stock at Terra Vino in Coolidge Corner (lots from Kermit Lynch, Jenny/Francois), but it seems like they may have just gone out of business (which would be sad after only four months.)

              1. re: Klunco

                There is a new place in JP that is supposed to be good - more in that natural wine angle.

                1. re: DoubleMan

                  I think you are referring to Streetcar in JP. It is owned by Mike Dupuy, who used to work at The Wine Bottega.

            2. re: Klunco

              Eastern Standard (same wine director as ICOB) has/had Coenobium (not the Rusticum bottling) for a good price... $42, I think. I prefer the much more, erm, rustic Rusticum, but this was very nice though only just barely on the orange spectrum. Excellent with the mussels.

              BTW, it's great to pair orange wines with really high umami flavored foods. Mussels, of course, but if you can pair it with some sea urchin roe... heaven. Also, they need to be served at cellar temp, not out of the fridge.

              1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                BTW, it's great to pair orange wines with really high umami flavored foods.

                ~~~~

                indeed. like cured meats. :)

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Yes, I should've mentioned the charcuterie plate at ES - we didn't order it, but the kitchen sent out a small plate for us. Fantastic and a really nice pairing, to boot - we had just enough of the Coenobium left, about to move on to the '10 Foillard Morgon - which is also nice to see on a wine list!

                2. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                  Simple correction; Eastern Standard does not have the same wine director as ICOB and never has.

                  1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                    I posted but not sure it posted...Was a simple correction that Eastern Standard and ICOB have different wine directors and always have.

                3. re: MC Slim JB

                  I believe they do rotate with some frequency, but this past weekend there were only the following to be had, by the bottle:

                  - The Supernatural, sauv blanc (NZ)
                  - Famiglia Carfagna Azienda Altura ansonaco (Giglio)
                  - Movia 'Lunar', ribolla (Slovenia)
                  - Foradori 'Fontanasanta' manzoni bianco (Dolomiti)

              2. I thought it was more than a couple orange wines - it was a whole orange section of about 6 wines. The bigger surprise to me was that the only reds on the menu were beaujolais, which is really ballsy of them. They had about 8 listed.

                It's not cheap. 2 oz pours were mainly in the $6-8 range and 5 oz pours in the $15-17 range. One of the orange wines was $35 for the 5 oz pour.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DoubleMan

                  Wow, that is pricey! I wish they had a wine menu up on the site (unless I'm missing it).

                  While Beaujolais' are my favorite wines (they are easy to drink by themselves and are very food friendly), that would be crazy for all the reds to be strictly Beaujolais. My guess is it's just a seasonal thing though.

                  That said, besides Eastern Standard, very few restaurants give Beaujolais any respect, so it's nice to see a push to get more people into these wines.

                2. I'm so excited to try this place!

                  I mean, do we even have another place in Boston that you can truly classify as a wine bar? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Kirs

                    Les Zygomates, Troquet, and Bin 23 are all wine bars.

                    I love that Les Zygomates web address is www.winebar.com; someone was thinking ahead.

                    But still, it is exciting to have a new wine bar!

                    1. re: Klunco

                      i am not surre that they are wine bars, but i would go to Troquet to find interesting aged wines at very reasonable prices. And yes, you can sit at the bar down stairs and drink.

                    2. re: Kirs

                      There is even another retail wine store which is opening up a wine bar in an unusual location (where I used to buy clothes):

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8609...

                    3. Wow, what a horrible website.

                      Anyways, suppose someone wasn't a wine expert - particularly for the fancier side of things (e.g. I just googled "orange wine"). How willing/capable would they be to guide a novice along a good path?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: jgg13

                        Very capable, I think. The service was very good. But if someone is dead set on CA cabernet, this is probably not the place for them.

                        1. re: DoubleMan

                          If someone is dead set on CA cabernet, there are a lot of other places they could go though. There are a number of places that only offer domestic wines. I just looked at the menu and can't wait to go; it's nice to see something different.

                          1. re: Klunco

                            Yeah, this was my thought. Outside of simply being interested in the charcuterie I'd be interested in sampling some of the more esoteric options, I just would be incapable of choosing myself without random guessing.

                            1. re: jgg13

                              I guess sometimes at restaurants where I want to order off the specials but they aren't written in English. I'll say this: 60% of the time, it works every time.

                              That said, nobody writes menus like that unless they want to have a dialogue with customers to help them find what they like.

                              1. re: Klunco

                                The service in my n-of-1 experience was lacking. Of the team of maybe 6-7, there were 2 individuals you could have a conversation about wine with. But the wine list is incredibly fun and interesting, even to a rube like myself. Despite the fact that almost everything we ordered was pre-fab, there were agonizingly long waits for food and on a few occasions my glass went empty for long stretches. Staff was friendly and accomodating, just totally in the weeds.

                                The grub was up and down, and mostly down on the details. Like oysters with barely a lick o' liquor, and I didn't particularly care for their personal touches on some of the dishes - a balsamic reduction drizzle on the duck breast, lobster sauce with scallop boudin blanc, beef carpaccio SHOWERED in grated cheese, and an entire plate caked with cakey creme fraiche (cured salmon dish) - I did, however, really enjoy their pickled veggies that came alongside the delicious bunny rillettes. Bone marrow, jamon iberico, arugula, lamb mortadella, beet/bean salad were all terrific but the personal stunner for me was Ploughgate Creamery's Willoughby - a stanky, runny, funky cow cheese.

                                But the playground is really the winelist. Not cheap by any means, but I don't think anybody else is offering this interesting a selection by the glass.

                        2. re: jgg13

                          I have to admit, this thread was the first time I've ever heard of orange wine. And after googling for it, I want to find Moscatel Naranja, which I know isn't what they serve at Belly, but sounds wonderful.

                          1. re: jgg13

                            Our server (at the bar) was incredibly knowledgeable, but also quite awesome at guiding us to picks that we liked. You don't need to be an oenophile to go to Belly.