Report: Vinoteca Poscol
I was in town for one night on business and had dinner with friends last night at Vinoteca Poscol on Westheimer. We made the decision to eat there because they have roast suckling pig on Sunday nights. That was enough to sell me on the place alone, and the moderately deep Italian wine list was just an added bonus.
Our party of three arrived around 8 pm to find that the restaurant wasn't terribly crowded. A pleasant, casual atmosphere. And a faint but great smell of roast meat. We quickly surveyed the menu, selected three appetizers, and all ordered the suckling pig. Two of the three appetizers were excellent, and a third was good enough.
I ordered a Ceretto, 2008 Barbaresco Asji to go with the suckling pig. Nice fruit forward Barbaressco the was open for business from the get go, but got better over the two hour course of dinner. The sucking pig was absolutely fantastic. The portion was generous, but not so much as to be unpleasant once you ate it. Very tender slow roasted meat with a portion of crisp cracklin' skin on top. Simply done with onions, herbs and apple. Very nice potatoes with it. Hind sight being 20/20, I think I would select a salad to go with it instead of the various salumis and verduras we got, but we selected more to sample the menu than to match our main course.
The wine list in on line on their web site as is they menu. I'm not as up on Italian wine as I am French wine, but I see lots of better producers on here and the mark up is quite reasonable. I wouldn't call it encyclopedic, but it's a reasonably deep list, especially for such a small casual osteria/bistro type spot. Our Barberesco came a few degrees below American room temprature just as it was supposed to, a nice touch seen in all too few restaurants these days.
We skipped desert, but couldn't resist the lovely list of cheeses. Having plowed through the Barberesco already, we sampled three of their wines by the glass -- a Chianti Classico, a Brunello di Montalcino and a Langhe. Again, although there were "just" by the glass wines, they were served at the appropriate temp. Our three cheeses, a La Tur, a Pecorino, and a Blu di Bufala were all quite good.
All in all, a very nice restaurant for the money. I especially enjoyed the suckling pig and the nice wine selection. Service was casual, but very competent. Likewise, our waiter was knowledable about the wines and discussed various selections and producers quite intelligently. It was very obvious that he knew his wine list VERY well. (Some sommeliers should be so lucky.) I'll certainly be back.
Sunday night? Who goes out on Sunday night for dinner? That is the night that we all hunker down for Monday morning and eat soup and mac and cheese, anything to forget that tomorrow we go back into the grind that is the work-a-day-world, you know, MONDAY? But thanks for clueing me into this treasure. I now have it on my radar for a fun thing to do on Sunday night, as if all the notable TV shows are not already enough on Sunday night. My DVR explodes on that night.
I can't remember if I posted this elsewhere but I discovered that Churrasco's on Shepherd @ Westheimer has whole suckling pig on their Sunday brunch buffet. We happened in there one Sunday thinking about their steaks, and were delighted to find this. The server gave me a generous amount of crispy skin with the tender moist meat. It may have been my kid in a candy store look.
I wonder if they still have the dates poached in red wine and served over mascarpone? Best dessert in Houston.
Can't say that I do. But overall, the prices seemed pretty reasonable to me. You might check the menu on their web site. But I'll confess that I am not the most price sensitive consumer of restaurant services. I can affirmatively state that the markups on the wine were in the low to middle end what passes as "reasonable" these days.