Dinner at Vin Antico

Dinner at Vin Antico – March 31, 2012 – San Rafael, CA.

San Rafael is the gateway to wine country, and this restaurant can revel in the fact that they have the most astounding wines to pair with their down home food. Chef Ed Vigil’s philosophy is to get the best local farm ingredients and add his own touch to every plate that goes out of his open kitchen.
I tasted a lot but these were the dishes I would recommend:
Flatbread Pizza, they use organic Giusto’s flour,
pancetta, ricotta, roasted garlic, capers, tomato sofrito, and a grated cheese trio. The pizza had a nice crispy crust, and the sausage was delicious.

Asparagus Risotto, the asparagus is cooked al dente, and the Arborio rice is cooked plump, and it pops in your mouth.

Parmesan Fries, the fries had a great truffle flavor with a layer of good parmesan.

Seasonal Vegetable Sauté with sautéed greens, beets, baby carrots,
rapini, kohlrabi, cauliflower, and root vegetables. This dish really spoke to me, with all its farm fresh goodness.

Stemple Creek Steak Tartare with house – made potato chips, fried capers, shallots, smoked sea salt, dijon aioli. Stemple Creek raises organic, all natural, grass-fed beef on beautiful farmland in Marin County near San Francisco, California. The animals eat organic clover, grass and are never subjected to artificial hormones, growth promotants, or antibiotics. They treat their animals with the utmost care, using humane animal welfare practices. The average age of their cattle at harvest time is 18-24 months old. This dish was one of my favorites, with this grass – fed meat, how could you go wrong.

Sausage Pasta, hand made pasta, the sauce had just the right amount of everything, definitely a keeper.

For Desert:
Fruit Crisp, great berry flavor, with a flaky pastry topping.

Churros with mascarpone cheese gelato, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce. The 2 sauces really make this desert a great accomplishment.

These are the wines I tasted:

Weissburgunder, Erste & Neue, Alto-Adige Pinot Blanc ‘10. This wine went well with the asparagus risotto, well balanced, very light.

Sangiovese, Stolpman “La Coppa” ‘09, Santa Ynez Valley. This wine worked great with the pizza and the vegetable sauté.

Old Vines Red Blend, Sean Thackrey “Pleiades XXI”, California. A nice fit with the steak tartare.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Broadside “Margarita Vineyard” ‘10, Paso Robles. A great accompaniment to the sausage pasta.

Chef Ed Vigils saying is “food raised with love tastes better.”
Vin Antico supports all things local, local farms, local winemakers, and even local artists. They feature a new artist every month. As much as the food makes a statement about the restaurant, so does the art. With the same passion Chef Ed Vigil changes the menu to maximize the full potential of his local ingredients. The curator of Vin Antico, Lindsey Scott, selects a local artist each month to keep the dining experience fresh, exciting, and alive. Their current show this April is with artist Stacey Kamp.

This is a nice break from all of the ethnic restaurants that Fourth Street seems to gather. The atmosphere matches the food, clean, fresh and simple. Next time you are either coming or going to wine country try Vin Antico, you will enjoy your gateway to California Wine Country.

Vin Antico
881 4th Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 454-4492


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