During the recent Plymouth Art Fair, I went with some friends along with many thousands others to walk the downtown area to look at the arts and crafts offered at each booth on both sides of several of the streets that were barricaded from vehicular traffic. This is a big art fair for the state and people were all over doing exactly what we were doing. There was a large group of people partaking of the many food carts and such, and all of the sidewalk café areas of the many restaurants were packed with diners that were looking for more substantial food.
There are three restaurants in a row right in the center of the downtown area overlooking the park, all three of these restaurants are owned by the same man, and each restaurant has a different feel as well as cuisine offering. As we were getting hungry, we decided to see if we could get a table at the newest of the three restaurants called The Sardine Room, as it is the smallest of the three. There was at least an hour wait for the outside dining area, but we were immediately seated inside, and that was fine by me as it was extremely hot and humid outside. The restaurant has a more casual attitude in ambience, but not in the presentation and preparation of food. The concept of small plates is the basis of The Sardine Room, and there are additional small plates that are brought out, with the emphasis on sharing the different dishes. Some of the plates that were shared among us were fresh oysters with an assortment of condiments, salads, Portuguese Sardines done in herbed brown butter and capers, a large plate of shrimp and grits with white cheddar, andouille sausage and Fresno chilies. It was fun to nibble and try the different dishes.
We also enjoyed a wine from an area of France that is being rediscovered, that area being Cahors. This area was producing wine prior to the Bordeaux region, but it has fallen in reputation to Bordeaux. The grape varietal that has been grown here for ages is locally called Cot, but it is the Malbec varietal and it is usually blended with about 30% of other grapes. The wine we were enjoying Chateau Haut-Monplaisir 2009 was all Malbec and quite deep and robust. It was a great wine to enjoy though a bit overpowering for some of the dishes, it was a pleasure to drink it, just on its own merits.