Straight Outta Cabot: Brassica Dining Room

Brassica’s Wine Program Actually Interesting (But, Oh That Gingham)

Cindy Pawlcyn’s recent attempt to reinvigorate the former Go Fish space by replacing light fixtures, ditching the table cloths and exchanging the epic seafood-centric menu for a more manageable variety of Mediterranean small plates is largely a failure. Renamed Brassica, the restaurant still feels awkwardly large and like a dated take on farmhouse chic. And honestly, we miss the sushi.

However, there is a bright spot. And it’s a big one.

Wine Director Jennifer Ingellis, who was recently named one of the top sommeliers in the country by Food and Wine magazine took advantage of the restaurant’s facelift to completely overhaul her wine list (which was always really good), and do something truly innovative. Taking advantage of Brassica’s location in the heart of a serious winemaking region, Ingellis offers seven different wines on tap including less typical varietals like Sangiovese and Tempranillo. “It allows me to offer more fresh, affordable wines by the glass without having to worry so much about spoilage,” (due to bottles being open and not poured within a few days) says Ingellis.

She also includes a rotating selection of wines from small, lesser-known producers who don’t have tasting rooms. “It will always be something fun and off the beaten path,” says Ingellis. The Brassica 12, as she calls it, is available in 2- or 5-ounce pours or by the carafe. The smaller pours also allow her the flexibility to assemble flights that pair with multiple small plates (which is how she recommends getting the most out of the menu). One of her favorite pairings is the 2009 Lang and Reed Cabernet Franc with the grilled lamb “T-bone-ettes” (cute, Cindy).

On Friday nights, expect to see a featured vintner roaming the room offering complimentary tastes of his or her wine. If you like what you try, bottles are available to take home at retail price.

image courtesy Brassica