Top Ten Wine rack

Raise a glass to Top Ten Wines' new food menu, and grab a slice of their cheesecake while you're at it.

The time has come. Top Ten Wines is introducing a new food menu, starting on April 12. It will be served Tuesday through Saturday from 4–8 p.m. every week. While we’re giving you the scoop, you should also know that the wine bar is changing its happy hour schedule to go with the food. Happy hour will now go from 4–6 p.m., during which you can still get 20 percent off your bar tab on up to three bottles of wine.

But let’s talk about the main event: the food. The menu will have five to seven dishes on it at any given time. However, it will change fairly often, most likely on a weekly basis, says Sarah Medcalf, manager of Top Ten Wines. The initial menu will feature dishes such as pork gyoza, using pork from Patchwork Farms; savory cheesecake with crostini and tomato pepper jam; sherpa’s pie, its take on a shepherd’s pie that features lamb instead of beef; popovers, which will come out of the oven at 4 p.m. and be served until they're gone; German potato dumplings with a mushroom ragu; and a dessert, which will most likely be rum babas.

Ben Clay is the chef behind Top Ten Wines’ new food menu. Originally from Germany, Clay used to work for Top Ten Wines owner Paul Vernon when Vernon owned Cherry Street Wine Cellar, now called Wine Cellar & Bistro. Clay recently moved back to Columbia after working in Minneapolis.

“After 20 years of coming from a really fast-paced restaurant environment, he’s really excited to be in a smaller setting, a smaller kitchen, where he gets to be a little bit more playful with his ideas and the names of things and all sorts of stuff,” Medcalf says. “He’s excited about the change of pace.”

Although Vernon has made suggestions as to what he'd like to have on the menu, Medcalf says, the ever-changing menu is really Clay’s "brainchild."

“What I really love about our customer base is that people are excited to try new things, and that’s really cool,” Medcalf says.

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