Triadfoodies Chef’s Table: Vin 205
Tucked in the corner of Stratford Towers shopping center on South Stratford Road in Winston-Salem, sits a bistro that has come into its own. Vin 205 Farm to Table Bistro aims to be a major player in Winston-Salem’s rapidly growing culinary scene.
Wine Merchants and Vin 205 have been nestled together at 205 South Stratford since 2011. What started out as a wine shop even before its current location evolved into a wine shop and market with a restaurant. Reviews for the restaurant were pretty good, however, it often played second fiddle. Over the past year, ownership has changed hands and a new chef has taken the helm. Managing partner Caleb Flint, said it’s been a process. “With a side-by-side like we have here,” he said. “It’s been interesting to develop a vision for what we think it should be, but we’re very happy with what we’ve come up with.”
What they’ve come up with is the same great wine shop that its customers have come to know and love, but with even more locally sourced cheeses, some local chocolate as well as a fantastic selection of local heritage and grass-fed meat in its freezer.
“We feature Joyce Farms meats and imported as well as domestically-sourced boutique cheeses,” he said. “Soon we’ll be selling our own blend of coffee from Magic Beans.”
A few weeks ago, we attended a Wine to Swine wine dinner and walked away with our bellies full and a wine experience that was like no other. These guys know how to pair food with the incredible wine offerings from the market. Then not long after, we popped in again, kid in tow, on a Friday night to hear live music and for some charcuterie and salad. The ingredients were super-fresh with lots of local sourcing on both occasions. We knew that Chef Oren Feuerberg and Vin 205 would give us a great evening of surprises.
Chef Oren Feuerberg was born in Cincinnati and spent 15 years following culinary school in Arizona before he moved to Winston-Salem with his wife little over a year ago. He’d been in the kitchen of Quanto Basta in Advance when Flint scooped him up in February to create a new vision.
“It’s hard to explain what it’s like to come into a place and be asked to bring new life into it. It’s interesting and challenging.” He said. “If you can claim farm to table and actually be farm-to-table, it’s a button in your collar and we are absolutely doing everything we can do to source locally here. If they picked it from the garden this morning and it still has dirt on it, that’s what we want.”
So, it was a night of super fresh ingredients with Winston-Salem based Joyce Farms on great display. Even Joyce Farms president Ron Joyce was there to speak to the folks about their poultry, pork and grass-fed beef program, which, in addition to the market is available online for home delivery.
Here’s a look at the courses at Vin 205, played out in acts, all family-style.
Seriously, I could just eat meals like this five days a week. With house-made crackers, the charcuterie and cheese were fantastic. The pate on the board was a fromage tete, or head cheese. Head cheese isn’t cheese at all, but a terrine from the head of a pig. It’s pretty freaky and complicated, but it was so luscious. We saw photos of the baby in its pot while becoming head cheese after everyone had gone home. If you ever get a chance to have these beautiful little-frenched chicken drummettes they make a fun, easy-to-eat take on chicken wings. The two ways featured a buffalo style and a sweet and spicy.
Duck style chicken
This was more like a meal with the acclaimed Joyce Farms Poulet Rouge Fermier. The crispy skin with succulent meat on the inside made almost confit-like and a lovely cherry gastrique. This course with the huge layered gratin and green beans would make a perfect supper.
Poulet Rouge Roulade
Fresh Corn Grits
I’m telling you if you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on the Poulet Rouge at Joyce Farms, you need to do it. We simply cannot explain how tender this chicken is. We got to pass around, family-style, these lovely dishes with the colorful mix of potatoes and the creamiest, dreamiest grits. Perfection.
More specifically, a collection of desserts such as bread pudding, cherry almond bar, coconut cream pie and a very boozy, coffee-laden tiramisu made with Magic Beans coffee. The team sent out a round of bubbly to pair it all with. It was then that I learned that sparkling wine loves a cherry almond bar.
From the looks on the faces and the reports back we got from the guests, it appears Vin 205 has some new customers. “I was very impressed and I’m looking forward to returning to try Chef Oren’s food here again soon,” Keith Dillworth said. “It was all delicious.”
Truly, get over to this restaurant, check them out for a quick, relaxing bite with some wine or beer and don’t miss a chance to enjoy brunch or live music, you’ll want to hang out. Flint said more improvements and changes are on the way. “We’re diverse and eclectic,” he said. “We definitely have some ideas in mind for the future. We’re putting some additional wine taps in the store, a growler program for beer and wine and some fun new retail stuff.”
The Chef’s Table was such a hit that the guys at Vin 205 want to do it again. So, look for a future event in January when we kick off the new year with “Brunch and Bubbles.”
The next Triadfoodies Chef’s Table will be on Tuesday, Nov. 13 featuring Chef John Wilson at Sofie’s Cork & Ale in downtown Lexington.