Order this... Quail at Winfield's
In his free time, Berke Marye, in his sixth year as chef at Winfield’s, paints large abstracts full of color and creativity. (Many of his works are now being shown at the Pottery Gal Studio and Store on Chapel Street; others are hanging on the walls of the restaurant’s dining room and lounge.) His menu reflects the same clever, artistic approach to food — in presentation, tastes and selection of meats and produce.
Continuing our theme of an appetizer with a drink, we sampled one of the “house favorites,” the smoked quail. Berke said, “Food for me is a lot about memory.” This quail, reflecting his Texas background, “isn’t just Texas, not just Mexican — it’s Texican.”
The quail is boned (except for the legs) and smoked on site. The flavors of sherry vinaigrette, lardons of bacon and escabeche (a combination of pickled carrots, onion and jalapenos) make a deeply satisfying combination. Finally the house-made barbecue sauce gives a final little kick to this dish. It is served on a bed of watercress. The result is succulent, complex and delicious.
From the bar, Berke chose their Paloma to accompany the quail. Made with Silver Patron, Ting (an effervescent grapefruit drink from Guatemala), soda water and fresh lime juice, this drink is the perfect, refreshing partner.
For a finish, think of Kelly’s rich desserts. Panna cotta, crème brulee and strawberry shortcake are favorites. Pam Glen’s luxurious cheesecake is back again and always popular.
Berke gives great credit to his staff — Byron, Kelly, Hector, TC and Ebby. “It wouldn’t happen without them.” he said. — Becky Ballard and Ruth Perfido
Winfield’s is located on Corn Neck Road. Visit Winfield’s at winfieldsbi.com.