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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > DINING

COMPASS MAGAZINE > March 2009
 

Taichung's Wine Specialty Restaurants--Venice, Yi-Hsin Tasty Meal & Fine Wine,Cliff's Kitchen, Chez Pierre

By Niang Chen
Translated by Ann Lee

Venice

Venice

(04) 2319-3963
440, DaYing St
Hours: 12-3 pm, 6-10 pm (closed Mondays)
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.

Venice Restaurant Executive Chef Huang Zhong-ming has years of experience working in Taipei five-star hotels and his outstanding culinary skills can be enjoyed first-hand via popular dishes here. Everything, from soup dishes to appetizers, side dishes and main entrees to his gourmet coffees and desserts, is meticulously prepared to perfection. Among his talents is the ability to turn the most common ingredients, like apples and eggplant, into culinary works of art--the true mark of a professional. Some of Huang's signature creations include the Pan Chicken Breast with Cream Cheese, German Pig Knuckles, and Pan Block Beef Steak with Pepper, with prices ranging from NT$300 to NT$750.

A: Venice is a family-style European/French restaurant located just off GongYi Road. The range of Western-style cuisine here provides a memorable dining experience to diners trying the delectable dishes.

B: Order the Pan Block Beef Steak with Pepper (NT$500) with a glass of Germany's Piesporter Riesling Spailese white wine (NT$1,000/bottle). The juicy, tender fillet beef cubes, together with the slightly fruity white wine, is a genuine treat on any evening.

C: Chef Huang selected a bottle, the Tabale Merlot (NT$1,000/bottle) from a collection of 50 to 60 wines at the restaurant, and explained that it could be enjoyed immediately after it's opened. This full-bodied, fruity wine, with a hint of cassis flavor, gets smoother and richer the more you drink it. The best food pairing for this wine is Mozzarella cheese or the German Pig's Knuckle dish.

Venice Venice

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Yi-Hsin Tasty Meal & Fine Wine

Yi-Hsin Tasty Meal & Fine Wine

137, DaDun 17th St, 1F
(04) 2310-8659
Hours: 10 am-10 pm
10% service charge.
Credit cards accepted.
www.yhcellar.com.tw

When you walk into wine specialty restaurant Yi-Hsin, you'll see a colorful display made from hundreds of bottles of wines from around the world. The second floor of this establishment holds the dining area (NT$1,500 per person) where the chefs offer a variety of quality cuisine, with starters like Foie Gras with Fig, Jamon Iberico (ham) and Coulommier with Olive. Appetizers, salad, and soup are followed by the main course, and entree choices vary each day to ensure that diners enjoy a fresh dining experience every time. You can go downstairs to select a favorite wine to go with your meal and complete a classy, quality evening with friends and family. Every so often, Yi-Hsin hosts wine-tasting events and gives seminars/lectures on wine, allowing its customers and those interested in wines to deepen their knowledge.

A: Yi-Hsin is a specialized wine retailer selling a wide range of wines ideal for any occasion, from wedding banquets and small gatherings, for your personal enjoyment.

B: The restaurant's set meals are NT$1,500 per person. This generous meal includes an entree, three appetizers, Hundred-Year-Old Egg Salad, and Chicken with Morel, Kumquat and Coconut Milk. The staff recommends that you select a bottle of wine to go with your meal. Popular options include the Errazruiz Chardonnay range from Chile (NT$800-1,200) and Spain's Caceres Rioja (red, NT$750-1,700). Both exude passionate, rich flavors.

C: The entree selection includes beef steak, fish steak or lamb chop (choose one). The Fillet Steak with Sel Noir d'Hawaii and Diamant de Sel Cachemire dish is seasoned with either rose salt or rock salt. A recommended wine pairing for this juicy steak is the Chakana Malbec range from Argentina (red, NT$700-980). This full-bodied red has a refreshing, strong aftertaste that complements the meat's tenderness.

Yi-Hsin Tasty Meal & Fine Wine Yi-Hsin Tasty Meal & Fine Wine

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Cliff's Kitchen

Cliff's Kitchen

8, Lane 81, YiShu (Art) Street,
LongJing Township, Taichung County
(04) 2652-7309
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5-9 pm (reservations required)
10% service charge. Credit cards accepted.

Located right on busy Yishu (Art) Street, this restaurant's owner/chef, Cliff, has worked in reputable restaurants like Ruth's Chris Steak House and Trader Vic's in Taipei over the years. Fanny, in charge of serving customers, is the friendly manager and used to work in Tienmu's Chez Jimmy Restaurant as store manager. Many of the regular customers here are five-star hotel executives, as Cliff's Kitchen offers affordable dishes for Taichung gourmands. Set menu main-course choices include Japanese He-Feng Style Chicken Steak, Roasted Pork Ribs, Charcoal Lamb Chops with Balsamico Sauce, and Roasted Pork-Knuckle with Balsamico Sauce, with prices ranging from NT$400 to NT$1,300.

A: Order the Charcoal Rib-Eye Steak with Demi-Glace (NT$900) with a bottle of Coto De Rioja from Spain (red, NT$800/bottle). This meal comes with freshly-toasted bread rolls smeared with saffron shrimp sauce. The slightly-rare (grilled 3 minutes) rib-eye is seasoned with some meat gravy or sea salt, and the soup dish that comes with this meal is filled with crunchy vegetables. The Coto De Rioja has a full-bodied, fruity flavor and gives off a slight wine barrel fragrance, making it a perfect match for this steak.

B: An accompanying wine for the Italian-style Calamari Pasta (NT$420) is the Italian Baroncine Cavalcante (red, NT$500/bottle). The pasta dish's rich, creamy texture complements the ruby-red wine's pleasant cherry-syrup aftertaste and mild smoky fragrance, creating an overall smooth texture on your palate.

C: Tiramisu, gourmet Espresso, Grappa (NT$250/each). Nothing beats a cup of aromatic coffee and a tasty dessert after your meal! After savoring your coffee, pour the coffee residue into a glass of Grappa (a 40%-alcohol liqueur). The mixing of the coffee and harder liqueur's intense flavors offer a unique aftertaste.

Cliff's Kitchen Cliff's Kitchen

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Chez Pierre

 

Chez Pierre

(04) 2631-0641
121, YuanDong St, LongJing Township, Taichung County
Hours: 11:30 am-3 pm, 5:30-10 pm
closed Mondays
10% service charge. Credit cards accepted.

Chez Pierre Executive Chef Chen Shi-lu studied at a French culinary school and has been operating a Taipei restaurant of his own for seven years. Offering an exquisite cuisine for affordable prices, he picks out fresh, high-quality ingredients to create an array of authentic French-style dishes that continue to satisfy the palates of many gourmet food lovers. The Signature Set Meal (NT$380 to NT$880) comes with one of many entree options, such as Grilled Tender Chicken Leg with Abalone Mushrooms, Oven-Roasted U.S. Fillet Steak with Au Gratin Baked Vanilla Butter Snails, and Grilled New Zealand Veal with Au Gratin Baked Emmental Cheese. With your main course choice you'll also get to enjoy an appetizer, salad, bread, soup, dessert and a beverage.

A: The exterior of Chez Pierre has southern French flair, with the cream-yellow building and steps leading you to the dining area creating a cozy, home-style ambiance.

B: The Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay from Chile (NT$360 for 375 ml bottle) offers an aftertaste with hints of pineapple and green apples. This fruity wine perfectly complements the refreshing tomato flavors found in the Seafood Pasta with Tomato Sauce (NT$240), which mixes tasty seafood ingredients like calamari and clams.

C: The Oil-sealed Duck Leg with Abalone Mushroom and Beans in Tomato Sauce (NT$480) is prepared by marinating a duck leg in salt water for 24 hours, soaking it in cooking oil at low heat for a day, and then roasting it before serving. This classic southern French delicacy is served with mustard seed sauce and its very tender meat goes perfectly with the full-bodied, smooth Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon, yet another Chilean wine.

Chez Pierre Chez Pierre

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