My summer travels have taken me to Bozeman, Montana this week. I suppose I expected a dusty road and a general store. I couldn't have been more wrong. Tonight I dined at a chi-chi little wine bar called Plonk in "the heart of Historic Downtown Bozeman."
I'm not much of a wine connoisseur, so I ordered for novelty. A champagne-sour glass of Vixen sparkling Shiraz started the meal. I'd never encountered a fizzy red wine before, and never thought to ask why--this glass was quite good. For "dinner," I ate the anti-Human Vacuum meal: a cheese plate. The Human Vacuum thinks it's a crime to order cheese in a restaurant. And from a fiscal point of view, I suppose he's right. But sometime a girl just wants milkfat for dinner. The star of the three cheese plate was the Belgian Capra with Honey. The cheese was just a little crumbly, but rich and milky with a great honey aftertaste and a slight, rich sweetness very noticeable in the first few bites. The Whiskey Blue, from Wisconsin, was also very excellent. A boring Spanish Manchego rounded out the trio. For dessert, I had a Piedmontese Muscato with a Keffir Lime Banana Tart. Both were nice, the wine very sweet and the tart--well, it was very tart.
The scene at Plonk is absurdly trendy. There's low lighting, tattooed waitresses with chic haircuts (who provided excellent, friendly American service), and pretentious food involving beets and endives and fancy vinegar. But this was the first wine-focused restaurant where I wasn't intimidated by the list or the waitstaff. As a result I enjoyed a couple of glasses of delicious wine with a fashionable yet personalized meal that was just what I was looking for. Who knew I'd have to go all the way to Montana to find a good wine bar.