Keith and I trekked out to the south-end of the increasingly popular Shaw neighborhood for dinner at Convivial. We enjoyed Mintwood Place, so I had high expectations for this new venture. The restaurant itself was quite small inside, and very loud. We sat a window table and quickly chose a bottle of 2014 Chateau de Fontenille, Entre Deux Mer from Bordeaux, France. This is exactly the kind of white wine I crave drinking all spring and summer long. Made from Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Semillon and Muscadelle the flavors and aromas combine snappy green apple, fresh cut grass, lemon oil and a hint of stone fruit. There is a light texture in the mouth with a good bite of clean acidity. This wine is great with seafood, goat cheeses, salads and grilled veggies and was the most reasonably priced on the menu at only $30.
Our server explained the menu concept and suggested two dishes per person. First, we tried the Leeks Dijonnaise. Served cold, this dish highlighted the light vegetable and provided a punch from the capers and dijon mustard.
Even better, we enjoyed the bright Pickled Rockfish. Plated with green papaya, avocado, passionfruit, and winter radish, this dish had quite the punch of bright flavor. It really had a lovely balance of acid and paired perfectly with our wine.
From the hot menu, we also shared the Scallop Boudin Blanc. A mousse of scallops was formed into a sausage shape and topped with snow pea, sauerkraut, sea bean, and trout caviar. This dish was delicate and very French. There was loads of butter, and another favorite dish of the evening.
Lastly, we shared a fun twist on the French classic with Fried Chicken "Coq Au Vin". The chicken was tender and juicy with a nice thick crust, and the coq au vin glaze had lots of flavor. The sauce was a bit over reduced and salty, but not off putting. Served with roasted carrots and potatoes, this dish was very filling and a solid main entree.
There are many more items on the menu that we'd like to try, so we hope to visit Convivial again. Especially if they all are plated, seasoned, and presented in the same manner as the few we did try. I am also curious to see if the options will change more regularly with the seasons.
Total Rating: 4.53
Food: 5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 4.5