MACA January Wine Dinner – A Field Correspondents report
Posted by cmh gourmand on February 1, 2008
5 South Liberty
I meet Orv and Gloria at the Hills Market Wine and Cheese event in December. They are a great couple with great food experiences to share. We ran into each other again when the Hills Market was hosting a special event for a cable television show in mid January. They mentioned they were going to a wine dinner at Maca in Powell. I had not had an opportunity to go to Maca yet so I was anxious to hear all about it. They sent me a great report and were nice enough to let me post a version here. Thanks Orv and Gloria.
Gloria and I attended MACA’s intimate dinner a couple evenings ago. Norman and Susan Carmichael are the owners and the primary MACA team. Norman chefs and picks the wines. Susan runs the front (there really is no front differentiated from the rest of the restaurant space which seats 30 to 35 including seats at the bar). The Carmichaels were assisted by 3 associates. Maca has a very laid back feel and atmosphere.
The toasts included diced eggplant and capers. Fresh artichoke hearts were battered & fried. Anything fried is tasty but there was not a lot of flavor. The Cream Sherry, served in a small liqueur glass, was an excellent accompaniment.
The layered puff pastry tort was very good and held together well. The pastry where the cheese melted and crusted was especially good. And, the Sancerre La Crele 2006, served in stemless ware was mildly acidic with fresh citrus flavors and just the slightest whiff of grassiness. I found the wine on Winesearcher and the lowest 375ML bottle price was $13.95. The Carmichaels do retail their wines at state minimum so I guess I need to find out how much they are charging. (Note: Maca does sell wine to go – often by the case and they have some good distributors to work with C.M.H.G.)
After trimming the excess fat and crisping the duck, it was finished using indirect heat so that the duck stayed tender and moist. The breast was sliced and presented with the mixture of chopped/diced winter root vegetables. After tasting the caramelized vegetables, Gloria commented “I could easily become a vegetarian”. The wine was full flavored with soft tannins which stood up to the richness of the duck.
The finely diced apple & nut tart had just a hint of Rosemary. Again, the tart crust was outstanding. And the Moscatel was somewhat restrained without the cloying sweetness you sometimes find with Muscat grape wines. The Moscatel was served in liqueur glasses.
The Winter Dinner menu may appear to be a limited amount of food but believe us, we were more than satisfied. The servings were very appropriate.
Overall, we were impressed with this husband and wife team who work long hours and who both spend time with their guests and make each guest feel at home.
We had been to MACA twice, impromptu both times, in January 2008 after driving by the restaurant numerous times without stopping. The Saturday when we first stopped was 4 wine pours (approximately 2 oz each?) for $5.00 plus Tapas could be ordered off the menu at a very reasonable price. Norman came around and poured the wines intermixed with his cooking duties. He gave a detailed description of the wine region, grapes and characteristics of each wine. An unbelievable bargain.
We also stopped with two other couples a couple Friday nights ago about 9:20PM and had desserts with port.
We plan to go back.
Gourmand update: I went to Maca on January 25th and had a great experience. I spoke with both owners as well as their bartender. Everything sampled was really good. The red peppers stuffed with goat cheese were my favorite. The menu does change from time to time, especially in the dessert category. Another wine dinner is in the works for February.
Columbus Monthly recently listed Maca as one of the 10 best new restaurants in town – they earned it (Marcellas did not – sorry Cameron). This is a small place so to limit your wait time try to visit during the week.