We had heard rumors about an amazing oil and vinegar place here in town for some time, so one recent chilly Sunday morning we decided to finally track it down (apparently there are multiple in town, but we chose the one closest to us). Located on one of our favorite streets in the Old Market - Jackson St. - is Vine + Branch, a tasting room and Promised Land for those who enjoy wine, bread, flavored oils and infused vinegars.
We were greeted with a friendly smile and encouraged to walk through the store and try as many oils and vinegars as we pleased. It is a bit overwhelming at first. Like being in a department store and trying to find a new fragrance. You don't want to overdo the sampling because you don't want to lose your senses, but darn if everything isn't so delicious that you can't help but try it all.
Set up along the perimeter and in the middle of the cozy store are marked basins and pieces of bread. Olive oil flavors ranged from the classics, like roasted garlic and rosemary to the more eccentric like bacon. Honestly, everything we tried here was amazing including the infused balsamic vinegars. The smoked vinegar ended up being my personal favorite while Kerry fell in love with the seasonal pistachio.
I walked away with the Rosemary oil, which reminded me a lot of the bread and oil at Macaroni Grill (now defunct in Omaha). Later than night, I paired my new oil with a french baguette and some roasted garlic cheese. I like to put a little cracked pepper in the oil too, just to bring out a few more of those flavors and add a little grit to the mixture.
Fine, I ate the same meal two nights in a row, alright? You caught me.
Vine + Branch is more than a tasting room. They offer monthly cooking classes - the next one beginning in March (check out their website now for some recipe ideas), a wine-and-paint night where you can sip on wine while painting your own personal Van Gogh, AND you can schedule a private tasting event for your friends or family as well!
Like Vine + Branch on Facebook here to keep up with their calendar of events!