I have not been together with two of my good college friends since, well, college. Not for lack of trying, but it just hadn’t worked out. So, a few months ago, we determined that this Memorial Day weekend would be the time to meet up. Emily lives in DC and has an apartment big enough to host, so Laura flew in from Chi-town and I got on the bus from NYC.
Unbeknownst to me, an American Flatbread had opened in Clarendon, VA, near Emily’s place. On the first night of our Midd kid reunion, then, we headed over to the pizza place that had begun in Vermont and been the place of many dinners out in the early years of college. Because “local” and “sustainable” are core tenets of the Flatbread philosophy, the menu was a bit different, focusing on ingredients from farms and food providers in the Virginia area.
We quickly settled on the sun-dried tomato and mushroom pizza as well as the New Virginia Sausage, featuring naturally-raised Bluemont pork in a homemade, nitrate free maple-fennel sausage (I’m quoting from the menu). The wine list wasn’t extensive or impressive, but I did find a good bottle: a Muscadet Sevre et Maine from Domaine Claude Branger in the Loire called Terroir Les Gras Moutons. Great minerality from the rocky, granite-filled soil and left on lees for 12-14 months, giving it a ripe, round, and powerful nose that hinted at the fruity and floral aromatics of a riesling.
I tend to greatly discount the effect that going to college in Vermont had on the developments of my own palette and more importantly food philosophies. I spent years eating locally-sourced food in the college dining halls: apples from orchards right down the road, cheese from Vermont dairy farms, and more.