I have eagerly awaited the opportunity to review The First Crush Wine Bar in Potsdam, NY. The opportunity presented itself as my fiance and I had errands to run in Potsdam on a Sunday afternoon and we were on the market for a late lunch. First Crush is a small restaurant with a bistro feel but also is attempting to fill the coffee bar niche as well. They have a smaller but thoughtful menu and an impressive wine list. Save room for dessert as each option sounds more tempting than the last. We had lunch, which is a selection of salads, wraps, paninis and sandwiches. Their dinner menu has fewer things on it, but has a selection of tapas (an order of several of these makes a great meal to share with a lot of variety) as appetizers, dinner sized salads which can come with a duck breast (would love to try this since I am a huge fan of duck - see previous post about attempting to cook duck) and some entrees and paninis. They have some great sounding wines and some of our favorite types - my fiance loves dry reds and they have what looks like a great selection. Everything also comes by the glass, so you can try all the options. We didn't partake in this as it was only 3pm.
Service was quick, but considering the time of day, I would have been disappointed had it been otherwise. We ordered our drinks - they have a great selection of wines and some good options for beer. If you're interested in coffee, they have options to rival starbucks. We each got sandwiches. I got the Crab-L-T sandwich which was one this hearty whole grain mulberry bread with a crab cake, bacon and lettuce and tomato with a garlic aioli. The crab cake was excellent and would have been perfect on its own, full of large lumps of crab meat. There wasn't a large amount of fillers in it and it wasn't too peppery. I do think things like crab with a subtle, delicate flavor are easily overwhelmed with pepper - either ground or bell, and this cake was definitely allowed to shine.
My fiance ordered the High-On-The-Hog panini, which was also a good choice. I think this sandwich definitely was better as a panini than it would have been as a regular sandwich. The crisp bread against the melted cheese (havarti) and the tender pulled pork in BBQ sauce provided good texture. The havarti was buttery in its smoothness and melted really well with the pork. It is a milder cheese which was almost lost in the BBQ sauce with occasionally added a bit of sharpness. Now, pulled pork is one of my favorite things in how tender and succulent it can be, and this was a good version.
For dessert, we shared the bananas foster flambe. This was a great idea as it is a dessert intended for 2. I don't know where the ice cream came from (might be local or made on site, definitely tastes high quality) with a traditional vanilla, rich and creamy and melting from the heat of the flambe. The bananas are lightly sauteed in sugar and butter to create a caramel sauce. Although the sauce was very tasty, it still had a bit of texture from the sugar. I can understand why this is a dessert for 2, I could never have eaten both portions, although, personally, I could have done with a smaller portion of the ice cream and a larger portion of bananas and caramel sauce :-D but of course, I did order it for that component. Definitely bang for your buck though since it is less expensive than 2 desserts separately and were a very generous portion.