It takes confidence to showcase snails and offal on the same plate. At Oak + Rowan, the Fort Point restaurant of Nancy Batista-Caswell, executive chef Justin Shoults elevates both, combining escargot, sourced from France, with sweetbreads. Because some diners eschew “variety meats” – sweetbreads are thymus glands – Shoults is quick to describe how he makes them delicious. He first braises them with bacon, root vegetables, and a splash of sherry, then fries the morsels so they become delectably crunchy. Pickled pearl onions, wood ear mushrooms, and a pinwheel of puff pastry round out the presentation. Wine director David Fair has just the pour: a 2014 “Abraxas Vin de Terroir” ($18 a glass, $76 a bottle) from Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Sonoma’s Los Carneros. “It’s mouthwatering on the after-palate, and supple in texture,” says Fair, talking up how the blend — riesling, pinot gris, pinot blanc, and gewürztraminer – plays up the appetizer’s smoky-earthy-umami flavors. “It’s snails and organ meat, but we’re really seeing success with the dish,” he enthuses.
Oak + Rowan, 321 A Street, Boston, 857-284-7742, www.oakandrowan.comEllen Bhang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.