Verts Pop Up Creates a Fine Dining Menu that’s Both Fresh and Healthy
Verts Pop Up proves fast casual dining can also be synonymous with fine dining. This Mediterranean food based build-it-yourself restaurant is making waves by bringing the freshest food possible to a corner near you. Verts Mediterranean Grill is already known for its quality food made with nutritious ingredients prepared in-house every day. Now this innovative company is wowing guests once again with a fine dining pop-up concept.
Verts held a fine dining pop-up for guests at their San Antonio location at Blanco & 410, 842 NW Loop 410. Using the same concept of tasty, nutritious ingredients prepared fresh in-house while incorporating new upscale dishes to a sit down affair is what was happening tonight.
Preparing and presenting the dinner was Kate Schirm, Verts Assistant Culinary Director.
To whet our appetites, tables were laden with family style bowels and platters of fresh Pita slices, Hummus, Charred Babaganoush, Whipped Feta, a mixture of Pickled Cauliflower and red onions, Marinated Olives and fresh sliced Cucumbers.This smorgasbord of Mediterranean delights was bursting with vibrant flavors and textures. The tartness of the pickled vegetables contrasted nicely with the bitterness of the Charred Babaganoush. The Whipped Feta and cucumbers were almost a palate cleanser before moving on to the second course. Paired with this course was a nice dry Ruffino Prosecco.
Next we savored a salad of tomato, cucumber, cucumber fermented pickle, harissa (red pepper paste) and pita crisps, all sprinkled with some mild aleppo pepper and a little mint to cool it all down. This salad shared the plate with Labneh, a Lebanese cream cheese which was mixed with black garlic, adding a salty sweetness to the dish.
This dish was paired with a Canary Melon Tonic, a bitter yet refreshing cocktail for washing it all down.
The third course for the evening was a Gulf Crudo of very fresh red snapper, thinly sliced, with pickled jalapeno peppers for some heat, puffed rice for some crunch and preserved lime sauce for both a zesty and vibrant taste and color for the dish. Topped with a sprinkling of an aromatic Za’atar spice mix, this was a palate pleasing dish on all levels. For an added visual touch there were a few eatable purple flower petals on top.
Paired with the Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay, this fruity wine added its boldness to the fish. And with the wine’s finish of toasted nuts and spice, it was perfect for the sultry, spiciness of the dish.
Our last course for the Verts pop up this evening was a layering of Schmaltz (chicken fat) hummus, topped with turmeric braised chicken with roasted butternut squash and quail eggs that had been pickled in beet juice which add extra flavor as well as an appealing color. With crisp bits of crispy chicken skin, paprika oil and a spicy schug sauce, this dish offered a variance of taste and texture as well as beauty.
This last dish was paired with the Wild Horse Pinot Noir. This wine with notes of plum and spice held up well to the spiciness of the dish.
In addition to their dine-in stores, Verts also offers catering for office lunches, meetings, work presentations, celebrations, special events, graduation parties and more!
People love to order VERTS for catering because they offer food for everyone. They have options for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free meals, and they’re happy to accommodate any dietary needs.
Verts Mediterranean Grill, which started in Austin in 2011, now has over 30 locations in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio and is planning an expansion to the East Coast soon.
**Full Disclosure: I received dinner in exchange for my review. All opinions are mine.
Location for this Verts pop up was 842 NW Loop 410, San Antonio
Hours: Every day 11am – 10pm