Finding Fu Run
Just as we exited the Main Street Flushing #7 train station, the skies opened up and the rain began to pour down. Carrying two bottles of wine, two wine glasses, and our umbrellas, we threaded our way through the crowded streets to Fu Run, a restaurant we had never tried before, wondering all the while if it would be worth the trip.
Normally, when Michele and I go for Chinese food we prefer to drink tea. But it is always interesting to go to a Chinese restaurant with friends, in this case members of The Wine Media Guild, to see what wines they will bring, and to eat, drink, talk about the wine and the food.
Fu Run features the the food of Northeast China. Today it is called Donghei but it was once known as Manchuria. The food began to appear soon after we arrived.
In all, there were 17 dishes and they came so fast and were eaten so quickly that I am not sure what they all were.
Here are a few that I did remember:
-Muslim lamb chops– lamb ribs marinated and braised with a crispy coating of cumin seeds and hot pepper. The meat was so tender, it fell right off the bone.
-Three different types of pork dumplings, one with celery, another with leeks and the third with cabbage. I couldn’t stop eating them.
-Egg pancake with leeks and pickled vegetables which was the special of the day.
Jelly Fish Salad
-Jelly fish salad–a light soy and scallion dressing made it very refreshing. A first for me, the jelly fish didn’t seem to have any flavor, just a crunchy texture.
-Shredded pork with green peppers
-Tender little pork meatballs in a rich broth
-Noodles with mixed vegetables
-Sauteed water spinach
Each of the 9 guests brought a bottle of wine. The whites were:
Schloss Gruner Veltliner 2009 Gobelsburg Steinsetz 100% Gruner Veltiner (Austria) The vineyards are located on an elevated plain. The soil is based upon alpine pebbles transported here by the Danube River and covered by black and loamy soil, loess and gravel. The average age of the vines is 25 years. The wine is racked no more than 3 times before it is bottled, unfined and unfiltered. Maturation takes place in Austrian oak casks of 25hl. No new oak is used. The wine is released 30 to 36 months after the harvest. This wine worked with most of the dishes because no new wood was used and it had a mineral character with hints of pepper and spice and good acidity.
Campo Martino Ruttaris IGT 2000(Friuli Venezia Giulia) Jermann The wine is mostly Tocai Friulano, with a small percentage of Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit. The wine is fermented and aged in 750 liter barrels of Slavonian oak for 12-16 months, and released two years after the harvest. Capo Martino is the name of a hill in the heart of the Collio zone. The wine was very golden in color and looked like it might be to too old.
We had already dumped an over-the-hill Meursault and a Pouilly-Fuisse. The Capo Martino turned out to be just fine. A complex wine with ripe fruit aromas, a hint of tropical fruits and a touch of almonds in the finish, this worked less well with the food than the first two whites. It was fuller and richer and seemed to have lost some of its acidity. I liked the wine but not that much with this type of food.
Pinot Gris Personal Reserve 2001 100% Pinot Gris Trimbach (Alsace). Vineyards are Grand Cru Osterberg with a South/Southeast exposure. The average age of the vines is 25 years and there are 5,000 plants per hectare. The grapes are handpicked when they are at their richest and pressed very gently in a pneumatic press. The juice runs into the cellar by gravity and clarifies naturally prior to fermentation. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel at controlled temperatures for 2 to 3 weeks. Fermentation stops naturally and there is a very small amount of residual sugar to go along with the ripe acidity. The wine is not oak aged. Bottling is early to preserve the freshness and bottled aged before leaving the winery. This was the wine of the evening; it has rich and fragrant with ripe fruit aromas of apricot, pear and mango and may be a touch of botrytis. It is full bodied with a creamy texture and well balanced with a great finish and aftertaste. It went very well with all of the food, even the Muslim lamb chops.
D’OH 2010 Piemonte Dolcetto DOC 100% Dolcetto Clavesana. Fermentation and a short aging in stainless steel and it is a wine to be drunk young. The name Dolcetto means sweet little one but the wine is dry with a lot of fresh fruit flavors and aromas with a hint of cherry. It has a deep ruby red color. The wine worked with most of the dishes because it was light, fruity and lacking in tannin.
Gigonodas 2005 Domaine du Gour de Chaule (Southern Rhone) The average age of the vines is 50 years. There is a 3 week cuvaison. A small amount of pressed juice is added back to the cuvee. Malolatic fermentation takes place in cuve, and after the malolatic fermentation is completed the wine is racked into large oak foudres where it stays for 18 months. The wine is racked no more than three times before it is bottled unfined and unfiltered 30 to 36 months after the harvest. This was a big wine with full fruit flavors and hints of spice and pepper. It went very well with most of the food especially the Muslim lamb chops where it blended in with the flavors of the lamb.
Montgarnatx DOC Priorat 2003 Francesc Bas (Spain) The wine is made from 75% Grenache and 25% Carignan. Stony soil composed of slate and quartz. They must have used too much new oak and overextracted the wine because all I could taste were jammy, oaky and vanilla flavors. It did not go with any of the food.
Zinfandel Old Hill Vineyard 2006 Ravenswood (Sonoma) 76% Zinfandel and 24% mixed blacks. This is the oldest vineyard of the Ravenswood vineyards and dates from around 1880. The soil is clay loam and the climate is what Joel Peterson of Ravenswood called “the banana belt of Sonoma Country”. The vineyard is at sea level with a slightly eastern exposure. They use native yeasts, open-top fermentation and punch down by hand. Skin contact is 10 to15 days, French oak aging for 20 months in new and one year old barrels. This is a big wine but seems to be more balanced than the 2007 I had over a year ago. There were flavors and aromas of blackberry, blueberry, coffee and a touch of smoke with a long finish and aftertaste. This is a big wine and I felt that it worked with some of the food but not the dumplings and the sea food dishes.
Fu Run Restaurant is located at 40-09 Prince St Flushing, NY 11354. The phone number is 718-32 -1363. As they say in the reviews, “It’s worth the trip!”