Richard Hales’ Blackbrick taps former French Laundry sommelier Rachael Lowe to head wine program

 

Lowe was Sommelier Thomas Keller's Bouchon and The French Laundry

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by Lesley Abravanel

Richard Hales' retro-modern Midtown Chinese restaurant Blackbrick, debuting sometime very soon, has hired Rachael Lowe, formerly of The French Laundry and a Master Sommelier candidate, to head its wine list. Hales and Lowe go way back to their tenures at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan. "It is exciting to work on a list in Miami, Richard’s Chinese style will give me a lot of freedom to try some new and surprising wines” says Lowe, who is creating a 100 bottle list to start, one that will "highlight quality small producer aromatic whites and earthy reds with plenty of bubbles."

And while her pedigree is frou frou French Laundry, Lowe's list will be affordable "with high quality but low price points." Hales is psyched. “I met Rachael while I was a Sommelier in New York City and was always impressed; it is huge for Blackbrick to collaborate with her at this stage of her career, she’s a rockstar," he says. Takes one to know one.

Prior to her time with Keller, Lowe, who will be sitting again for her Master Sommelier exam in 2014, spent three years as Sommelier in New York City, at Café Gray for Gray Kunz, Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay inside The London NYC hotel. Lowe also served Director of Wine and Spirits at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, where she oversaw all wine management for all the Food and Beverage outlets.

To be paired with Lowe's expertly selected wines are, among other things: house-made soy milk pancakes with smoked pork, leek flower sauce and pickled mustard greens; cornmeal congee with wok fried marrow bones; a selection of hand-made, hand-cut noodles; a full dim sum menu of traditional favorites and contemporary selections; house-made Chinese charcuterie; expect a number of nose-to-tail dishes from whole lamb and pig, house-made tofu and vegetarian selections, the latter inspired by local farmers.  All sauces will be made from scratch and the restaurant will feature a custom-made wok station.  An all-day five-course menu for $35 per person will be available and family style a la carte plates will range from $5 - $12.

 

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