SubTerra describes itself as a wine cellar restaurant. Sure enough, it’s in a basement, and there really are wine racks along one wall. There are also some clever acoustic dampers – fabric covered foam blocks on the ceiling, curtains separating some of the tables, and so on, so it’s fairly quiet. The wine list is inspired; it features loads of local wines, especially Pinot Noirs, but none of them are from the big players. No Argyle, no Rex Hill, no Duck Pond. Instead, they feature great wines from tiny wineries. Because today is Mother’s Day, they were offering a reduced menu so they could keep things running smoothly. We got two kinds of fresh bread with butter and Pinot Cherry preserves. We both picked the mushroom soup, which was creamy and tasty, with big chunks of mushroom. The house salad was mixed greens with goat cheese, hazelnuts and a trace of light vinaigrette.
I played it safe with the filet of beef with shrimp and scallop cream sauce – it came with roast potato wedges and asparagus with a hint of balsamic vinegar. Caroline picked the Mac and cheese for grownups, which was baked spiral macaroni with sharp cheddar, fontina and a sweet bacon, it was topped with wilted arugula, oven dried tomatoes and a little blue cheese. Rich, and every bit as good as Angela said it would be. My steak was just about perfect, and the seafood sauce was a good match. To go with all this, we broke away from the Pinot Noirs that dominated the wine list and ordered a Syrah from Raya Jade. It was impressive, with deep flavours and a soft finish. We just about had room for dessert, so although Caroline ended up bringing home most of her freshly made tiramisu, I did finish a grilled pineapple ring with rum sauce on a bed of coconut rice pudding. It wouldn’t be for everyone, I suspect, but there was one guy at another table who was ticked that I got the last one!