Pair This: FoodBar’s Steamed Mussels & Lallier Champagne Brut

By Jan Walsh       

Photography by Beau Gustafson


George McMillan recently returned to the kitchen with his new restaurant, FoodBar. The restaurant is located in Cahaba Heights, in the same strip mall as Sexton’s Seafood. I select the steamed mussels from the starters menu. With John Rusiecki as sommelier, I pair it with champagne.

A flute of Lallier Champagne Brut arrives first, well-chilled. Golden in color with hints of apple and a clean finish, this lovely wine is a match for the delicate mussels.

The bowl of steamed mussels arrives with five grilled baguettes, for dipping, on the rim. The large, black shells are presented in an outer and inner circle, resting on a white wine and basil broth. Tempting aromas rise from the bowl, whetting the appetite. In the center is a mix of minced greens, carrots, tomatoes, and onions, which makes a nice bruschetta on the baguettes. And the plump, salty mussels melt in the mouth, making a scrumptious appetizer.

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