Since arriving on US Route 1 in Falmouth late last year, Leavitt & Sons is attracting fans seeking thoughtfully prepared foods and ambitious wine choices. The shop itself is, oddly enough, in the middle of Falmouth’s overdeveloped commercial district, looking a bit residential amid strip malls and plazas.
Wolftrap red wine $9.99
Pancetta $2.29 ($9.95/lb)
Roasted Tomatoes $3.70 ($9.99/lb)
Lundberg Herb Risotto $3.59
Leavitt & Sons | 37 Depot Road, Falmouth | 207.781.3753 |
Proprietor Pete Leavitt has found an interesting legal loophole through which he can attract attention: Maine law requires a store to offer more than 250 labels before it can host a wine tasting, but says nothing about any minimum number of bottles per label. To meet that standard, Leavitt brought in close to 200 individual bottles, many under $10, which adorn every flat surface in the store.
Though there is a wine list (specifying not only the bottle and price but also its probable location in the store), the choice is made easier by Chef Shane Morgan, who placed a bottle in my hand and spoke of it in such convincing terms, it was impossible to say no. The 2005 Wolftrap, a South African red, is a wonderful blend of Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Viognier that is truly a winner at $9.99. Later research has revealed that the 2006 vintage is made without the Cinsault, so run and grab yourself a bottle of ’05 before they all disappear.
Don't miss the small cheese case just inside the front door — it's easy to be distracted by the larger charcuterie case with cured sausages and hams, traditional cold cuts from Boar's Head, and several salads (such as the irresistible broccoli and bacon).
Morgan's kitchen puts out generous made-to-order sandwiches, fresh soups (always including a vegetarian option), and individually portioned dinners ready for reheating at home. The simple and health-conscious choices include grilled chicken breast with lightly steamed veggies and beef Stroganoff with egg noodles, and range in price from $7.99 to $14.99.
To complement your selection, or if you want to save a few bucks, check out the grocery area of the store (nicknamed "the garage" after its previous use), where citrus-infused oils and ready-to-go frozen demi-glace are just a few of the rich offerings. An outstanding arborio rice (the kind that that magically turns into risotto after an hour of stirring) sits next to the less glamorous risotto-in-a-box. To jazz up the risotto, try red and yellow roasted tomatoes in olive oil and a chunk of pancetta (cubed, diced, and sautéd in some olive oil of its own).
Save the oil that the tomatoes are packed in to drizzle over the risotto before serving. The boxed approach may lack the sexiness of creamy “real” risotto, but if your prep is done alone, your dinner company will not mind, if they realize it at all. Besides, the bottle of Wolftrap is ample distraction from your time- and money-saving approach.
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Todd Richard can be reached at email@example.com.