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pairing on Grape Thinking - Part 2

Posts Tagged ‘pairing’

Blind Waiters in a World of Sensual Elevation

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007


My wife and I recently went to Dans Le Noir – London’s first in the dark, started after the success of it’s parent in Paris. Seeing as the only seats 60 people, you need to book pretty well in advance to get a place (there are three sitting for dinner a night), but once you do – it’s an experience you’re not likely to forget. Upon arriving you are in a lit cocktail lounge where you can enjoy a drink and look at the menu and order your meal. My wife and I both chose the ‘surprise menu’ where you are not told what you will be eating. Deciding to at least have some choice in the matter, we ordered the 2003 Chablis ‘St. Martin’ white Burgundy, and our blind waiter led us to our table.


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The Slanted Door – Appetizer

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007



On the Friday of Wine 2.0 we decided to treat ourselves and head to The Slanted Door. We had intended, naively, to go for supper – only to find that it was booked out for two weeks straight. As we walked in with the last of the luncheoners, we were able to wangle a seat – which immediately called for a miniature celebration in the form of two classic Austrian wines.

For Greg it was the Gruner Vetline Shmelz, and for myself I chose the Csersgezi Fuszeres, Hill Top. Both were smooth, floral, off-dry and crisp – perfect for an afternoon lunch, especially seeing as we had a conference to go to. A wine conference it may have been – but a conference none-the-less.

Crispy Imperial Rolls with *shrimp, pork and glass noodles* Amazing, we got this starter to share, and we were served five of the little suckers on a plate. The only thing better than a novel – is a novel way of consuming . Hence my personal preference to eating with chopsticks at restaurants; hand making tortillas; enjoying Mongolian stir-fries; eating Indian or Persian with my bare hands; the occasional shot of tequila and of course – shucking oysters straight from the rock and eating them with lemon, Tabasco and salt. It’s all about the process and trying to make it all more tactile – and for being a day-to-day knife and fork person, any or process that breaks the norm is a welcome addition to my repertoire.

We photographed the process of eating the crispy imperial roll which involves:

1. laying out a piece of lettuce
2. placing a piece of mint on the lettuce
3. adding a lump of noodles on top
4. inserting the Crispy Imperial Roll
5. rolling it all into a consumable ball
6. dipping it into the teriyaki and plumb sauce
7. stuffing it all into your mouth and rolling your eyes back into your head because its just so good.

The Slanted Door is an incredibly popular in San Francisco and they only use organic produce and ecologically farmed meat. It’s nice to see people’s taste buds moving in the right direction.

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Posted in Dining, Food | 1 Comment »

Chez Pim

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

The wine blogging world has no equivalent to Pim Techamuanvivit, creator and goddess of http://www.chezpim.com/ which also seems to be absent from the James Beard list, which is really surprising, considering the quality of writing and level of contribution to the industry. Pim’s following is enormous, and considering that she’s young, 30, attractive, self-made and frequently dining in high-class restaurants in hugely varied global locations, I’m sure there are many prominent wine writers out there who came onto the scene well before Pim, and probably wish they could be in her shoes.

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Amateur Gourmet

Friday, June 1st, 2007

I was disappointed that one of my preferred blogs, Amateur Gourmet was not included in the James Beard Nominees for writing. Much like Dr. Vino, Amateur Gourmet writes so consistently well, and serves up an eclectic dish of recommendations complete with photographs of the meal, personal anecdotes, literary references and a recommended selection of cookbooks for the enthusiast to get stuck in to. To my mind there’s really no question, one of his blogs last month is inspiring myself and Greg to go down to the Slanted Door tonight, which will be a welcome treat before going off to Wine 2.0 tomorrow evening.

Amateur Gourmet’s photographs take a brilliant angle by showing readers photographs of dishes and getting the readers to comment. Needless to say it’s a rather cruel exercise, because just looking at the photographs prompts drooling. But you’ll notice the level of participation amongst readers, one feels that Amateur Gourmet embraces its readership and plays to an audience creating a gourmet form of media. Grape Thinking salutes the Amateur Gourmet. At least we’ll be able to taste the food in person tonight.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2007

savory.pngI’m a sucker for multimedia. In fact, I haven’t switched my television on in months and ordinarily get my dose of audio-visual online. Video content is one of my favourite things about blogging, and a site that really packs it in is Savory, with Savory San Francisco, Savory New York and Savory Chicago being the first of their installments and many more to come. Food journalism has never been so uninhibited. Unique video content allows shots of food, a taste of ambience and samples of the Chef’s opinions, and with this type of site becoming the industry norm, we can look forward to a lot more local restaurants who significantly raise their standards to match up. It’s a win/ win situation for food journalists and restaurants all round, but if only there were a way to bring food and wine more comprehensively together, as certain chefs are undoubtedly inspired by certain wines whilst wines are often made to compliment the flavours produced by local chefs. And as far as the writers go, they partake in both. Grapethinking aims to be the link..com/

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