Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

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Not quite there

Had a lovely time at dinner last night with minnehaha K, drewan, buttonlass and carbonel. Not that dinner itself was was all that great, but it was good company.

I think the place we had dinner (a wine bar) wasn't quite complete. By that, I mean that I liked the concept (a place to go, have a few glasses of wine, converse with friends and nosh on tasty bits) but the execution was lacking. I'm not a big wine guy, but I know a few things that I like and I have some of the language for describing it based on my extensive knowledge and experience with scotch. While the wine list looked decent nothing struck me as a, "hey, I bet wine people like this" listing and, apart from breaking the listings into various varieties, had no information to guide one to choose any particular wine over another. On top of this, the food, while pleasantly presented for the most part, was pretty unremarkable. Don't get me started on the Elton John Muzak. Or the sales pressure from the owners.

See, if I was going to open a place like this (and, I must admit, the idea appeals), I would spend some time up front to describe what the various wines were actually like. I'd also make menu notes about what wines went well with what dishes. Then I'd make the place as comfortable as possible. Give people reason to linger. Choose staff that knew how to treat the customers like they were having a luxurious experience.

So, while fun, it wasn't fully satisfying. I left feeling a bit empty. It was good to see friends, though, and very nice to get out in the middle of the week on my day off.
Tags: dining

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