Wednesday, June 16

L'Espalier is my homeboy

(Still no half marathon picture post- but it's coming, I promise)

ohhhhh man my belly is happy today! Last night, Sean and I had the ultimate dining experience. We went to cheese night at L'Espalier!...and I say it was an experience because it was so much more than dinner.

I wish I could've taken pictures but this place was f-aaaaancy. with a capital F. Fancy as in personal waiters for customer, greeters at the entrance, and egyptian cotton handtowels in the bathrooms. I felt it would've been totally inappropriate to whip out my camera and start taking photos, so instead my stunningly descriptive commentary will have to suffice. Well that and photos I steal off google images.

Like this one:

and this one:

So our menu for the night was a four course tasting menu, with each course featuring a wine pairing and a cheese from Italy. I kicked off the evening with a class of $18 champagne (apparently I think I'm P.Diddy instead of 20something soon-to-be poor graduate student). Pinot Grigio was first...and while I was in this amazingly decorated room, dressed up, tasting fancy wine I could never afford a full bottle of, all I could think of was Ramona from Real Housewives and her addiction to Pinot Grigio

Ohhh Ramona, you would've loved it darling. It was so crisp and sweet.

The other courses were duck and cherry strata with blue cheese and beef ragu, chili-rubbed shrimp in a parmesean polenta with grilled scallions, EIGHT piece cheese plate (all to myself!), raspberry peach dark chocolate. and did I mention wine with each course? ohhh the wine. The sommelier took time to explain each one and what flavors to look for. I even swished it around in my glass and took a few sniffs before sipping like I actually knew what I was doing. All the food was so so so good. I told Sean this morning that although I usually wake up and my first thought is "oh I love Sean, I'm so happy he's here with me" (barf, I know). This morning, my first thought after that meal was, "oh I loved that duck and cherry strata. I wish I had more right now". (sorry dear, love ya though)

While I have absolutely no complaints about the food or the service, it was out of this world, please excuse me while I jump on my soapbox to complain about something that really irritated me last night.

L'Espalier has a dress code, which I think is fantastic. I love dressing up. I own a ridiculous amount of dresses. I started planning which dress I'd wear to this dinner when Sean made the reservations over 2 months ago (I wore a Betsey Johnson black and white backless silk dress. it was fierce. I wish I had a picture to show you. I also wish I had Cher's closet from Clueless. sigh.) Their website says "Jacket and tie preferred" under dress code. pretty simple and easy to understand, no?

Last night, about 10 minutes into the first course a guy showed up and immediately all eyes in the room were on him. Not only was he late to the tasting, interrupting the cheese guy's schpiel, but he had WET HAIR and JEANS WITH A T-SHIRT on. I would've felt so embarassed for him if I didn't find it so damn rude. What has happened to our society? I don't know about you, but I think the way you dress and carry yourself can be seen as a sign of respect to whatever situation you are in. Different occasions call for a certain manner of dress. Lately though, people have gotten more and more lax. I was so disappointed when I went to the Nutcracker last Christmas and saw people in jeans. Again, totally inappropriate and disrespectful in my eyes. Is it so hard to throw on a jacket and tie? Can you not break out of your Levi's for a couple hours? So to the dude from dinner, how about we save the jeans and wet hair for restaurants that have the words "Barbecue" or "All you can Eat" in the title? Swing through your mom's house (because he definitely didn't have a girlfriend or she would've smacked him silly) get her to iron the wrinkled pants you haven't worn since your Uncle Bob's funeral 10 years ago, and stop being such a loser, mmmkay? thanks. * end of rant *

whew. I'm tired now. and hungry. Any chance the high school cafeteria will serve a cheese plate at lunch today?


Sean said...

I will play marketing guy for L'espalier for a day... Chef Frank McClelland was extremely creative with his offerings, every detail was thoughtful and delicious. Who would have thought to combine blue cheese, duck and cherries, the complementing and contrasting flavors were great, rich salty savory sweet... BTW is use ingredients from his own farm!
Louis Risoli the "cheese guy" was fun, I liked how related the fall of Rome to localization of cheese production throughout Europe.
Erik Johnson the "cork dork" was so knowledgeable and took time to explain the intent of the pairings, production and style of the wines.
L'espalier is on their A game.
And Marie in her black dress, heels big happy expressions enjoying everything made the whole experience perfect! Gorgeous...bapada bupi!

Preppy in Polka Dots said...

Ohhh I need a picture of the dress!! And it sounds AMAZING!!! And I completely agree about people not dressing appropriately for situations. I love going to the Nutcracker and seeing girls dressed in their tartan taffeta dresses with big bows!!!

Rebecca said...

This is why I can't wait to live in a city! Fabulous restaurants and even more fabulous clothes!!! I am appalled by the rednecks of chattanooga...and dare I say they've rubbed off on me a little! Get me out of here...I want cheese plates, duck, and betsey johnson!!!

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