My head hurts.
As it should after pairing about 20 different foods with wines.
Last night we went to Elemental in Wallingford to celebrate Dave's birthday. Dave and Kristin are foodies and love wines as well - perfect company for a night of eating and drinking.
Let's see - highlights I remember.... we started with a scallop/watermelon appy coupled with some white wine. (All I can tell you is the color of wine - not only because I'm a moron when it comes to wine, but also because the owner, Fred, refuses to let you in on any of his secrets.) Down the hatch it went - yum. But let me back up a little, when you first arrive you're served a shot glass of sherry and some cucumber water. Then after you've warmed up your palate Fred will mix up a little cocktail surprise that'll knock your socks off. Since I'm a light weight I was seriously buzzed before they even gave us some food. They also give you a little helping of popcorn sprinkled with black pepper and truffle oil. A teaser, if you ask me.
Since we all enjoy food so much we decided to try everything. "Bring on the food," Fred said.
At one point we had five spice duck and a five star red wine - that was a show stopper. We also enjoyed pigeon, but I'm sure there's a more sophisticated name and things started to get really fuzzy from that point on.
Dave and Kris kept referring to "French Laundry" down in San Fran - a place I had never heard of. A meal for two will cost around $750 or so. Elemental is not nearly as pricey or stuffy for that matter. We walked out of there (thankfully we live 4 blocks away - driving was not an option) in under $280.
But you do pay for it the next day - especially if you drink all of the wine that he serves with dinner. Often we would have two wines with every dish - to compare and contrast the different tastes. I personally preferred the whites - but learned that I only needed a sip to wash it down. Dave and Ryan on the other hand were drinking the rest of what I left in my cup and were wasted! I bet both of them are hurtin' units this morning. :)
If you are ever in Seattle, or live here and are looking for a special treat, I highly highly recommend Elemental. The place is super small - and if you're not there by 5 pm to claim a table then you might as well find somewhere else to eat. They only have 5 tables, can accommodate two parties of 4, the rest two tops. But it is so worth every anxious minute you have when approaching, will we get a table tonight? Then you are wined and dined until 10pm or so - so make sure to bring good dinner conversation. And make sure you don't have to make any important decisions the next day. ;)