Sunday, November 1, 2009

The good kind of mystery meat

In San Francisco we're all interested in food and wine and we're always going on and on about farmer's markets and pinot noir and heirloom tomatoes and sustainably raised beef and so an event like the Mystery Dinner at Maverick is the perfect way to let us all show off and put us in our place at the same time.

The idea behind the Mystery Dinner (held on Halloween night, natch) is that you get 3 courses with wine pairings and you have to guess as many elements of each course as you can, along with the kind of wine. Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

(Before I go on, let me just throw in a little plug here for Maverick, a place we've been many times and which is truly one of the great, maybe a little underrated, restaurants in SF).

So you wanna know how badly I did? Bad. Let's review.

First course: Some kind of salad with a poached egg on top and some kind of greens and some other stuff.

What I guessed: Poached egg (duh), raddichio (total guess - I'm not even sure what raddichio is), rye croutons, and plantain.

What it actually was: Poached egg (yay!), rye croutons (yay!), red stem spinach, Maverick pancetta, roasted apples, apple cider vinagrette. There was pancetta in there? I didn't see any pancetta. And how do you mistake apple for plantain? I'm an idiot.

Wine guess: Sauvignon blanc.
Actual wine: Sauvignon blanc. I know my sauvignon blanc.

Second course: It was grilled fish.

What I guessed: My first thought was something like swordfish or tuna, but it wasn't tuna and didn't seem firm enough to be swordfish. So I guess grilled halibut, on risotto, with sprouts, and chili sauce.

What it actually was: Grilled swordfish. Damn! With shaved brussels sprouts (half-credit), crispy chanterelles (?), and sweet and sour sauce. It was delicious. They gave me credit for the sauce, which was nice.

Wine guess: Unoaked chardonnay.
Actual wine: Grenache blanc. Oh, sure, like I had a chance of getting that. I didn't even know there was such a thing as grenache blanc until last night. It was good, though!

Dessert course: Some kind of custardy thing.

What I guessed: Mint panna cotta, with candied walnuts and red currants.

What it actually was: Meyer lemon panna cotta, with candied walnuts and huckleberry compote. I SWEAR TO GOD it tasted minty.

Wine guess: Gewurtztraminer. It was really sweet, what do I know.
Actual wine: Pinot blanc. Again, I had an approximately zero percent chance of getting this.

In the end, The Sister and her bf tied and there was tiebreaker and I think he won. The winner at every table got a bottle of wine! That's nice. Anyway, tons o' fun.

Then we went home and watched TV and went to bed. I don't feel the Halloween thing so much any more, plus I was up til about 4:30 a.m. on Friday night about which less said the better.

ANYWAY, I'm off to beautiful exciting downtown Long Beach tomorrow for work. So we'll see what they're up to down there. Later.

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