Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If you know what red orach is, you're already ahead of me

It was Halloween again last night, and you know what that means! Throwing together a poorly-thought-out costume, getting knee-walking drunk, and having terrible sex with a stranger! No, not really. Well, not for us. For us, it means the Mystery Dinner at Maverick.

Longtime readers will recall that I also attended this same event in 2009 and wrote about it then, but if for some reason you haven't committed all my posts to memory for the last 2 years (and, in that case, what the fuck is wrong with you?), here's the basic idea. You get three courses, each with wine pairings. You have to guess as many components of each course as you can. The person who gets the most right at each table wins a bottle of wine. There are three separate dinners, so for a 4-top (like us last night), only 2 people will have the same dinner.

ANYWAY. Sounds easy, right? WRONG.

The first course was clearly some kind of pâté thing. There was some yellowish sauce and little bits of some other stuff. I guessed goose liver pate, candied pineapple, and pancetta. HA HA HA WAS I EVER WRONG. It was foie gras with persimmon, chestnut, tobacco (!!!), oats, and marigolds. Tobacco! WHAT THE FUCK.

It came with some kind of very sweet wine. I guessed muscat. It was Pacherenc Du Vic Bilh. OH COME ON GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK.

The second course had some kind of little disk in the middle and other vegetable-y stuff scattered around it. I thought it was maybe a duck terrine. It tasted vaguely duck-y. WRONG AGAIN. It was "Red Orach Sformato." I know what "red" means, but I don't know what any of that other stuff is. As it turns out, "red orach," "also called Red Orach, Mountain Spinach, or French Spinach, is an annual leaf vegetable with a salty, spinach-like taste." That's right, I ate a vegetarian entree and thought it was duck terrine. FUCKING GENIUS.

The wine was a pinot noir. I guessed cabernet sauvignon. What can I say, it tasted like a cab.

Dessert course. Some kind of pudding thing, a cookie, and some nuts. I guessed pomegranate tapioca. It did have pomegranate seeds in it, but it was pistachio pudding. The wine was served in a little dessert wine glass JUST TO THROW YOU OFF because it was fucking CHARDONNAY. At this point, I had given up and just written down "I don't know." Sad.

My takeaway from this is that red orach sformato is a vegetarian dish you could serve to carnivores and get away with. And that it's a mind fuck to serve chardonnay in a little dessert wine glass. Needless to say, I didn't win.

Oh and then I got woken up at 1:30 this morning by some guy in the building that faces our bedroom window who was out on his back stair YELLING INTO HIS CELL PHONE IN SOME UNIDENTIFIABLE LANGUAGE that must be some Eastern European thing because he looks like a Russian gangster and it sounds like this:


And it was weird because it wasn't inflected at all. Every word had the same stress, I mean. Weird. Anyway, I wanted to go out there and tell the guy to shut the fuck up but (A) that would require getting out of bed and putting clothes on and (B) I didn't especially want Sergei to go all Eastern Promises on me, so I let him finish up his beheading threat/arms sale/extortion conference call in peace.

I was going to write a whole post about people should just be more fucking considerate of each other but now I'm tired of talking about this.


Tamagosan said...

I kind of wonder about the people that did guess any of that stuff right.

Stephen said...

I'm coming to believe that all consideration is checked at the city limits. From the neighbor who fills all the building's trashcans herself, so no one else can dispose of anything, to the endless stream of people honking their horns at 7 a.m. to tell their passengers to come out (instead of getting out of the goddamned car and ringing the doorbell, or calling on a cell, or whatever), to the hearty shouting while walking down the residential street at 2:00 a.m., to the unpickedup dog waste lining the city's busiest pedestrian routes, everyone is an asshole. It is impossible for anyone to think of anything beyond themselves, beyond now. Am I going all Travis Bickle?

Stoney said...

There are inconsiderate people everywhere. It just so happens that in the city, the nearest inconsiderate person is probably in closer proximity.

Dan said...

"Every word had the same stress" = Slavic language (as you guessed). Slavs don't communicate via intonation; they just use varying degrees of grumpy disaffectedness.

Jessica said...

@ Dan: Is it possible to be Slavic without knowing it? Asking for a friend.