Friday, November 20, 2009

The Perfect Pair

Probably one of the most expensive meals I have ever had was my recent trip to Momofuku Ko here in Manhattan. I had been blessed with an offer to swipe someone’s dinner reservation (which is not easy to obtain in the slightest). The excitement built steadily as the day approached. I had heard wondrous, legendary tales of how good the food was at this restaurant, and was eager to see if the bar had been set appropriately high.

I sat and began the 10 course tasting, relenting through one dish after another. The ingredients of the meal were exquisite. The flavors - genuine and bold. And the ambiance was unparalleled. Though alone, these pieces would have been worthy of acclaim in their own right, the combination of these pieces harmonized into a more grand masterpiece. Such a well thought out, almost poetic progression of flavors, textures and ingredients deserves praise and awe for the difficulty to weave such a perfect tapestry was only out done by its holistic simplicity.

But something was missing. That pocket square in a bespoke suit jacket. The staccato in a masterpiece symphony. That subtle dramatic pause in an award winning soliloquy. Something needed to be the propellant that shot this experience from great to eternally memorable.

And then there was wine

Wine, much like women, has the power to compliment a dish and elevate an experience into the ethereal. Wine can be the nightcap you've sought all week. It can be the gentle touch after a long day at work. It can be there for you in ways you couldn't even conceive you needed.

This is why the Italians do food so well. They know a dish, much like a person, cannot be complete without the partner that makes it better, that takes it to a new height of sensory experience and teaches all who encounter this pairing a deeper appreciation for themselves and their universe. Hence, why their wines have been historically vinified to only be their best when taken with food. Most wines can placidly exist next to a plate, forcing one to rationalize its right to be there. But a special wine – the right wine – can be the reason a meal replaces all priorities in your life, and becomes the memory of a lifetime.

The thing that put this meal above all else; the aspect that made me commit to elevating this experience above all else so far; the juno se qua;

Was the wine. In each pairing, the perfect combination vitis vinifera and gastromic creativity. To you Madam Vinifera, I salute. You are as beautiful as you are elusive.

The UE


Courtney said...

ahh..Momofuku Ko was soo good. I went in Spring of 2008, I wonder if the menu has changed significantly.

The wine pairings were quite excellent, I do agree...especially their liberal use of the term wine (Sake?)

I also didn't eat for like 2 days after.

lemnada said...

@ Courtney: I think they change the menu on a seasonal basis, so it's highly possible that it's a variation on the theme...

Anyone interested in me getting the Bo Ssam Resos?