Adulting, I <3 Food

Faking Fancy

MrZ made reservations for Saturday at a restaurant downtown I’ve been dying to try. There are two seats by the window that look out on the square and he reserved one of those specific tables which was totally awesome. We got the wine list and ordered the only bottle of Riesling that we found on the menu. The waiter came to the table and “presented” the bottle to me. For those of you who have never experienced this (like myself), He kinda held it out to me over his arm exactly like I’ve seen them do on TV but for the LIFE of me I had no idea what I was supposed to do in response. My first instinct: Take it from him and say, “Thanks!” But, that felt wrong. My second instinct: Giggle because I had no idea what I was supposed to do. My final action: I just nodded. I was trying to nod like I was saying, “Thank you for showing me the label of this wine I just requested. I approved of the selection and my palette looks forward to the taste of this particular year.” I have a feeling it appeared to be more like, “Um. Yeah. Thanks. Pour it already, will ya?”

Luckily, we were the ONLY ones in the restaurant so no one was watching us possibly look like idiots. There was a couple that came in later and the man not only (a) requested a new glass after smelling the first one and being unsatisfied with it (he smelled the glass – is that normal?) but he also (b) requested that he pour the wine himself. I think he knew what he was doing. Either that or he is the champion of Fancy Fakers worldwide.

We ordered a cheese plate for an appetizer and I ate four cheeses I’ve never had before. I liked the Goat Cheese. Have you ever had Goat Cheese? It’s spreadable. And yummy. Don’t you feel informed now? The plate came with slices of apples that MrZ decided must be to “cleanse the palette” between cheeses. I was impressed with this deduction and wished he had realized it before I tasted all four right in a row.

I ordered lobster tail when I’ve had a cheap restaurant before and never liked. But – I felt the desire to try it again (and oddly it was one of the cheaper things on the menu) and it was SO GOOD. I also finished off dinner with a cup of coffee and Irish Cream which was also SO GOOD. They used a French Press (MrZ had to explain that one to me) to brew/serve the coffee. If I’ve seen that before, I don’t remember. Totally cool.

All-in-all it was loads of fun. We spent more on that dinner than we have on all other Eating Out Excursions so far this year, but it was worth it. I think we pulled off The Fancy pretty well. Except for that one moment I slipped on the tile in front of the bathroom. Luckily, MrZ was the only one who saw me, but I think he had one of those, “Oooohhhh Noooooo” moments fearing I was going to crash to the ground. I caught myself though before the full collapse happened. I’m nothing if not a skilled tripper.

16 thoughts on “Faking Fancy”

  1. You’re just too freaking cute Miss Zoot (he! I’m a poet)!

    Nodding was the correct response to him showing you the bottle, you’re just affirming that the Sommelier (waiter type person who brings you the wine) has brought you the right bottle. Dude was sniffing the class to make sure there were no lingering smells in the glass that can change the taste of the wine (dude was HARD CORE).

    Love goat cheese, LURVE. Have 2 things of it in my fridge at home. Cheese plates are a nice little thing to do for a romantic night at home that require no cooking and little effort… some cheese, crackers, grapes, apples whatever fruit and a bottle of wine.

    Sounds like a great great night! You guys should do that more often (who needs to pay the mortgage anyway?)!!

  2. I don’t know about the palette cleansing properties of the apples; when we had it, we used them as you would bread. Stinky cheese on green apples is one of the best combos in the world! We have it for weekend breakfast all the time. Did the waiter tell you that all of those cheeses were locally made? The goat cheese is from a farm in Ardmore!

    Goat cheese is, indeed, the shiznit. One of my top 5 favorite dishes that Mike makes is chicken breast topped with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. We’ll have to make it for you guys some time.

    Glad you guys had fun, and I’m super glad that MrZ reserved one of the window tables. What a great view, huh?

  3. That was the best restaurant review I’ve ever read. I think there is a new like of work calling you.

    What I want to know though is this: How did you manage to continue with the fancy facade and manage to snap that great photo? Very covert.

  4. I love goat cheese. I always have some in my fridge.

    Glad you had fun and enjoyed lobster for the first time.

  5. Excellent choice of wine! My wife and I had the fine luck to try the Trefethen Dry Reisling during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival last year. I personally like reisling in general, but my wife isn’t such a big fan. But the Trefethen – we couldn’t get enough!

    Oh yeah, good choice on the goat cheese too!

  6. Glad ya’ll had a great fancy date night out! I have only experienced that wine presenting thing a few times and it is awkward. I always feel like just saying, “hey you can totally pass this step…we’ll drink it straight from the bottle if necessary!” 😉

    And yea you for not falling on your booty Miss Fancy!

  7. i spent a lot of my life believing that i didn’t like goat cheese, just because i believed it would be gross.
    when i finally tried it, it was like a while new world.

    i swear, life is not complete without goat cheese.
    (just think of all the fun you can have…goat cheese plus yummy fresh market stuff…mmm)

    oh, and that wine sniffer guy probably did know ‘the rules,’ but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a tool.
    when he requested a new bottle, that means they have to waste the entire first bottle–and probably just because he wanted to look cool.

    alcohol abuse of this kind should not be tolerated.

    glad you had fun! it sounds like it was a great night.

  8. Goat cheese is actually very good for you, too. Carrabas has a “Chicken Bryan” which is the exact dish Michelle quoted up there.. it is my, hands-down, favorite meal in the history of food.

    So.. where did y’all go?

  9. Mmm I love goat cheese ever so much. I tend to use it often in cooking – in a “fancy” salad, or baked with chicken. 🙂

  10. I also love goat cheese and have found it to be excellent with some cherry salsa on it. Couldn’t be simpler. Put the cheese on a plate, pour the cherry salsa over it and smear it on crackers. Excellent.

  11. I absolutely have to agree with everyone… Goat cheese is awesome and one of my favoritest things ever!!

    It can be intimidating when going through the whole “wine thing”. You will soon be an old pro! Yeah, I have to agree that the guy was hard core. And most likely showing off. I know MANY serious wine snobs and I have never seen any single one of them do that. Ever. That is one thing I have never cared for. I used to be a waiter and I abhor show-offy wine types. It should NOT be like that. No wonder so many people are intimidated by it. It is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience. I hope it was like that for you. Because then the waiter did his job correctly. Okay, I am done being preachy!

    Y’all should totally go out to dinner more often. I should also heed my own advice and make my husband take me somewhere fancy!!

    Hey, what did y’all have for dinner?

  12. This tapas restaurant here in chicago has the greatest baked goat cheese in marinara sauce EVA. I imagine it would be pretty easy to make, and it’s great on little pieces of baguette.

    It probably goes something like this:
    Step 1: Pour marinara in the baking dish
    Step 2: Plop goat cheese in middle
    Step 3: Bake

  13. Goat cheese and I have been having a torrid love affair for years now. Oh, that stuff is so damn delicious, although I think brie cheese will always be my favorite.

    (Apples and brie, incidetally, go together…lots of cheeses are complimented by apples)

  14. Some people seem to like to make a big deal over the wine ritual, so I think most good waiters will put on a bit of a show at least to start with. You can play along as much or as little as you like, it’s your dinner, but basic ideas turn out to be pretty simple:

    They show you the bottle, you check to make sure it’s what you ordered. After all, mistakes do happen, and you don’t want to open a $300 bottle if all you wanted was a nice table red. (Or vice versa!) As Meg said, a nod or “Yes” is all you need to respond with.

    I’ve never had a waiter swap out a glass but maybe he knows something about his glassware or his dishwasher that you don’t. Whatever.

    When you’re offered a sample to taste, you’re just checking to make sure the wine hasn’t gone bad or isn’t grossly different from what you expected. Another nod or “Yes” is all you really need to respond with. I’ve seen people doing the whole wine tasting thing, swirling and sniffing and whatever. Save all that for after you’ve accepted the bottle, don’t make everyone else wait for you!

    Sounds like you had a fun dinner.

  15. Eurgh, they offered the bottle ot me to test last time I was at a restaurant too (day after Valentines Day). I thought they were only meant to do that for new bottles, not if you were just ordering a freaking GLASS like I was. I’ve done bartending so at least I knew what he was doing, because otherwise I TOTALLY wouldn’t have known haha. And I was just like “Its fine! I don’t care!” I’m all style.

  16. Heee, awesome. For my birthday we went to this kinda pricey european bistro place that also served feta, but I’m a greek food piggie anyway (BTW, if you’ve not had greek food before and you liked the feta, GET THEE TO A GREEK RESTAURANT WOMAN.). I didn’t mind it, but Cam couldn’t stand it. Silly boys.

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