I sit here writing on the eve of the fourth chef’s menu that Dana and I will enjoy together (dinner reservations for 8pm tomorrow evening). I am most excited and will certainly fill in the kind folks here over the next few days.
Our first tasting menu was about 4 years ago. It was a surprise for Dana’s birthday. We had both talked about it and had separately wanted to try a tasting menu long before we reacquainted and started to date. I had made a previous plan with a friend that we would save our pennies and eat at Susur together if we weren’t dating anyone within 18 months – Dana and I met almost 12 months later and it would be another 18 months before we got to try a tasting menu.
We shared a 15 course meal which came with wine pairings. Dinner was a 4-5 hour event with seperate service, somalier and private conversations with the chef who prepared our meal in front of us. The restaurant was shaped like a horseshoe. We sat side-by-side overlooking the sunken kitchen and could see our meal cooked within feet of where we sat. Our raised perch allowed romantic and private interlude and we could invite the chef into the conversation by simply raising our tone.
Dana and I had different dishes and enjoyed different servings and sampled 30 dishes and paired beverages (portions of both were small but delightful). It was my first taste of gourmet poutine and also of a chinatto red wine – a sweet and peppery desert wine that tastes similar to Brio Chinatto. I still remember many of the courses, the impeccable service and the constant stream of surprises like it was yesterday.
The bill was extravagant (still is by our standards) and the memory was sharp and delightful. We vowed to do this type of thing again with one constraint – when we started forgetting individual meals of this scale or confusing memories of these types of events, we would stop. Tomorrow will be tasting menu #4 and we continue to build our memory so there’s still some room for more of these experiences. Alinea and Susur followed our initial experience (name of restaurant will be revealed in the next paragraph) and BiteMe! (Thuet) is going to be #4.
It was an odd bit of news when I received an email from our friend Nat informing us that, after 6 years, Perigee closed it’s doors in the Distillery. 6 years of great food and great service have given way to high prices, a declining high-end food market and slow economic times. Perigee was famed for it’s open kitchen and great food.
Perigee, you will always be our first and hold a special place in our heart!