Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Big Three at McCrossens

The big three being, of course, wine, cheese and food. It's kind of awkward because technically cheese counts as food. So it's really more Wine & Food, two ways. But that's awkward too. So why don't we put the semantic issue that I started on the back burner and move forward. A few weeks back LW and I flirted with the idea of going to Modo Mio. LW wanted a nice meal to soothe her nerves before the great Miss Philly darts competition in which she would compete the following weekend. Modo Mio is a a perfect dining experience for such circumsances. But reservations can be hard to come by, especially when one forgets to make them. Meanwhile McCrossen's was doing it's monthly cheese/wine/food event. I haven't been to one in a while and I don't think LW had been either, so that became the new plan. LW's friend CY and his gf also joined us.

The pros to this event are many, and include the educational value of learning about new cheeses and wines from knowledgeable curators like Rocco and Lauren. Other pros include getting a sampling of what's going on in the kitchen, and in this instance I must say that T. seemed to be in fine culinary spirits and was, literally, going the whole hog. In a complete lapse of all things useful, I didn't actually document it...but there was a whole pig on display and it was a thing of beauty. The cons of the event are minimal but worth noting. Sometimes they start considerably later than scheduled, which in times past have led to us sitting at a table for a good 20 to 30 minutes before anything 'pops off,' having declined the chance to order a drink to get us through the wait. In the more recent events this has been less of an issue in part due to the addition of a 'welcome wine.' That way we have something to sip on while waiting for the true start. The second issue is the tricky matter of timing that results from the pro of having two passionate people willing to go to each and every table and give you a description of the wine or cheese in front of you. It's really great on the one hand because you do learn a lot. On the flip side, if the event is full, this means that Lauren and Rocco have to walk around to many, many tables. This often results in the cheese being entirely consumed or the wine drained before they can get to you and help you pick up some of the finer qualities of either. I wouldn't want them to stop coming around, and there is no way to make two of both of them in order to have it happen at a snappier pace. So while it is sometimes disappointing, I'm not really sure what the solution would be. I can't find my cheat sheet of what the different courses were, so here are some photographs.
Boquerones etc.

Risotto etc.
Paté etc. This was perhaps my favorite. I do love me my cornichons.
A complex cheese.
My second helping of pork. So good.
This was quite a good event, all timing talk aside. One of the red wines was particularly delicious and is in large part responsible for the loss of my cheat sheet...last weekend I went to the country and brought the sheet with me so I could ask the wine and liquor store people if they had the wine in question...they didn't and then I lost the sheet. At $32, this remains one of the best 'bang for your buck' tasting deals in the city.

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