Here’s the scene from this Monday evening. You’ve been invited by someone. When you get there, there’s one more guest besides the host. You exchange hellos and the usual courtesies.
A few minutes later, you get a glass of red wine. You take one sip. And being the butter-fingers that you are, you spill the wine. Not that you were drunk and were creating a ruckus.
You apologize. The other guest acknowledges. The host is busy cleaning their shoes and doesn’t acknowledge.
The host says in a not so polite tone, “That’s not a good thing there, I can tell you that.”
You apologize to the other guest again for accidentally spilling wine on their skirt and camera bag, but you are caught off guard on how to respond to the host.
One more guest joins in.
Apparently, white wine or a beer would’ve been alright as it wouldn’t have spoilt dresses or shoes or bags, but red wine! How could you?! Yes, that’s what you’re told.
The host tells you loudly enough that you have to let go of the red wine. That you are already being ‘accommodated’ for being a vegetarian and you cannot spill red wine again. So if you must, get rose or a white or beer, but leave the red.
And one more time – the same thing – red wine spill, vegetarian food, no more red wine for you. In quite a rude manner.
You stoically sit there, maintaining eye contact with the host while the host is telling you all that, thinking of whether to apologize again, or to politely excuse yourself and leave. But then you tell yourself that you haven’t behaved badly and there’s nothing you did wrong on purpose and therefore you there’s no reason for you to feel ashamed for being dealt with in an impolite manner.
You do not let their (mis)behavior bother you and you continue with the evening in a calm and composed manner. And you do accommodate their request of no more red wines! You wonder why!?
You didn’t ask to be invited. You were invited and the host was completely aware that you’re a vegetarian. Did you do good or bad?
I, along with a few fellow foodies, were invited to a press dinner this Monday at the The Malt House FIDI. This is a relatively new (opened in May 2015), neat, clean and an expansive American tavern / pub.
Owned by Darren Shore and Eoin Foyle, the place serves classic American comfort food. And as big as the space are their drinks offerings – over 200 American whiskies, 40 draft beers and a variety of wines and a rotating list of historically themed cocktails.
Everything I tried tasted good and flavorful – from the mushroom truffle bites to the manchego stuffed crepes and everything in between. The in-between included a light potato soup, a cheese platter, truffle fries, a quinoa risotto and guacamole.
Executive Chef Armando Avila (STK and 5 Napkin Burger), who we got to meet, I found quite passionate. He was very nice and spared time enough to come to the table with each tasting courses to explain it to us in details. With a new pastry chef, Francisco Gonzalez, their desserts are made in house.
Here’s a breakdown of what I ate.
Mushroom Bites – Duxelles over toasted bread, topped with truffle aioli. The duxelles was packed with flavors.
Soup of the Day – a light potato soup. I mention light because potato soups usually aren’t light.
Cheese Platter – Ossau-iraty (sheep’s), taleggio and camembert (soft, cow’s milk) along with quince jam, grapes, strawberries and bread.
Truffle Fries – Hand cut, with their house special sauce and a bleu cheese sauce.
The house special was a mix of herbs, pickles, mayonnaise and ketchup that I quite liked. The fries were very good. Crisp until the end, as we found our way to the bottom of that bag.
Regular Fries – that came with their burger.
Guacamole – It was different. It had onions and garlic chopped in, but not tomatoes. Chef Avila mentioned that’s how it should be done. And it was topped with this pipicha herb which had a distinctive flavor – nice and refreshing.
Quinoa – Simple flavors of the parmesan cheese made this dish taste really good. And quite healthy, I might add, with red quinoa, peppers,forest mushrooms and peas. I am not big on either risotto or quinoa, but this was very good. The quinoa was cooked well and had a bite to it.
Manchego Cheese Stuffed Crepese – Served with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Cheesecake – Simple classic New York style.
And here’s plenty of pictures, because they speak more than words 🙂