Monday, July 04, 2005

To Our Friends at Sumi!

I think Zagat's ratings are generally right on the money. I like that the ratings are an average of many people's opinions. (The only rating site I favor more than Zagat is Rotten Tomatoes, which provides movie ratings based on an average of critics' ratings). Aren and I found ourselves let down by Zagat this past Saturday when we visited House, a contemporary Asian restaurant in North Beach that is rated 26 for food, a rating equal to Chapeau's. We had read that the atmosphere is cramped and noisy, so we were prepared for a less than romantic evening. We weren't, however, prepared for the disappointing food. The food's main issue was overpowering, not-so-delicious sauces. Aren's black cod ended up tasting like wasabi, and my sea bass' flavor was spoiled by the salty-even-for-soy-sauce soy based sauce. The best part of our meal was definitely the apple crumb pie we had -- odd for an Asian place!

We originally had Sunday reservations at Jack Falstaff, the newest addition to the Plumpjack family (ie, Gavin's family). After our Saturday experience, I cancelled, wanting to go to a place I knew to be reliable and super-cozy -- Sumi. Aren and I have wine coming out of our ears, so we decided to bring a bottle to dinner, paying the very reasonable $15 corkage at Sumi. I had always been embarrassed to do the corkage thing in the past, as I was worried that it would be a slight to the sommelier. I was wrong! We brought the bottle of Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot
Clos de la Chapelle Duc de Magenta 1998 that we had picked up in France and made sure to offer some to our waiter. Our waiter offered a taste of his taste to his partner who was in the restaurant at the time. His partner turned out to be one of the restaurant's owners and an ex-winemaker. We spent a good part of the evening chatting with him and later Sumi about wine, restaurants, and real estate!

It was really a magical night. It was truly pleasurable to see how wine and the simple act of sharing can bring people together.


  • At October 18, 2005 1:27 PM, Anonymous Olivia said…

    I wasn't quite so disappointed with House after a late lunch there a few months ago, but was far from impressed and certainly didn't think it worthy of a 26. This seems to be a fairly common problem with the upper eschelons of fine dining, where ratings more often come from a one-off great experience with the restaurant and possibly even with that level of cuisine than from regular visits. I certainly didn't think La Folie, which I visited again last week, deserved only one point less than The French Laundry at a somewhat similar price...

    That said, do check out Jack Falstaff sometime. I'd love to hear what you think. I was impressed with some of our food there.

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