Sunday, November 9, 2008

Who is this guy? (Part 3)

After years of designing and selling an award winning wine list at Casbah, and revving up our sales both at the bar and on the floor, the "powers that be" asked if I'd be adverse to the idea of moving to sister restaurant Soba/Umi. Soba is the Pan-Asian specialty restaurant of the BbRG, while Umi is, by far, the finest sushi bar/restaurant within a 300 mile radius. The argument has been made by regular and new guests alike, that Umi, with Executive Chef Mr. Shu, is one of the finest sushi restaurants in the country. I will leave that debate to the experts. Either way, I would say Umi is the finest restaurant, not only in BbRG, but in the city of Pittsburgh... and I've eaten at all of 'em.
After some personal contemplation, I decided I would give Soba/Umi a chance. I loved what I was doing at Casbah, but was also eager to learn a whole new cuisine.
Moving to Soba/Umi has required me to retrain my palate to find complimentary wine pairings for more brighter, crisper flavors from Asia, where my entire culinary experience up to this point had always been richer, heartier dishes inspired by French and Italian cuisine. I was anxious to test my ability, and learn new cooking styles and techniques from a part of the world that has it's own classic style of cooking that is completely outside the realm of anything I'd ever attempted, at home, before.
And here I stand today. Discovering new wines to compliment the lighter styles of cuisine I now have the pleasure of working with. At home cooking Thai, Japanese, Indian & Chinese cuisine. Discovering the wonderful worlds of soy, teryaki, ponzu, mirin, hoisin, tandoori... AND SAKE!

That's basically my background for reference... next I'll discuss exactly why my experience leads us to wine recommendations from yours truly... and then... we get to the good stuff!

No comments: