Monday, December 19, 2011

POP UP Traveling Table

I have been to quite a few STLwinegirl Traveling Table events but this one was definitely the most unique since it was done in an “underground dinner” style! Labeled as a “POP UP” Traveling Table, every few days as the event got closer and closer, STLwinegirl would post hints on Facebook and the event website. All we knew was that the dinner would be a preview for a new Asian-Latin-influenced restaurant somewhere downtown and we would be rewarded with a free Cocktail Club membership!

When I was first told the location, I immediately went to Google Maps to see if there were any restaurants in the area and a SanSai appeared to be the closest. I figured it fit the “Asian” theme but wasn’t sure where the Latin part fit in. When I arrived at the address, I did go through the doors of a SanSai but this one was decorated with candlelit tables and black tablecloths!

While waiting for everyone to arrive, STLwinegirl, Angela Ortmann, was pouring three types of sake for us to taste while we snacked on edemame.

Once we were seated, it was revealed to us that the SanSai locations in Webster Groves and downtown would transition to an upscale restaurant called Nigori, serving Asian/Latin fusion, but only at night. I’m not quite sure how that will work but I admit I am very curious! Especially after getting a preview taste!

I would love to say the sushi was my favorites since we were served a Toyko Roll as well as Salmon Nigiri, paired with lighter and sparkling wines of course. Yet, the meatier dishes really were outstanding. Duck Confit on a bed of white rice and then three individual tenderloin chunks served with a hoison sauce for dipping. These courses were both well paired with red wines, and the best wine of the night goes to the Chinon. (I hope to find out more information!)

I suppose the best example of fusion came in the second pairing when tuna tartare was delicately placed on tortilla chips.

Last but not least, the dessert course consisted of three donut holes with a sugary coating and came with a decadent glaze sauce for dipping. I tried to cover every inch of the donuts with the glaze and finally in the end, I just had to use my finger to mop it up.

The evening finished with prizes handed out to those attendees who brought a gift card donation to a local women’s shelter. I won another set of wine glass charms with a fruit theme!

I have included the menu for the night as well.

Resources:

STLwinegirl = http://www.stlwinegirl.com/

SanSai Japanese Grill = http://www.sansaijapanesegrill.com/

FEAST magazine review = FEAST Article: New Japanese/Mexican Fusion Spin on SanSai in Works