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Everest letdown

sanglier | | Sep 6, 2011 09:43 AM

Well, I should've left well enough alone. I went to Everest for the first time last year, largely because I'd heard about the legendary wine list. It delivered in every way, especially the helpful, knowledgeable sommelier (who I suspect was the actual wine director). The food, the view, the wine, the service...couldn't have asked for a better experience.

We knew this year's trip could easily not live up to our prior experience, but went anyway. This time, the food was good as ever, but the service was stale (by our waiter, I should say; the other support staff was much more enthusiastic). But by far the biggest issue I had was with the wine service.

The first person identified himself as "a" sommelier, and said that if I had such specific questions about vintages, grand cru Alsace vineyards, producers, etc., I should talk to his colleague. She was most pleasant and had knowledge, to be sure, but frankly seemed more interested in steering me AWAY from the bulk of the treasures from Alsace: white burgundy, red burgundy, etc. "Which riesling would go best with the veal course?" I asked. "Actually, I'd go with a white burgundy" she replied. Well, I'd had a magnificent '83 grand cru riesling with that same course last year. When I asked which one might go well, she said, paraphrasing: "Actually, I wouldn't drink one older than the 2000 vintage." WHAT??!! A list full of treasures from '83, '89, '76, and she made that comment? I knew I was on my own at that point.

So: while good, to spend that kind of money at Everest and not get top-flight wine service was a big letdown. I doubt Mr. Joho would approve of diners being touted off the wines that made his list so rightly famous.

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