Here I was another lost soul having dinner. Not that dinner out is such a strange occurrence, but that I was to be found in an Asian style eatery. We were dining at the chain P.F. Chang’s. I go out of my way dining in most establishments, because of my concern for MSG (Mono-Sodium-Glutamate) which is a flavor enhancer that does havoc with my internal organs and system. To be honest, it is not just Asian restaurants, since the majority of catering halls seem to use it as well, consequently I usually eat before going to most weddings and similar functions, which does drive my Bride crazy, but she has gotten used to it.
P.F. Chang’s does not use this flavor enhancer, but I still tread lightly especially with foods that are out of my comfort zone. I feel safer since I have found out that the P.F. is for Paul Fleming of Fleming’s Steak House fame. My Bride was excited for the fact that she was going to eat there, as she normally goes there with some of her girlfriends. She also likes the fact that she is very adept at using chopsticks, and I am a heathen because I use a knife and fork. It was kind of amusing that she was guiding me through the menu, because she knows basically what I like and I don’t like and she was using mental algorithms to assist me. She decided that she was going to have the Hong Kong style Sea Bass with Asian mushrooms, asparagus in a ginger-coriander broth and she wanted brown rice. For me she suggested the Salt & Pepper Prawns with Chili peppers and chopped black beans, and they brought me a bowl of white rice, which I had no idea why, since the dish was dry. While I debated whether they were small prawns or kind of large shrimp, both dishes were very good. In fact I liked her Sea Bass, and we will probably go there again, because we have some gift cards to use up.
I guess now that I know that Paul Fleming is behind this restaurant, it explains the decent wine selection. My first inclination would be to select a bottle of Gewurztraminer, because there is a natural spice to the fruit that compliments the few dishes that I have had over the years. As I was reading the list of wines offered, I knew that I was going to go for a white wine, and then I saw something interesting that I did not expect. We were going to have a bottle of Laurenz V und Sophie “Singing” Gruner Veltliner 2013. This wine is from Kremstal, Austria and Kremstal is known basically for two grape varietals: Riesling, but they are famed for their Gruner Veltliner. This wine is made by a Father and Daughter venture, but the V in their name pays homage to the fact that they are the Fifth Generation of winemakers on their land. This wine is only fermented for a couple of months in Stainless Steel before bottling, which allows the fruit to shine in the finished product. They call it “Singing” because they claim that is what you will do after enjoying the wine, and while I did not do my repertoire of Cole Porter or Meredith Wilson, it was a good wine, and I understand that it is one of the major wines exported from Kremstal. So the next we go, I may get a bid more adventurous.