Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Surprisingly Good Culinary Find

My relationship with tapas has been strange over the years. I love food! Anyone who knows me, or knows my family, knows I am all about food. I love textures, and smells, and “weird” stuff, and experimenting. But when I had tapas, a few times before, I have always been disappointed. You know: like finally meeting the movie star you dreamed of always marrying, but then you discover he farts over dinner, and writes “their” instead of “there” all the time! Just … pretty, and painfully disappointing at the same time.

So, every time someone suggests tapas to me, I cringe! I am going: “Great! Another place that sells grass and a mushroom with a squirt of ketchup for $10 a plate!”. I am always meeting that invite with “Thanks, but can we go to this burger joint instead, please?!”.

So, tapas have always been something I could easily pass up, until tonight. Thanks to a dear friend, I had some gift certificates to Rim Tapas, in downtown Greensboro. The place boasts to be also a wine bar, so I invited my wine friends to share the experience with me, and what an experience it was!

We all went in thinking the food will be insufficient and pretentious, and the wine overpriced and crappy. But we had a blast! A blast of a time, and a blast of flavor in our mouths, as well!

We took advantage of the “two for $10 by 6:30PM” special, and we ordered 4 appetizers for just $20. Our orders were: Savannah Crab and Artichoke Dip with Pecorino, NC Mountain Trout With Blue Corn Crust, Soy Ginger Chicken and Sweet Chili Shrimp on Crispy Peanut Noodle Cake. We also split a bottle of German Riesling, which is usually our wine of choice: a “lighter style white”, as it’s listed in the menu.

Everything was amazing! Every dish had a sophistication and a richness about it that is hard to explain! Every dish had more than one texture, and more than one flavor: soft, and gooey, and sweet and spicy and tart all mixed into one bite!

I felt like my mouth was traveling from the NC mountains to Japan, and China, Thailand, and through Mexico in-between … with a stop in the Louisiana swamps. And the sizes of these tapas were not your usual “two leaves and a mushroom” fair, either. They were decent size appetizers, to say the least! The trout was almost an inch thick fillet, with a whole fried egg on top of. The dip was in an honest-to-God dip dish, not some ramekin pulled out from Lilliput! Surrounded by a couple of handfuls of chips – not some kind on miniature nuggets!

We declared in the end than a couple of appetizers per person with a glass of wine once in a while might just be what the doctor ordered for unwinding after a long day.

And I didn’t say anything about the owners’ hospitality skills, but they were great! Not bothersome, and you got just enough attention to feel like they wanted you there, and they wanted you happy. The wait staff was still rusty, but I’ll be forgiving, and allow them time … to grow! But, honestly, who needs a friendly waitress, when you’ve got an artist and a taste demigod for a chef?!

It was truly a unique and very rewarding experience! I will not sneeze at tapas anymore, and that’s a promise! I will just pick them more carefully from now on. But I do know that Rim (under new management!) is one place I will be returning to! If not for the tapas (try to twist my arm), then for being the only restaurant in Greensboro that I know of that has Moscato on their wine list! Sure, it’s $14 for half of a bottle, but you can never pay too much for The Nectar of The Gods, can you?! And every once in a while a gal is entitled to some nectar!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ALINA! You should send this to SOMEONE to publish as a restaurant review. WONDERFULLY written. It's 7:20 am and I'm salivating for tapas and Riesling!! I try to wait until at LEAST 9:00am for such thoughts!!

Although--I do occasionally confuse there with their when I'm in a hurry and spell check (of course) doesn't catch it!! However, I absolutely DO NOT fart ever. ;-)

Mary L (couldn't get my login right)