rather than a full review, you can just get the high points...
So, there we were, at the Inn at Essex in Vermont, as part of a tennis program. (5 days, 5 hours a day, that would make anyone pretty hungry and wanting a good meal...)
So, there are 2 restaurants - all cooking is done by students, as well as the serving in the "fine dining" restaurant - a casual one and a "fine dining" one. The first night in the "FD" one was relatively uneventful, although the service was mediocre. But have no fear, there was still wine humor to be had...
We ordered a Turley White Coat. I wanted to try it and had never had the chance. (I have tried it, now I can move on). well, in the first pour there was a bit of sediment, so I asked for it to be decanted. The look I received was truly priceless. It read something like this "What? You want a white wine decanted? from 2005? Are you totally off your rocker?" Fortunately he didn;t say any of this, you could jsut tell that he was thinking it, then did what we wanted.
Meanwhile, there were several others at our table who were convinced to have some wine, too, and wanted red. They were out of the one they ordered so that left them all fairly clueless. Fortunately, JC had just pronounced us Wine Geeks (after the whole decanting episode" so they say "why don;t you pick something for us". Huh? I just met you today. you don;t know what you want, how will I? So, I pick a Perrin and Fils Cotes du Rhone Villages and everyone is delighted with my choice.
Fast forward 2 nights... we had a bottle of Shane left in our bag from the NY part of our trip, so we thought the 2nd night in the "FD" restaurant we would bring it along. naturally, I had called and spoken with 2 different people and was told corkage was $20. Well, when we get there (we are now at a table of 15) we were told in no uncertain terms that corkage is illegal in Vermont, as they have a liquor license. So, we talk to the manager, who echos that.
On to the wine list... I pick a Turley Old Vine Zin, 2005. After about 10 minutes the waiter comes over and asks if I have a second choice. Here is how it goes:
MLV: Are you out of this?
DW (Dumbfounded waiter): I don;t know, but I have to go downstairs and check, so do you have a second choice just in case we may possibly be out of it?
MLV: No, please see if you have this. If not, we will pick a second choice. You can leave me the lsit in the meantime.
He comes back with the wine (the 2006 not 2005) and pours me a taste. Well, I take one sniff and know it is corked. I also take one look at the waiter and know that if it doesn;t cross my lips, there will be much drama in taking it back. Corked. New bottle. It was great, actually. And the one woman who was sharing, loved it too.
Lots of drama for no good reason. Overall, casdual restaurant much better (and they have paid staff).