Why wasn't I paying attention when friends told me about Ten Mercer? (Slap upside head). The interior is both classy and eclectic with dramatic liquor shelves that go to the ceiling and were said to have withstood our last big earthquake. I sat at the bar for one of the special and periodic wine tasting events. Tables on the main floor and in a loft looked pleasant as well.
The wine tasting event (reservations required) involved informative guidance from the vintner's representative, four extremely generous pours, and food pairings especially designed for each of three of these. It was useful and instructive to be able to taste the interaction of specific foods and preparations wirh each wine. Both the bartender and the owner introduced themselves to us when we arrived and freely answered questions throughout, so we felt particularly welcome and taken care of. Each pairing was just out of this world: There was a halibut pairing, one with duck, and the third with wild boar. I cannot tell you the specific preparations except to say that every morsel was fabulous (and was certainly far more food than I had expected.) Each dish involved much culinary creativity and skill, especially when you consider that each dish was created to set off the virtues of the matched wine. The chef has my deepest admiration.
I also had one of the "happy hour" plates beforehand-- a samosa with a fruit chutney, served with a green salad with an interesting and distinctive dressing. A companion had a heaping plate of french fries which, we were told, are generally fried in goose grease -- and that must be stellar. Happy hour glasses of wine (5$)are generous, and not limited to a single white and red, but rather, may be any wine you please.
Ten Mercer is a class act. If you prize good wines, remarkable culinary accomplishment, and an accommodating setting -- all reasonably priced, then pay attention and stop by Ten Mercer the next time you are in this part of town.
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