c o u n t e r  s e r v i c e

Issue Five: Pairings

Indulge: A night inspired by Scher's "Untitled"

David Scher // “Untitled” // 2010 // Oil on Linen // 60x84 Inches

David Scher // “Untitled” // 2010 // Oil on Linen // 60x84 Inches

I have been obsessed with the idea of pairing for some time. From my understanding, pairings invoke this intellectual question and answer between a dish and a drink.  Or a dish and a something. Putting two things side by side, essentially, wherein both will still stand strong, and complement (if not elevate) the other. These calls and responses can be a classic pairing that are rooted in no real taste evaluation (see: coffee and donuts, pizza and beer), or based, almost to a fault, in reason and taste. Given the salinity and fattiness, use of thyme and sage, we can reason that a 2004 Chenin Blanc from Anjou… It gets exciting and tiring, depending on who you ask.

I haven’t been obsessed with pairing food and drink, specifically. I think that is all cute and whatnot, but more broadly, I’ve been curious about the whole eating experience and how it all pairs with each other.  For me, when we talk about meals and food and restaurants, we are now talking about the experience of eating. No longer are we simply judging a meal on how good it tastes, but we also have to talk about how the presentation was, the lighting, the music, the aesthetic of our surroundings.

We talk about the menu and how it is arranged, how it is given to us (verbal, hardbacked menu, written on our tables for us as a more “genuine” experience?). We talk about the wine list and hope that they have that one bottle on there that we’ve had before so we feel rooted, secured, anchored in the place that we’re in. We look at how the entire space, atmosphere, menu, wine, music, uniforms, are all paired together.

So, you see, I am interested if the lighting pairs well with the steak. Or if the artwork on the walls is a compliment to the house cocktail list. Or if the uniform, or lack of uniform, pairs with the playlist (for the love of god no more The Beatles k thanks byyyyyyye).

In having a night that pairs well with itself, it gives security to us to talk about anything, to think about anything, to boast and bathe in the night and make it ours. We don’t have to think about how the music's too loud or food is over-seasoned or for the love of god WHY don’t they have a damn bottle of Muscadet for these oysters. We can just sit back and ostensibly, trust.

IMO, Trust is what the experience strives for, pines for, lusts after. Trust opens us up to the fact that we don’t worry about the next step of the meal, and we can be all about that flourless chocolate cake and Macvin du Jura and be too loud at the bar, dinner table, booth for six set for two.

In this issue, we dove right into the idea of a experiential pairing.

We asked some incredible minds around one painting, chosen by the LOVELIEST Bronwyn Keenan up at the Met, and set out to make an entire evening based around David Scher’s “Untitled.” Below you’ll see our menu, created by Aidan O’Neal with a dessert by Amelia Telc, and wine pairings by Matthew Kudry, designed by Mary Eannarino. When you click through to the website, there will be ALL THE PAIRINGS and explanations, with a cocktail fit for KINGS by Kelvin Uffre, a playlist by Moses Archuleta, and an outfit selection by Brandon Giordano of James Veloria and florals by the loveliest Mindy Cardozo of Asphodel Floral. This night is about luxury and lavish beauty.

Indulge in this extravaganza.

Intro by Josh Hamlet

Issue 5 Contributors