I will admit, sometimes the plethora of daily deals can be overwhelming and irrelevant to my interests, but my favorite deals I have partaken in are the culinary experiences.
Recently released, LivingSocial has created a deal, just for ‘foodies’ called Gourmet to offer something more than a discount on an entrée, but to truly explore by offering a extravagant culinary tasting menu, the best spirits or wine the restaurant has and additional perks bundled together. They’ve launched in Boston, Denver, Atlanta, D.C., San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon.
LivingSocial extends Gourmet invitations to its members that show an interest in food and experiencing new things through past purchases, however food connoisseurs that have not received an invitation and are interested in joining can also log on to livingsocial.com/gourmet and submit a request for admittance.
Denver’s first was at TAG in downtown Denver, in Larimer Square. The deal included six dishes, wine paired with each dish, a menu signed by Chef and Owner, Troy Guard and two tickets for $25 for TAG’s Raw Bar.
The menu itself was designed as Omakase, a Japanese phrase that means “it’s up to you,” which translated to the chefs of the day, choosing the menu. They called each dish an “experiment” and we happened to sit at the bar, facing into the kitchen so we could watch the chefs interact, laugh, call orders and cook with fervor.
We soon learned, this was a culinary competition as each of the chefs had come up with the dishes, so we kept note along the way.
Experiment 1: Patagonian Toothfish (also known as Chilean Sea Bass) over quinoa, snap peas with a chili paste butter.
Experiment 2: Australian Hiramasa that had a bite of horseradish and the crunch of daikon.
Experiment 3: Crispy Pork Belly with brussel sprouts, rutabaga, a kumquat marmalade beurre blanc sauce with a hint of ginger, alongside a kale apple salad.
Experiment 4: Smoked Salmon with hearts of palm, beurre blanc, vibrant purple cauliflower, and candied curried ginger and lemon on top. We suggested they bottle the preserves and sell them like candy.
Experiment 5: Colorado Lamb Loin in a veal demi-glaze, cippolini mushrooms, onion cooked in duck fat over purred butternut squash. This dish was rich and I wanted to lap up the butternut squash, drizzled in duck fat.
Experiment 6: Bread Pudding with salt caramel served alongside Boulder’s own Alchemy Ice Cream (they blend flavors for TAG). The specialty cocktail with this dessert was Stranahan’s Whiskey, muddled coffee grounds and simple syrup.
Next to us was a table of four, on a double date enjoying the Living Social Gourmet deal. The dinner is lengthy, and true dining without a hard end date to explore the food, taste the wine pairings and enjoy.
We picked our favorite dishes – mine was the Hiramasa with the Pork Belly as a close second – chatted with the chefs and discussed how they picked their dishes. The entire time their kitchen was filled with laughter and I loved interacting with the Chefs because their personalities were raw, real and untapped. Kudos to the team at TAG, we loved that our experience with Gourmet was with TAG!
These deals are definitely involved and average around $100, but I encourage you next time you see one to consider a special date night out or for visitors to show them a culinary exploration in a special way.
Find them: http://livingsocial.com/gourmet/