|Champagne dinner for a deal|
As the daily coupon deals begin to flood our in-boxes, the companies are working on differentiating themselves. LivingSocial recently expanded to include a new offer it's calling Gourmet, which is described as "an invitation-only collection of culinary experiences." LivingSocial is launching its Gourmet series of dinners in six cities, including Minneapolis. The company offered to host the Hot Dish at one of its inaugural events in return for some feedback. We attended, at the company's expense (tickets are typically $100 or more), a five-course dinner held at Urban Eatery in Minneapolis featuring Veuve Cliquot champagne.
What did that entail?
|Smoked duck confit flatbread with Boursin cheese|
We were seated communally in the back area of the restaurant. The first glass of champagne was light and crisp with green apple notes. Our first dish was a flatbread topped with Boursin cheese, roasted grapes, and a house-made smoked-duck confit. We dubiously eyed the "Local" proclamation on Urban Eatery's signage as we sipped the champagne and mulled the garlicky, cream cheese choice.
Courses were carefully paced, and a horde of servers circled the room, refilling water glasses and tending to guests' needs.
The second course was a Dragsmith Farms salad paired with a fig tart. The third course was seared tuna with a creamy, rich parsnip puree flecked with black truffles, paired with a vintage that was so hearty it was unexpected from a champagne. It handily stood up to the richness of the puree and a dark, tart drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
Our final course was a supple goat cheese flan topped with apricots. Our table mates murmured over how attentive the staff had been, while others simply sat back and savored.
The Gourmet concept is still in the early stages, so the web page isn't yet readily available, but for more information about upcoming events, the LivingSocial Gourmet website can be found here