My justification (bear with me... the justifying is for my sake) is that we had a different experience at Book Bindery tonight than we've had on other visits. We always knew the the Tasting Room at the Almquist Family Vinters was there, we just never really had time or a ton of interest in visiting.
Tonight, we arrived almost 30 minutes early for our reservation in B's hope that we would be able to sit at the bar and he would have some bacon popcorn. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the bar was already packed. The host suggested we go next door to the Tasting Room while we waited for our table.
I love space that pays its own rent. Restaurant bars, busy working kitchens, any place where there is serious action going on in a space that still manages warmth and hospitality. The kitchen at Book Bindery is one example of this I've mentioned before. The Tasting Room is another. You literally stand at a bar in the middle of this giant warehouse, fully operational winery and taste wine.
I think wine might be my next interest. I know virtually nothing about it. I know basically what I like and not much more. We spent some time tonight, though, chatting with the wine maker and trying different wines. B only tried a couple since he's not a fan of the reds. I definitely enjoyed the conversation. It's such an interesting process. We actually made two trips to the Tasting Room... one before dinner and one after. We eventually walked away with three bottles.
Dinner at Book Bindery was outstanding as always. I think B summed it up best when he said "They really don't do anything wrong here." It's all wonderful. Tonight we had the pork belly and apple salad, scallops, Fois Gras, Mishima "Flavor Curve," lamb shank, Pot de Creme and Beignets. That's a gross abbreviation of all the awesome details in the food. Check out their menu. You won't be disappointed, but you'll probably be hungry.