When was the last time you sat down to experience a meal? Not just eat, but fully appreciate a dining experience? We’re often so busy that we don’t take the time to stop and really taste, much less enjoy, our meals. PSFK was recently invited to a dinner that not only forced us to slow down and appreciate the meal, but truly revel in the art of dining, and the complexities of our own palates.
Purity Vodka, in partnership with A Razor, A Shiny Knife (the minds behind the L Train dining car), created a culinary experience that used the principles of Eastern Medicine to elevate the senses and make the body more receptive to bespoke cocktails and a gourmet meal. Instead of ordering off a menu, our meal choices were dictated by our body’s needs- upon arriving at the dinner, acupuncturist James C. Bae asked us a series of questions related to our stress levels, digestive health, and energy levels. Our answers determined not only our acupuncture, massage, and reflexology treatments for the evening, but also our meal track, with the treatments and food choices complimenting each other, providing us with the optimal dining experience for both our body and mind.
My answers pointed towards the nourishing track- I had moderate stress levels and high energy, so my food for the evening was designed to ‘nourish the fluids of the body without over-burdening appetite and assimilation.’ Our Managing Editor, Dory, on the other hand, responded with high stress levels, and was given the ‘refreshing’ track, meant to ‘refresh and lighten the burden of decadence placed on the body by enjoying food and drink.’ So although we enjoyed the experience together, we had very different treatments and meals.
After our initial assessments, we began the evening with an acupuncture treatment. The acupuncture treatments, while different for every attendee, opened up our bodies and made us more receptive to the food and drink that would follow. Immediately after leaving the acupuncture table, we were handed a warm shot of Purity Vodka, meant to further open our bodies to receive the first course.
We were then guided to the first course of the evening, crudités and soup. A deconstructed, clarified Bloody Mary and Bee Pollen cocktail accompanied the course.
From the first course, we moved on to massages and reflexology, which further relaxed our busy minds, and helped us prepare for the main meal. The main meal featured a ‘pasta’ course followed by steak, paired with a bitter lemon cocktail and martini.
Why the ‘pasta’ in quotation marks? While Dory and I enjoyed the same cocktails throughout the evening, the interpretation of our courses couldn’t have been more different. The nourishing track (which I was on) featured heavier, rich, food, while Dory’s refreshing track was healthier in nature. When I was served french onion soup during the first course, she enjoyed a bone marrow and turnip soup. During the ‘pasta’ course, the nourishing track featured ravioli with white and black truffle oil, while the refreshing track offered spaghetti squash with black truffle oil. And while I ate a potato with my steak, Dory’s steak was accompanied with cabbage and eggplant.
While many restaurants pay attention to how other elements beyond the food–decor, lighting, and general ambiance–affect a meal, Purity Vodka and A Razor, A Shiny Knife created a truly memorable, once in a lifetime experience. The intimate event helped highlight the Purity Vodka brand mission– a craft vodka that hopes to ‘bring character to a spirit which by tradition is more one of image and style rather than substance.’ The choice to partner with A Razor, A Shiny Knife, showed an adept brand who knows its audience- a sophisticated, cultured crowd begging for something different. Given our experience at the event, we’d say the brand delivered!
Click through for more photos of the evening:
all photos: Sam Hornie