On Saturday night, San Francisco native Adam Wiscomb, the winner of the UrbanDaddy + OpenTable “Dinner Party to End All Dinner Parties” Giveaway, and nine of his friends enjoyed his prize at Perbacco in his hometown. He gives us the all the details on the dinner party, from dishes they picked to the wines they ordered.
Adam, how surprised were you when you won?
I was insanely surprised when I got the email! I called Cara at UrbanDaddy to be sure it was for real, and she answered the phone, “Hi Adam.” My jaw sort of dropped at that moment.
Have you ever won anything before?
I have not won anything like this ever in my life.
How did you decide upon Perbacco, out of the many restaurants in San Francisco?
I often eat lunch at Barbacco, a few blocks away from my acupuncture practice, and remembered that the next-door Perbacco is the more elegant and sophisticated of the two. After I saw their wine list and menus online, I didn’t need to look any further.
How did you whittle down the invite list? Do you have a regular group of friends you always dine out with?
This was easy. I was born and raised here in San Francisco, 5th and Irving to be exact, and am still very close with many childhood friends, one of whom has been a dear friend since age 2. It was, essentially, a group of my oldest, dearest friends.
Did you suddenly have more friends than you knew you did, after winning?
Not at all. I didn’t want to broadcast the news too far so as to not hurt any feelings. I’ll casually slip the dinner into conversation at some point.
What’s your strategy for your dinner? You have an early reservation, so will you kick off with cocktails? Order small plates? A tasting menu?
Yes, we had an early reservation because we knew we would need quite a bit of time to basically eat the entire menu, one course at a time, with wine pairings.
Is there anything on the menu you’re really anticipating trying now that the tab is covered?
We all salivated over the menu the week leading up to the dinner and pretty much anticipated everything on the menu.
Will you or did you decide to focus on splurging on wine and spirits (say, ordering an outrageous bottle of wine or Louis XIII)?
Ha, ha. How did you know? Before we arrived, I had a game plan that had the wine-to-food expense ratio roughly at a 2:1. We drank some outstanding 1994 Franciacorta (Italy’s response to Champagne), highly recommended by Perbacco’s professional, knowledgeable, and overall outstanding wine director Mauro Cirilli. Later, we followed Mauro’s recommendation to have a few bottles of 2004 Riserva Brunello de Montalcino and 2004 Barolo, which he opened and decanted two hours before we drank them, so they were open and showing their best when we began our pasta course. Grazie, Mauro!
What did you guys wind up ordering, food-wise?
I have to say we ended up ordering just about everything on the menu and it was all exquisite. I must emphasize the word “exquisite,” because every dish, from the house-made salumi platter (of which we ended up ordering a second!) to the raw albacore tuna with black olives and cherry tomatoes, and the absolutely perfect pastas as well as the beef short ribs “stracotto” ( I ordered this as my main.) were so elegant, the flavors so balanced and rich, that we all could not help but keep passing plates around and occasionally asking our lovely and ever-attentive server Emer to kindly bring a second. There was not a single bite of food that arrived at our table less than spectacular – no exceptions!
How long did the dinner party last? And, did it — GASP! — continue on elsewhere?
Limo departure time: 5:15pm. Dropped off back home at about 11:30. A stroll in the neighborhood with a few Cuban cigars was definitely in order and ended the night of extreme indulgence very nicely.
In what way was this dinner party better than one you or your friends might have to have hosted at a private home?
No one had to cook and no one had to clean up!
Are you a foodie? What are some of your other fave Bay Area restaurants?
I don’t use the word foodie to describe myself, but the truth is I am a foodie. I go the Alemany Farmer’s market every Saturday, where my family and I have been buying awesome produce for as long as I can remember from farmers we are on a first name basis with. In my past career, I was a waiter at several excellent restaurants in San Francisco. Perbacco is an exceptional place to have food, wine, and service that will absolutely blow your mind. The owner, Umberto Gibin, personally greeted us with a warm welcome and made us feel right at home in their private dining room – very Italian style. I’ll be back… more than once.
You’re very welcome. We’re sure it was a night to remember.