I’ve now eaten at SLA Restaurant in Montclair twice, and I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE.
In fact, I have found myself craving Sai Ouer (the most delish Thai sausage with a spice we cannot put our thumb on) and the best Pad Thai I have EVER tasted. Best part, beyond the Gluten Free menu choices, is that I can BRING MY OWN WINE.
And that we did. Classic Thai food and wine pairing – Riesling. The Dr Loosen Riesling we picked up at Magnolia’s Wine Shop (next door by the way) was not to my liking. What makes this pairing really great is the clash of the bountiful fruit of the wine with the spice of Thai chilies, and then racy exuberating acidity. The acidity on Dr Loosen was flat and boring. Grab a different German Riesling, or a New York Finger Lake wine. Those are pretty, but will give you the slatey minerality rieslings are really known for.
Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay was perfect for me; not so much for my wine friendly companion. This chardonnay delivers a charming core of fruit while giving me a tingle of acid right on the sides of my cheeks. Yes please to cool me off from the heat I was feeling; insert really bad sweating photo:
I grabbed a red for the evening as well – Penfolds Bin 389 Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend. You need a big boy to stand up to the flavors of the dishes on that table. I can’t get enough of this vintage of Bin 389; the blending of major viticultural areas of Australia, 18 months in oak (whoa – nice), and linked to one of the most Iconic wines of this Century – Penfolds Grange. Flavors of dark red fruits, chocolate, cinnamony spices, and some kind of bacon thing going on. Cmon now…
Johnny came out the winner when he suggested beer. Yes, beer – ahhhhh men; got get it Johnny. He was told not to pick up an IPA, but didn’t listen and THANK GOD he didn’t! Bengali IPA from New York has a supple yet substantial body with caramel notes that matched our meal perfectly. There is much more fruit present, at least to me, in an IPA. I liked the hoppy character of this beer, and damn what a nice food match. Just read that this beer is being marketed to hipsters; oh Johnny…
Go here: SLA Thai Restaurant – 38 Upper Montclair Plaza (behind Talbots), Montclair, NJ
What to have in your purse; This is not an expensive meal. If you eat with us, we order everything, so, well, it is expensive. Check the menu out on line: slathai.com And remember, you are not paying for booze – this is a win.
In a pinch: Stop in at Magnolia’s Wine Shop right next door to the restaurant – http://www.magnoliaws.com. We purchased the Riesling and the beer there. They were open pretty late, and the guy working the floor was very helpful.