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Wine Before Food

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On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported on a new twist in the trend of abolishing menus. Instead of giving the chef total control of the meal, the power is now being placed in the hands of the sommelier. This wine-before-food concept is being played out at Il Vino, a new Paris restaurant opened by Enrico Bernardo, the former sommelier at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Diners select wines from a seasonal menu that changes about every two weeks, and then the chef cooks a complementary food pairing. Could this be the wine bar of the future? The restaurant of the future? Bernardo seems confident that the idea is more than a passing trend. He opened a second branch of Il Vino in at the French ski resort Courchevel, and the Journal reported that he is contemplating opening a third in New York City or London.

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