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Berkeley restaurant’s $266-weed-and-food pairing is a Bay Area first

2 min read

In an effort to shed its stuffy image and push the boundaries of food service during SIP, the restaurant at the Claremont Club & Spa is taking food pairings to new highs, literally.

On March 5, the Limewood Bar & Restaurant is offering its first-ever food-and-weed pairing, a four-course dinner that promises “mind-blowing deliciousness” with a stellar high to match. To start, an amuse bouche of crispy Hemp Honey Gougeres.

According to executive chef Joseph Paire, who knows a little something about cooking with cannabis, the lamb loin and other dishes on the menu are smoked to enhance their weed-friendliness. Smoking harmonizes the flavors with the citrus, herbal and other aromas in the pot. You’ll also be smoking, not eating, the pot.

“We’re pairing to the notes in the strains,” explains Paire, who came up with idea for the take-home Enlightened Dinner Series. The first one is March 5, and you can sign up here.

Cannabis food experiences are not new in the Bay Area. Correen Carroll’s Cannaisseur dinners took underground San Francisco warehouses by storm as early as 2015. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a mixologist that hasn’t experimented with CBD-infused cocktails. But a weed dinner with a mainstream restaurant, let alone one owned by a luxury hotel chain, is less common.

Paire’s meal, which starts at $150 for two (food only), comes with a weed connoisseur who will teach Zoom participants how to identify the organoleptic properties of the cannabis, which will no doubt come to life when paired with the main course, a lamb loin with endive, exotic citrus and smoked lamb belly ragout.

The dessert, a chocolate bar with fermented banana and salted caramel, will also come with a strain for smoking. Sure beats greasy pizza or what Paire calls “morning-after gluttonous guilt.”

To clarify, the Claremont is not growing or selling the weed. Participants have to go to The Apothecarium, a Berkeley dispensary, to buy the expertly-picked strains for this dinner ($34-$36 for two grams; $110-$116 for two eighths).

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