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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Night Crate and Barrel Closed the Store for Us

On May 12th, we attended The Wedding Parties Registry Event at the store in Union Square in San Francisco. For Bay Area brides, there are two events on May 30th at Stanford (Palo Alto) and Santana Row (San Jose). For everyone, there are more events in June. I highly recommend if you're thinking of registering at Crate and Barrel to attend.

The pluses of attending a Crate and Barrel Registry Event:
  • Having the store all to yourselves
  • Friendly sales representatives who wait for you to approach, answer questions, and then back off
  • Seeing products in use and getting to honest feedback from the sales representatives
  • Wide range of products across all price ranges
Product Demonstrations
Crate and Barrel combined products they offer with the party they were hosting. Glasses of wine were aerated through the Vinturi Wine Aerator.
We got to try a taste unaerated and then a glass aerated. You could notice a difference. cubes and I belong to a couple of wine clubs and enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. This item was a quickly a must have for our registry (we didn't find it in the store to scan it so we added it easily online when we got home). Interestingly enough I'd heard of (and seen) the Vinturi Wine Aerator before. I hadn't seen it in action though, and for me seeing was believing.

We also saw the Crate and Barrel wine opener - the one being used didn't have a notch that grabbed on to the rim of the wine bottle and frequently slipped. We already have a wine opener so we didn't need another, but based on how hard it was for the sales rep to use this particular wine opener we wouldn't put it on our registry.

Wine in hand our next stop were was the warm appetizer area. Here we saw two products demoed - a Cuisinart GR-4 Flat Griddler Grill and Griddle-Panini Press and an Indoor Grill. They had a Bruschetta Panini that got me thinking about how I could alter my Bell Pepper Bruschetta so that I could serve it as a panini (easier to eat with two pieces of bread instead of open faced). What sold me with the press was that it could be flipped open and used to make pancakes. I used to have a waffle maker that I'd bring to the table and make waffles while we all ate brunch together. I immediately imagined the same with pancakes. Another plus was that there's a tray to collect grease. We could make bacon at the table. Yay!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the highlight of the registry party was Nick's knife demonstration. Not only did he show us the proper way to cut with a Japanese blade versus a German blade, he let us try the knives for ourselves. This was a definite hit with all of us as we were specifically looking to add to our knife collections.

We also had fun walking around the store without the hordes of people that you typically find on a weekend or after work. (I love Crate and Barrel and have been known to spend hours in the store - my pot rack is from there as well as my rattan storage crates.)

We found nice high balls that we added to our registry so that we could serve Presbyterians.
We also found a convertible bar that would fit nicely in our living room. Right now we have liquor stored throughout the apartment - in the kitchen with the oils, in the linen closet with the sheets. You get the picture? We had wine stored on top of the fridge but the rack when empty would move with the vibrations and coasters as well as wine glasses ended up in pieces on the tile floor.

When we got home it was a simple matter to sync our new Crate and Barrel registry with items we'd chosen from Amazon and other online stores. I'd downloaded the MyRegistry iPhone app ($1.99) prior to the event, but forgot to try it. We tried using it when at the Macy*s Sip and Scan registry event the following week and I'll tell you about that experience next Thursday. Stay tuned!

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