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Monday, November 14, 2011

NIM: iPads Find a New Home in Restaurants

The iPad is quickly working its way into our lives.  Even while we were away on vacation in Spain, the iPad was everywhere.  Okay, my wife brought hers on the trip, but we saw iPad's being used everywhere.  One of the best uses, and one of those slap-your-forehead-why-didn't-I-think-of-that moments came at a terrific meal at Monvinic in Barcelona.

Monvinic is not unlike many wine bars that we've been to before.  An amazing selection of wine, small plates designed to accompany the wine (there's a full dining room as well) and a knowledgeable staff.  But where Monvinic breaks from the crowd is the way it has embraced technology to enhance the diner's experience.

Monvionic boasts a very large wine cellar.  I've read anywhere from 3000 - 6000 bottles in various reviews.  Rather than present you with a small novel to help you choose a drop, Monvinic presents you with an iPad.  The iPad is linked to their wine-cellar database, allowing you to search based on varietal, region, year, price and other categories. All wines feature tasting notes which really helps in the selection process.  And if you find a wine you really like, there's an option on the iPad application to add a bottle to your bill and take it home with you at the end of the meal.  To be honest, we spent a lot of time just searching the database to see what was available.  Unsurprisingly the only bottle of BC wine was an ice wine from Mission Hill.  Seriously Spain, we have more than that!

But just when I thought I had experienced the latest in restaurant technology, I returned to Vancouver to discover that local restaurant Lift has started using iPads for their menus:

 

Hopefully diners are given "moist towelettes" to keep the screens clean.  

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