Saturday, July 3, 2010

Holy fabulous food, Batman.

Growing up, I was a meat and potatoes girl. My father is phenomenally choosy (read: picky) about his food, and my mom usually cooked to accomodate him - as good wives should. As a result, food experiences were limited in my house as a child. I still have an amazing aversion to seafood that no amount of willpower will overcome. I love tuna, and I relish Szechuan tuna above all - nice and raw - but otherwise, I don't do it. Growing up, I also didn't eat much in the way of vegetables. A salad in my house was iceberg lettuce, some carrots, and toast croutons.

My husband, on the other hand, will eat ANYTHING. So, over the past 13 years that we have been together (married 11), I have slowly come out of my shell. Once upon a time, I would not have touched mushrooms, raw onions, or tomatoes with a 10 foot pole. Nor would I have eaten spinach, broccoli, or anything resembling those foods.

This all builds up to our anniversary dinner at an amazing, local establishment.

I made the reservations on When we arrived, the host wished us a happy anniversary (I noted this on the website under special considerations) and led us to our table. It had been decorated with confetti of hearts, champagne glasses, and bottles. A nice touch, I thought. Our waitress also immediately wished us a happy anniversary.

We started with a cremini mushroom tart. This was a flaky pastry filled with sauteed cremini mushrooms and red onions, garnished with goat cheese. On the side was a cake of roasted red and golden beets in a walnut vinaigrette. It was absolutely delicious.

We followed that by splitting the day's salad special - the chef's take on a caprese salad: heirloom tomatoes under a bed of basil with a molasses balsamic reduction vinagairette and candied walnuts. The combination of the perfectly ripe tomatoes and the tiny, sweet bursts of candied, spiced walnut with the basil was about more than I could stand. Delicious doesn't even describe it.

For dinner, I went with a safe bet - fried chicken. Yes, fried chicken, something this gourmet, expensive restaurant is known for. They fry 2 plump, juicy breasts, then lightly coat them with a gravy of black pepper and cream (scrumptious), and place it on a bed of spinach and Yukon gold mashed potatoes. It was absolutely comfort food, and absolutely delicious.

My husband chose the evening special: Cornish game hen on a bed of forbidden rice and broccoli rabe. His was very good, mine was perfection.

We finished off dinner with a chocolate ganache torte on a pecan crust with caramel and raspberry sauces. It wasn't inspired, but it certainly tasted delightful. Coffee finished off this excellent meal.

It was an amazing dinner. If any of you, readers, are ever in my area of NC...let me know, I can't recommend this place enough!


Elizabeth said...

it sounds so wonderful..

belovedparrot said...

Really good and honest food is one of life's most sublime pleasures. I've been trying to eat better -- more organic, more local, and so on. Then, a day or so ago I was hungry and in a hurry and stopped at McDonald's for a burger.

One bite and it was like eating mushy cardboard.

I think I'll continue on my healthier ways. ;-)

rgcarr said...

It sounds wonderful but in my defense I did make vegetables y'all just didn't want to eat them! You should have been here. We had spagetti and lots of fun.

Mary said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only one with a complete aversion to seafood. I'm veggie now so it's no longer an issue, but I just could not eat seafood, and I even lived on the Mediterranean for a year. I managed to choke some things down to be polite, but it was torture!

Anyway, sounds like you had a great dinner! And happy anniversary!