Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fancy Food and Smiles All Around

Yesterday I went to the world's hardest Barre class- my legs were quivering masses of almost-muscle when I stumbled out, but underneath all the shaking I think I felt really good (maybe, it's possible I didn't feel anything at all), and when I came home I walked in on JP burning a pizza for his lunch. When I berated him for refusing to use timers (because he will NOT), he changed the subject with, "want to go on a date tonight?" I laughed because, yeah right, and then he shocked me by saying: "The babysitter is coming at 7:30 after we've put the big kids to bed, and our reservation is for 8. Dress up."

Zomg you guys, I went from barely standing to jumping up and down squealing to the smell of burnt pizza. A date! A date OUT OF THE HOUSE! I truly loved our in-home New Year's Eve and I wouldn't change a thing about it, but dinner sans children? eating food not prepared in my kitchen, somewhere I get to dress up and talk and laugh with my husband and not clean up the dishes afterward?!! It was 1:00 and 8 seemed light-years away.

I counted down the hours by taking the kids to a new, awesome (and very well hidden) park a neighbor-in-the-know told us about, making them dinner, and spending too long getting ready, and then the sitter finally arrived and we were off- me in one of the dresses my mom bought me for Christmas and JP in non-jeans, an occurrence even more rare and special than a parents-with-3-young-kids date night. I still didn't know where we were going, but JP had actually read restaurant reviews (so many rare things happening at once) that I was happy being surprised.

We ended up at Grace, a restaurant on Main Street that I didn't know existed and it was fabulous. One of the best meals I've ever had, ever, and definitely the best meal I've had in the last few years. The food was inventive and delicious, the cocktails maybe even more so (bosc pear martini FTW), the service impeccable, and the bathrooms super fancy. I took a picture of myself in one so I could show my mom the dress (side note: it was supposed to be a work dress, but now I'm thinking it's a too short/must be worn with tights kind of ensemble, but maybe that's the inappropriately high for work heels? Not sure.):

In case you're a wanna-be foodie and Top Chef/Food Newtwork fanatic like me, this is what I ate:

Crudo of Ahi Tuna appetizer (split with JP): fuji apple, Texas goat cheese, pine nuts and pumpkin seed oil (raw tuna and goat cheese? Who would have thought, but thank goodness someone did because it was awesome)

“Toad in a Hole” salad (supposed to be mine, but ultimately split with JP because it was so amazing I couldn't keep it to myself): frisee, shaved asparagus, organic egg, bacon and truffle vinaigrette (blew us both away- the egg was fried over easy into a puffy piece of bread so when you cut it open all the yolk ran into the salad and you got bites of eggy soft crouton with the frisee and shaved asparagus that was all just amazing. I'm not a big salad person and never waste any of my time on them in restaurants, but if we ever treat ourselves to a dinner like this again this year, I'm just ordering the tuna and the salad for my meal and I'm not sharing)

Filet of Beef, Oscar style with (lots of) lump crab, asparagus and béarnaise (absolutely perfect, but I was so full from the previous two courses that JP ended up with half of my filet)

Butterscotch Pudding: dulce de leche, marcona almond crumble, and salted caramel gelato (this was all JP, but I did "taste" about half the gelato and the bite of dulce de leche I had was excellent).

It was so, so fun. I've dreamt about the tuna and my magical salad on and off for most of today. The salad was my focal thought during my plie squats in Barre this afternoon, though I doubt that's what my instructor meant when she told us to pick something that made us feel strong and peaceful.

As long as we're discussing food, below is our decidedly less fancy menu for the week:

Sunday: Perfect Potato Soup, bread, cheese
Monday: Beef enchiladas, rice, beans
Tuesday: leftover potato soup (it was DELICIOUS, but it made enough for about 15)
Wednesday: Crock pot chicken teriyaki, rice, broccoli
Thursday: Ravioli, tomato cream sauce
Friday: Meatballs stroganoff, wheat dinner rolls, green beans

And in news that is not at all food-related, Cora is smiling!! And I sort of got one on film! (Can you still say that even though I used a phone and our children will grow up not knowing what film is? Soon it will be one of those expressions that everyone says but no one understands.) She's probably just happy we didn't force her outside for some family fun time not intended for infants.

Squee! She is so awesome. Claire agrees.

Tomorrow we're back to school (yay), JP's coaching (boo), and the ordinary routine (and frigid temperatures, though nothing like the North and Northeast- stay safe you guys!), but I've got a smiling baby and fond memories of an egg covered salad date night to comfort me on the crazy midweek nights, so things should be pretty good.

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