PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Bacchanalian Birthday

OK, so first, thank you all for your comments and good wishes and crossed fingers, I do appreciate the virtual hugs and love and they help! Let's get our chins up & tits out, it's the weekend, I'm not dragging my anchor today, and I'm going to tell y'all about the Birthday Bacchanal we had last night.
For yes, whenever the anniversary of Elvis' death rolls around, it is also the birthday of The Wo! The King of my world, anyway. And thank heavens he doesn't have a penchant for white jumpsuits! Eesh! In any event, he wasn't feeling up for a big celebration, so he sent me off to knit night on Thursday (his actual birthday), knowing we'd go out this weekend instead. I hadn't really planned on it being so - Bacchanalian - but like they say - when in Rome! And seriously, I understand why those Romans wore togas. For the feasting! Draped sheets just don't confine a gal when she's waltzing through a multi-course meal!

We went to Pierpont's last night with Momma Linda for dinner. I had squirreled away a couple gift cards this past year, and then my dear friend Kyra, upon hearing we were going there, whipped out her (very large) stack of customer loyalty cards and other various plastics, and bestowed upon me two additional gift cards she didn't think she'd use. "Have a couple drinks on me," she said. Um, you betcha?! Plus, Pierpont's has a great email loyalty program, where you give them your anniversary and birthday, and they send you a coupon for a free entree (with purchase of another entree), up to $20/off. So I encouraged James to get whatEVER he really wanted. And get it all. I wanted him to experience the meal the way I've had so many rep dinners over the years - don't worry about the check and savor every bite.

I think we accomplished that. We'd also discussed steaks since the last time he'd had one, and I firmly insisted that he get a filet. He always ends up getting a ribeye, or a t-bone, and then there was the dreadful porterhouse we shared on our anniversary, and none of those pieces of meat are ever as good as the filet, and it has reinforced in him a disappointment with beef. Well, he still sees it as too expensive, but I think he was pretty delighted with his blue-crab-topped/smoky-tomato-Bearnaise-sauce filet last night. Every single thing was impeccable. We had Asian beef carpaccio and flash-fried calamari for starters, we shared a grilled tomato salad with goat cheese, basil, and balsamic vinegar (holy mother was that awesome and I am so re-creating that recipe), and he also got a side of bourbon-candied sweet potatoes, that were perfection - just enough bite to them and not a soggy piece to be found, all infused with an essence of the bourbon candying that didn't overwhelm, but with enough sweetness to complement the potato. That's the rub, you know, you spend a ton of money, but every single thing was top-notch. I had two martinis, and after the week I'd had, a third or fourth might have actually removed some of the brain cells holding the memories, but then there would have been the whole walking-to-the-car thing (which let's not lie, it was more like waddling by the time our two-hour meal was complete.)
Dessert - and yes, you have to have dessert - was also delish, accompanied by cappuccinos; James got the banana split, which was banana fritters served on top of hot fudge, with a side dish of ice cream - a chocolate chip, and then he substituted two scoops of the caramel-cashew, skipping the strawberry. Momma Linda got the creme brulee, which was also delicious, and I broke everyone's expectations and got the bread pudding. I'm not normally a big bread-pudding fan - too many times it's too soggy, or too dry, or overly sweet, or loaded with raisins - and yet something about the description ("white chocolate ganache and roasted peach coulis flambeed tableside with rum")? Just said, "Jennifer, this is the dessert for you." Holy mackerel, was it ever. I regretted not having a camera because they even put the "P" of their logo in dark chocolate on top - a perfect replica, some sort of computer-meets-chocolate magicry. And it was perfection. Firm, sweet, the right amount of moisture, the right amount of sauce, all the flavors coming together - my mouth is watering from the memory of it. And the service was excellent. Just enough checking in, keeping us hydrated, and ever-so polite. By far one of the best birthday dinners we've ever had together, and even though we ate way too much, it truly was a great way to end what had been a pretty rough week for all of us. MommaLinda'd had a crazed week at work as well, and James had his first week of school with the kids. My guess is next week will be a lot more normal, and that means - sigh - no Pierponts again. But, that's what makes dinners like that so special!
posted by PlazaJen, 8:56 AM