Even Older Jeans

Ok - I just unbuttoned them. They are a little tight around the belly, but I think with the day, they may loosen. Or - I may just put on the loose capris and deal. They do fit well. They're not baggy, but not skin tight. It's just when seated . . .

Anyway - last night we had a GREAT time!!! Left the house for Houma at about 5:45. Chad ended up having to stay late at work to do a phone interview with a company that does contract work in our state. The prospects look VERY good. If he gets the job, he'll probably just have to move across the street to the Technology building. It's great because he'll be doing something that's more in his field. He said the interviewer wanted to just hire him on the spot - but had to go through the formalities. We shall see.

Anyway - so we finally made it to the restaurant at about 7:15 or so. I was starving, but trying to keep it together. (You know I'm thinking it's this chair that's making these pants not fit right. This computer chair is a disaster. Nobody's pants would fit them while sitting in this chair.)

Anywho - the restaurant is in this very old house in the downtown area. It's very chic and quirky. The inside still looks very old - and I mean old. The walls have a deep stain - as if from the cigar smoke of old men 100 years ago. The floors are also very, very old and rustic. And there are ancient, well-worn carpets all over the place. The lighting is dim - candles - and it's quite romantic. Italian art and pottery fill the walls. Italian music plays and the owner, Cristiano, is seen often, moving throughout the room - talking to guests - laughing, making conversation. I loved this place right from the beginning.

We immediately asked the waitress for Brandon and then decided put our dinner in his hands. We've done this on 2 occasions and it's really a lot of fun. And I think it works really well because he already knows what we like.

So he came to the table and let us study the menus. We asked him questions and told him what we thought looked good. Then he asked us if we wanted meat or fish - Chad said fish and I wasn't too particular. So - he said he would send an array of things for us to try - different courses and whatnot.

He sent out a bottle of wine first -a Napa Valley merlot (I think) called Three Thieves. Very cool and very good. AND since it was the last bottle they had in-house and had already been opened and used for a glass for someone else, they let us have the bottle for $10 - a bargain!

Next we received our bread basket - filled with homemade ciabatta and seven grain. It was served with your choice of spicy olive oil, virgin, or a mixture of both. We both mixed them. So here I was dipping bread in pure oil. Oh well - you only live once!

No- actually, I wasn't really experiencing any food panic or anything. This was special. This was an occasion to celebrate - to celebrate us and a new start. I knew that it wouldn't become a habit. I relaxed and enjoyed.

Next we were served 2 appetizers - a bowl of the night's risotto (they have a different one each night)which was infused with lemon and sage and was absolutely incredible. Such a great flavor! The other appetizer was one I could have died for. I literally had to close my eyes after the first bite. It was like injecting black tar heroin! What he had done -is taken eggplant, sliced it very thin (into round slices) and coated it in a flour mixture. The super thin eggplant slice was lightly fried. Then, upon removing the fried slice, a mixture of ricotta (with all sorts of awesome herbs within) and pinenuts were rolled within the eggplant slice. It was topped with a chunky marinara. When it arrived - it looked a lot like a cannoli. It was so good, I couldn't stand it! Chad loved it too, the man who doesn't eat veggies!

Next, the waitress brought us the soup special - dungeoness crab meat in a cream, roasted gouda and herb sauce. Very different! And exquisite, of course.

Along with soup she brought the night's ravioli special (they do another one of those each night as well). It was fresh pasta, infused with saffron (Brandon loves this infusion thing) and stuffed with LOBSTER, topped with a tomoto cream sauce. Now - mind you we weren't receiving huge portions. We got one ravioli each - about the size of a biscuit, I'd say. A small biscuit. The eggplant rolls were small too. About the size of a small eggroll. We received 2 of those and each ate one. So - it wasn't like we were eating buckets of this stuff.

Next came the main course. Chad was served the shark (!) which came grilled with a perfect blend of spices on top of a large potato croquette - where they make a potato cake out of mashed potatoes and then lightly fry it - so it's golden on the outside and creamy within. Talk about good! The shark was wonderful! It was neat to try, too - we were eating something that we'd been terrified would someday eat us. That's an interesting feeling.

I had this dish - it was a stack of filet mignon pieces and sauteed eggplant pieces - layered tower-style - (I know there's a name for it, but I can't remember) and it was topped with a roasted tomato and bellpepper and onion sauce. (I think it was called sauce Africain) It was to die for!!! I mean - filet mignon AND eggplant - in a tower! I almost cried at this point. (me - a food addict? nah!) Haha - okay, I know I love the stuff. But this is good stuff. This is not sitting in a recliner shooting cheeze whiz in your mouth and then stuffing it with ritz crackers while crying about your childhood. This is cuisine. I think, or wait - I KNOW i have a right to enjoy it and praise it and love it.

So - there.

Ok- so after the entree came dessert. Ah dessert. He served me their light summer berry dish. A pizzelle bowl filled with gran marnier infused whipped cream - almost like icecream - but lighter - topped with all sorts of berries. It was WONDERFUL!!! I knew that it seemed light - but I know "the price" of heavy cream, friends. It's not that light. Anyway - I ate happily.

Chad, who is the chocoholic, was served the chocolate dessert. A flourless chocolate cake placed in a bowl of hot chocolate soup, topped with mocha mousse and mint garnish. I tried a bite. So good!

After we paid the bill (which wasn't too staggering) we went into the lounge. And it really WAS a lounge - there were couches everywhere, a small bar on one end of the room and a live jazz trio played in the opposite corner of the room. It was so neat. Chad had never heard live jazz before and I think he was pretty amazed. (Oh and we didn't end up meeting up with his parents, after all.) So - we continued to sit in the lounge on the fabulous leather couch (that would look perfect in our living room) and bop to the music a little - jazz style. It was tres cool. I love places like that. We left at about 10 or so. He was tired and had to get up early this morning. He went fishing with his friend Tony - something he's been wanting to do for a long time. And - in about an hour I go for my massage! Hurrah!

Well - guess I will close for now. Hope the food didn't set me back too much. I don't think it will. I'm back in the saddle today.

More later.

11:01 a.m. ::
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