Well, there has been a lot going on the last couple of weeks. So, to bring you up to speed some... We left off with a Thanksgiving meal on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We ate that every day for the next few days. We were going to make gumbo, but we didn't have time to.
Wednesday. The Food Pimp's parents came into town on Wednesday night, so we had to go meet them that night. They were staying at the Holiday Inn on the harbor, so we ate at the pub there - the Elephant and Castle. It had a promising menu - pub food. So we ordered drinks first. Jack on the rocks for the dad. Vodka tonic for the mom? Guiness for the FP? I had Smithwick's I think. So The classic move for the FP's dad is to order a starter right when we order drinks. The server is usually not prepared for this. So the dad asks, how are the calamari? The guy says they're good. Or he asks how big it is. And the guy says, big enough for the table to share. So he orders them. They were good. Nicely fried. And there were tentacles too. I like tentacles. A Mexican must have been at the fryer. I'm not kidding. When we first moved here, we got loads of calamari that were pale and rubbery. Apparently, that's how the Caucasians at the restaurants we ate at cooked them, but not the Mexicans. Someone told us this. I don't remember who though. So the mom had shepard's pie. The dad got the fish and chips combo which came with halibut and cod, I got the fish and chips plate, and the FP got the yorkshire pudding. So the shepard's pie was good. Shepard's pie. The fish and chips- they were okay. Well, the fries were good. They were the ones that were a little fatter, but they were crispy. It's funny that so many places have bad or average fries,that it's a big deal to get good ones. The fish was not as crispy as it could be, and it just kind of didn't taste like anything. Except the malt vinegar and hot sauce that I doused it with. The yorkshire pudding was only the bottom half of the pudding and it had a texture like it had been cooked hours ago, and then it was filled with roast beef with gravy that was grey and flavorless. It had mashed potatoes on the side that also were nothing to speak of. Oh well, we tried.
Thursday Thanksgiving. So we had reservations at the Grant Grill at the US Grant Hotel on Broadway. They offered a 3 course meal with choices for each. I got there almost an hour early, so I went to the bar and waited. When I walked in, I felt stupid because I didn't think I was snooty enough. So I figured it was a very posh place with good liquor, right? So I wanted a drink with some good dark rum. I'm not sure why, but that's what I wanted. All they had was Meyer's, Mount Gay and Cruzan. I know Cruzan is the worst, but I've never had it and I thought anyway, it's probably cheaper than the other two. I asked for a daquiri on the rocks, and the bartender says, I can't make a daquiri, do you want coke? I didn't understand at first. So anyway, I asked for some fresh lime juice and simple syrup. So she said, I don't have fresh lime, I can squeeze a lime into the glass or use Rose's. So I said, yeah, the fresh lime. She said, do you want me to squeeze the lime into the glass. So I said yes. I can't believe I felt inadequate to be in there. Everyone else was drinking bud light or coors and wearing shorts. Okay, so they probably make 20 times what I make, but still. Anyway, my drink was $10.98.
So the family showed up, but the FP's sis wasn't feeling well. So she ordered a ginger ale for $3.78.
We sat down to dinner, and we got an amuse bouche. Duck proscuitto, red grape and fig paste. It was delicious. The duck was so beautifully thin and proscuitto like. And the FP's sis gave us hers. Next course. Everyone got kuri squash and fennel soup. It was pretty thick, but they all loved it. The FP and I got short rib ravioi. It was pretty perfect. The ravioli were the right texture and thickness, and the short rib filling just tasted like nicely cooked short ribs. And the reduction sauce on the plate was just enough to taste it, not to drown the ravioli. Second course. We all got turkey dinner, except for the FP. He got the pork tenderloin. So the turkey dinner came with white and dark meat, sweet potatoes, kumquat cranberry sauce, and chestnut mash potatoes. So it was cool or room temperature. Which is funny, because how many of you have eaten a hot turkey dinner. If so, please leave a comment, because I really want to know.
Getting back to turkey. The turkey was delicious. The dark meat was falling apart like it had been braised. The cranberry sauce was really sweet, somewhat too sweet. But mix the whole plate together and shove it in my mouth, it was delicious. The FP's sis was out in the lobby at this point taking a snooze. The FP's dinner. Pork tenderloin. Very tender, pink center, flavorful. Lightly sauteed(?) apples, gnocchi and hedgehog mushrooms. Very skillfully executed. He was very pleased with his dinner.
Dessert. The dad got some squash pie. I guess he liked it. The mom and FP and brother in law got panna cotta. I got pear sorbet. It just sounded refreshing. And it was. It just tasted like fresh very ripe pears. Yum. The panna cotta was the best I've ever tasted. I haven't had much, but it's always been like jello custard. But this was much looser. It was just nice. This place was really good, and if we ever have money, I want to go and order off the regular dinner menu.
Friday. We went to Little Italy. What the hell was the name of the restaurant? Buon Appetito. I knew it was a generic name. So we had a 45 minute wait, and we went to the wine bar next door that was owned by the same people. We happened to run into one of the people who live in one of the communities where the FP teaches. So, oh no, good old Dad hears this and talks to the guy the whole time we're in there. We got a bottle of wine. Valipolicella. I don't know what kind. I am not a wine person. I thought I might get more into it here, but I'm less into it. There are so many good beers here, that I like to drink a lot of beer. Getting back to the subject, we wanted 2 appetizers, so the guy recommends the baked goat cheese. We also get an eggplant roll thingy. So the baked goat cheese was a round of goat cheese in the center of the plate. Then a whole lot of pesto was smeared around the base of the plate, and garnished with roasted garlic and caramelized red onion. It was really good and we ate all of it, but the garlic was not really roasted enough. It was still strong. The eggplant thingy was a salad, with eggpant rolled around fresh mozzarella, and basil, I think. It was very good. The eggplant was kind of pickled. So the dad realized maybe it was time to stop blabbing to this guy, so we cut out and went next door. We waited about 5 minutes, then they sat us.
So, I don't know if I remember what everyone got. Let's see. We ordered drinks, and the dad asks, how big is the fried calamari appetizer. The server says, it's a good sized portion for the whole table to share. I don't remember how good it was. I think we squoze a lot of lemon on it and it was thick sliced, but I don't remember any complaints. I got the house salad. The sis got the house salad with goat cheese. Mine was terrible. The house dressing tasted like one of those sweet dressings - catalina - with some balsamic vinegar added - for sweetness. Ugh. The dad got some pasta with seafood, shrimp or scallops or something. Garlic sauce I think. I guess it was fine. The mom and sis got ravioli with shrimp cream champagne sauce. Not my kind of thing, but they really liked it. It looked nice. The bro-in-law got meat lasagna. It was all messily cut out. He liked it. It seemed to have veggies that he didn't really eat, pieces of carrot and zucchini. The FP had osso bucco and saffron rissoto. It was huge portions and the osso bucco was delicious. He liked the rissoto. I had this special seafood rissoto with tomato sauce. It was terrible. Watery bland tomato sauce. It was like the rissoto was boiled(slightly over), then they heated up the tomato sauce in a pan and dropped the arborio rice in it. I used to work somewhere where we boiled the rice for rissoto, but we loaded enough cream and parmesan in it that it tasted good. I know that's not traditional, but hey, people liked it. I think I'll stop here. This is really long, and I don't know if anyone reads these whole blog entries anyway. Except for the FP....