Valentine’s Day

Been a bit distracted, so I haven’t written up my thoughts on this year’s Valentine’s Day. So here goes.

My wife and I got dressed up all fancy. Me in my kilt and my wife in a fancy, new dress. She looked stunning. I was her barely tolerable dining companion. We ate for our first time at a restaurant called Daniel Arthur’s. Where exactly we heard about it, I’m not sure. Maybe it was just from driving by it, maybe it was mentioned by a neighbor or a friend, I can’t be sure.

I can say for certain that I have never paid so much for a single meal before. And yet as much as I dislike spending money like that, it was a wonderful evening. We arrived just before the dinner rush started. It was a cold evening out — particularly when wearing a kilt — but the restaurant was toasty warm. We were seated immediately and given complementary champagne. Soon thereafter our waitress brought out an amuse-bouche consisting of a salmon mousse spread on a slice of cucumber with a fresh dill spread topped with tobacco onion. I’ve never had anything quite like it and would have been pleased to have a tray of them to munch on.

Next up was the appetizer. A tempura, lobster tail on a bed of cabbage lightly coated in a slightly, spicy sauce. The surprising thing of the sauce was after the initial burst of heat, the spiciness did not continue to build. It merely lingered on the tongue. Fortunately the chef foresaw this and followed up the appetizer with an apricot sorbet, which did a wonderful job of cleansing the pallet. Then it was time for the main course, for which both my wife and I had selected the Angus beef ribeye with brandied, caramel onions, grilled portabello mushrooms and smoke gouda and roasted garlic potatoes.

The ribeye was good — not my normal cut of beef and a touch too fatty for my taste — still it was tasty and my word those potatoes were heavenly. The portabello mushrooms were small, barely noticeable bits whose flavor was completely hidden by the onions. Mind you, those were tasty onions but I would have preferred more/bigger mushrooms and less onions. The pièce de résistance was the desert of which there were two small portions. One was some sort of bread pudding thing. I’m not particularly a fan of bread puddings though this seemed nice; however the other desert utterly blew it away. The other desert was an espresso crème brûlée and it was heavenly. I do not make a habit of passing along my compliments on a meal (or any portion of one), beyond the simplest of courtesies to the wait staff. That night I broke my habit due to that desert. My wife is an excellent cook with a better than fair hand at making deserts but even still that espresso crème brûléewas truly one of the best things I have ever eaten.

I should also note that one of Daniel Arthur’s features is they have live music every evening. On Valentine’s Day, in pleasant surprise they had Kevien “B.F.”Burt playing. We had heard Kevin playing previously at a neighborhood party and greatly enjoyed his performance. If we’d realized he was the music for the night, we might have sprung the extra cash for the package where he would come to our table and play a song for us. Since we didn’t know and it was a bit late to change our plans1; we didn’t get a song directly but did enjoy hearing him perform for several other tables near by.

End conclusion, it was a beautiful (and tasty) meal with a beautiful (and tasty) woman who I happen to be lucky enough to be married to.

1 Getting the song at your table was part of the most expensive package which included other options, such as a full bouquet of flowers at your table.

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