Sunday, March 20, 2011


friday night was date night.

however, date night doesn't seem to do it justice.

it was the most luxurious (and expensive) dinners that peter and i have ever had.

i wanted to surprise peter with a super fancy pants date night.  and oh... i did.

have you ever heard of  tru?
it's a lettuce entertain you restaurant, and since i horded recieved many gift cards from students, i decided to blow them all on one night that will go down in the history books.  

this blog post might get boring.  it's as close as i'll ever be to a foodie.  you see, i don't think i'll experience anything like this again for quite a while, and i want to write it down so i don't forget how incredibly pampered, happy, and thankful i was friday night.  i mean, this was a place where jackets were required for men.  they took my coat and valeted the car with only our names, no ticket.

i didn't bring my camera, and i'm happy i didn't.  i was already too excited and it was written all over my face.  and... there was another girl my age who brought a point and shoot camera and took pictures with her flash on... tacky.  super tacky.   i scouted the internets to see if i could find a few pictures, and they sent us home with a menu so we could remember our meal.

we sat in a corner booth... the leather was incredibly soft (it felt like one of layla's purses she makes us feel), and they moved the table out for me so i wouldn't have to scoot.  we sat here:

we were served 13 courses.  13.   and that didn't include the impressive bread tray.  or the little cakes they had in baggies for us to take home.

course 1:  comte cheese gougere.
the best way i could describe this is a cream puff without the cream, and the dough was cheesy.  And light and flaky.  they told us we could eat it with our fingers.  every time they gave us a new course, they gave us eating instructions.  which i took.  gladly.

course 2:  truffle cauliflower puree, beef consomme gelee.
beef jello.  i had read about the wonders of gelee in julie and julia, and read more in julia child's autobiography. quite tasty.  we were both surprised with how much we liked it.

course 3:  white sturgeon "caviar", avocado, hazelnut
 it wasn't really caviar.  they poached the sturgeon, sucked the liquid out, put it in a cooling bath thing and it turned into little balls.  totally top chef.  totally amazing.  the avocado was under the "caviar," and the crackers served with it had bits of hazelnut.  the flavors played off of each other beautifully.  that, once again, sounds top chef, but i've truly never experienced it in real life before.

course 4:  linear foie gras, black fig ice wine vinegar, caramelized popcorn
foie gras.  just typing it sounds fancy.  ours was served a little thicker than a mousse in a straight line, and served figs soaked in ice wine vinegar with caramel corn that looked almost like brittle.  the savory of the foie gras and the sweet of the figs and caramel corn was amazing. 

course 5:  celeriac soup, winter truffle, quail egg in its nest
did you know that celery and celeriac aren't the same?  we eat the stems of celery, and celeriac is grown for the root.  yeah... i just looked that up.  anyway, they served us a potato that served as a base for a french fried potato nest with a poached quail egg perched on top.  the bowl was garnished with 24k gold leaf.  then, the poured the soup in our bowls at the table.  beautiful.  we ate gold for dinner.

course 6:  seared scallop, butternut squash + ginger puree, apple celery salad
 out of all the plating, this one was almost tacky, but considering it was the only one like it, i suppose it was more playful.  the scallops weren't in circles like i'm used to eating, but more of a slice and topped with the squash/ginger/apple/celery.  the were placed on a handblown glass conch shell,  and the inside of the shell had a smoked cream (that totally tasted like lox). 

course 7:  duroc pork belly, crispy leeks, stone ground grits
when they introduced the course to us, i was a bit nervous about the grits.  i'm usually not such a big grits fan.  but, the grits were a different consistency than those i've tried, and were super cheesy.  the pork belly was incredibly succulent.  this was my favorite of the meat/seafood meals.

course 8:  scottish salmon, sorrel, smoke cream
the salmon was poached and seared in olive oil, and the crust was seared to perfection.  it was served with a sorrel sauce, which is a bitter lettuce leaf.  i didn't like the sorrel very much at all, but apparently, my mother-in-law is a gourmet chef because she used to use this leaf to make soup when peter was little :)  it too was served with smoke cream...  yum.

course 9:  cervena venison, brussel sprouts, crispy bacon, red currant
i had never eaten venison before, and had always been told it was gamey.  not the case with this... if they didn't tell us it was venison, i would have assumed it was a funky steak.  it was juciy and flavorful, and it was paired with things that really played up the flavors.  i actually really enjoyed the brussel sprouts, which i'm assuming was sauteed in bacon, and the red current added that tart/sweetness that really made it pop.

course 10:  a selection of cow, goat and sheep's milk cheeses
i love cheese.  i love cheap cheese, cheese slices, and the fancy pants ones you find at whole foods.  when they wheeled the cheese cart (cheese cart!) over and told me i could pick three types of cheese, i was in heaven, and made sure that peter would pick three different ones from me so i could try his too.  I had a lovely soft cow cheese, a flavorful goat cheese, and a sheep's cheese coated with herbs that tasted fantastic with honey.  for peter, it was the stinkier the better.  he had a blue cheese, and two more than were incredibly stinky, but i can't remember what they were.

course 11:  pear foam, citrus spiced port
instead of that ice cream palate clenser like in the princess diaries (yes, i just made a princess diaries reference) they gave us a foam.  i liked the pear, but the citrus spiced port was too porty for me, and peter really enjoyed my facial expressions with that one. 

course 12:  honeycrisp apple beignet, vanilla ice cream
on the show chopped (food network), many of the chefs choose to make bignets.  basically, a bignet is a doughnut, and ours looked like donut holes.  however, it was a beer batter, stuffed with a ball of apple, and rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and served warm along side house made vanilla bean ice cream.  heaven. 

course 13:  mignardises 
i just looked up this word in a french-english dictionary i found on line.  i was told that it means preciousness or affection.  i suppose i can see why... mignardises were little chocolates and candies to finish up dinner with... i had a passionfruit marshmallow, lemon cream in a chocolate shell, and a vanilla bean truffle with dark chocolate.   peter had a banana rum cake, espresso meraingue, and the truffle.  finally, we were both given a cherry liquor chocolate that literally exploded as soon as you put them in your mouth.

i stopped in the ladies room before we left...

i don't know how to end the post...
nothing that i can think of saying seems to be able to stand up to the richness of the dinner...

all i can i say, i suppose, is i hope that all of you one day get to experience something like this...
it was true luxury.


  1. Do you get to go out every Friday? You are so lucky to have such supportive parents. My mom is freaking out at the aspect of watching Bean 2 days a week for 5-6 hours only.

  2. we don't go out every friday, but we try to at least get one night a month out as just us. we're happy taking the kids to "regular" restaurants. usually, our date nights include errands or projects that the kids just aren't conducive to :) friday was a special occasion.

    we know we're lucky... so so lucky.

    are you ready to go back to work?