Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dinner Last Night

We had a fabulous time last night. As usual we decided to let Ian (or his kitchen) do the cooking, and everything was fabulous, as always. Walid was able to join us so there were four us (me, Dan, Phil and Walid) last night for dinner.

We were very fortunate that Ian and Corey were both working last night. In the past this would have been a day when they may have been off but last night they were both there. It was so wonderful to see them both! When I heard Ian was working I had to run into the kitchen to say hello. We haven’t been into the restaurant in over a month and there were new people that we hadn’t met yet. Some of these new people were a little surprised to see a customer in the kitchen. Ian doesn’t normally allow this and with good reason. However they all relaxed when he gave me a big hug.   As you can tell we feel like part of the family when we are there.

In the past we used to be at the restaurant at least twice a week for dinner, frequently more. When you are anywhere two or three times a week for 3 hours at a time you get to know people very well. The restaurant is our home away from home. It was so nice to see our old friends last night. With spring here and the patio opening soon we may be going out to dinner more often. Dan and I both love dining al fresco under the canopy of trees. Ian’s fabulous food does hurt. ;-) He has offered to make things just for us (which I feel is such a terrible imposition) but it would be great so I don’t know ..... we may take him up on it.  We are such a pain to cook for now we hate to do that to anyone, especially someone we like so much. We will see, it is a very tempting offer and a definite maybe. ;-)

We have a few things going on next week that may result in a need to celebrate. Ian is already planning what he will make for us. He was asking us for ideas last night, so there may be some sushi in our future next week. For a classically trained chef he makes outrageously good Asian food. We have not had better tofu anywhere. Now we just need to have a reason to celebrate next week. Fingers crossed!

I was so busy chatting last night that I fell down a little on the food pictures but did take a few quick shots with my phone. We started the evening with our usual Middle Eastern plate. This is always a favorite! Of course we had a couple of pots of green tea as well. As I have mentioned before we really do drink green tea all day long.

After the appetizers Dan ordered gnocchi with mushroom and the rapini with tomato, golden raisins, shallots and pine nuts for us to split. I was so busy chatting I didn’t think to take pics until Dan had split the dishes. They were much prettier when they came out of the kitchen. But either way they were quite tasty. Between these, the Middle Eastern plate and green tea I was happy and very full.  Man have I missed Ian's food!

Walid ordered a crab pizza that was one of the daily specials last night. The pizza looked fabulous, sorry no picture. Ian had included a lot of crispy veggies, including asparagus. I will definitely be a making a vegan version of this very soon. It made my mouth water just looking at that pizza.  Such a wonderful combination of flavors.  I get some of my best inspiration from Ian.  I still contend that eating his food so often has done wonders for my cooking as I have a broader palate of combinations that I know work due to him.

We had a great evening telling stories about silly things we had done and everyone got a few giggles from anecdotes of our first year sailing. We were a bit of disaster that year but got the hang of it quickly and by year two you couldn’t tell we hadn’t been sailing for years. Thankfully sailing is similar to flying so Dan and I both had a bit of head start understanding the aerodynamics of how a sail works. One of the stories that got the biggest laugh was our very first time taking the sailboat out (in small craft warnings because we knew that would mean good wind, yes we really did that intentionally and didn't know how to sail). Good thing the boat was built for off-shore racing, which had to be the only reason we were fine that trip. You can imagine some of the other antics we pulled that first year. Hard to understand how we survived our youth isn’t it?

Unrelated note:

Dan and Phil left early this morning for a quick site visit in Pennsylvania. I wasn’t paying attention when they said where exactly just that it was at least an hour and a half drive and their meeting before the visit was at 11am. When we got home last night I packed them some snacks for the trip, apples, tangerines, carrot sticks, trail mix and plenty of water. At least I know they will have something healthy to munch on until they can grab lunch since it is going to be a long day for them with a lot of time on the road.

I have a few things that I have to take care of today and then I am back to my to do list. But I seriously hope to get at least one recipe posted from last weekend. It is already Thursday and I don’t have a single recipe posted from my weekend off. Sorry about that. It has been a hectic week here.

I hope you are all having a wonderful day today. The sun is shining here and is supposed to be 66 degrees. Yay, spring is finally here!


  1. YUM. So glad you had a great night and are having another day of good weather. Hope you have a lot to celebrate next week!

  2. Heather,

    It was a wonderful evening. We always love seeing the gang and Phil and Walid are always a delight.

    Thank you so much for the well wishes. I hope you we have a lot to celebrate too! Thanks for making me smile.


  3. thts surprising, for you to say that he has made the best tofu you have ever had, he obviously likes a challenge:) the appetizer is going to haunt me

  4. Michelle,

    Ian's tofu is amazing! He is very talented.

    The appetizer plate is hummus, house made pickles that are lightly sweet and very flavorful from cardamom among other things, pepperoncini, olives, caponata, whole wheat pita and Sardinia flat bread. It is a lovely combination of sweet, savory, soft and crunchy. That is one of the things that makes his food so good he combines textures and flavors beautifully.

    talk to you later,

  5. Such a yummy dinner!!!!

    I think it so good to just go out and enjoy good friends and good food! I love the name Walid, is that Welsh?
    I can't wait to see your veganized pizza!!!
    Hugs, Brandi

  6. Brandi,

    We had a great time! There is nothing like great food and friends to make a wonderful evening.

    Walid is from Cairo, Egypt. He is the nicest guy, always laughing and smiling. He and I clicked immediately. I love people that enjoy life and like to have fun.

    I can't wait to veganize that pizza. It looked so good!


  7. I'm not sure which made me salivate more, the gnocchi picture or the asparagus picture! So glad you had such a wonderful evening! (And I must tell BW of your adventure on the high seas! LOL!)

    I would absolutely take Ian up on his offer to make special meals for you! He wouldn't have offered it if he didn't want to do it, I'm sure... and it'll be a fun and worthwhile new experience for him. And maybe he and others will benefit from some of the new vegan dishes he comes up with! He's inspired you, now your healthy vegan lifestyle can inspire him in return, and take his skills to new culinary heights! :-) So please don't tell yourself you're an imposition and rob him of the joy! :-)

  8. Lalo,

    I know he wants to do it, but he is so busy I hate to impose. The restaurant is not at all "granola" so I know that he would be doing something just for us. If he had a few tables (which isn't the case) I wouldn't feel as bad, but he gets slammed on the weekends and during the summer. That is why I feel bad about accepting his offer. He is gracious to offer though, all part of his charm.



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