Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello, Young Lovers! and older ones...

I love food. I love really good food most of all. I also adore my husband who routinely drives anywhere between 2 and 6 hours to spend the night with me when I am on travel for work.
Today being Valentine's Day and my meetings starting at 8:30 eastern tomorrow (ack) we decided to celebrate in Tallahassee tonight. The best resevation I could get was at 5:30 at Chez Pierre - I was willing to have dinner at Barnaby's (love that pizza) but my darling wanted to take me "someplace nice" so Chez Pierre it was.
The restaurant is in an old home, looks to be from the late 19th century, with a beautiful set of what I think of as French garden around it. They planted rye grass to continue to have some greenery and have little vignette areas of flowering plants, fountains, benches, statues scattered along the path to the entrance.
Our table was in a room with aqua walls, white crown molding and various non-traditional style French scenes. There were three scenes painted in a macro-pointillism style that I wasn't real sure I cared for but I liked the pen and ink drawings.
I really liked the menu. The make of a really good restaurant to me is what they offer in the way of small plates or appetizers. Chez Pierre's normal menu has so many lovely apps that I have a hard time choosing which to order. Since it was a holiday they were iperating with a limited menu so my choices were easier. We opted to share a cheese board with cheeses from Thomasville's Sweet Grass Dairy - Tomme, Brie and a bleu that was so beautiful I almost wanted to taste it. We had plain and olive bread, grapes and strawberries on the plate as well. We nibbled and talked about the art, the way the crown molding wasn't flat to the ceiling, and where we'd go if you could time travel for vacation.
I had some escargot and ordered the smoked salmon appetizer as my entree. The salmon was beautiful - the picture doesn't do it justice. The slices were thick, the flavor was delicate, the meat was buttery-smooth. A small arugula salad with a generous helping of capers, mixed olives and red onion was served on the side along with slices of olive bread and a dollop of herbed creme fraiche.  The latter for those who don't read cookbooks like they were porn is simply a high-end sour cream with fresh herbs mixed into it. But creme fraiche is to Breakstone as creme brulee is to the filling in a Hostess Twinkie. All good, oooonly different:)
My Charlie had wild mushroom ravioli that was tasty but after the escargot I was glad of the relatively lighter salmon dish.
One of the many joys of having been together for so many years is that the scary parts of the relationship are gone. I wanted to go to the new organic grocery store (Earth Fare) after dinner (which we did) without worrying that he expected some Valentine's Day action right after we ate. He knew how much I'd enjoy the store with its rows of produce in their naturally bright, un-wax-coated splendour. We bought Meyer Lemons and organic cider and organic chocolate truffles and 3 dozen organic eggs from free range chickens.
We came back to the room and rested a little and snuggled together and he reminded me again of why, back when I first saw him, he took my breath away.
Happy Valentine's Day.

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