The good thing about going out to eat is that you don’t know what to expect. Some people’s or expert’s judgement about good food is not necessarily one you may think you are going to agree with them 100%.
I was invited by good friends in my neighborhood to a North Carolina landmark and one of the best-rated restaurants in the United States. They, my neighbors, are a very lovely couple and because I supposedly will be moving back south next month they asked me to dinner. So I really did not know how my opinion about the place, service and food was going to fare.
This was the dessert offering. I know, I am starting at almost the end of the experience. But sometimes life is like that, you get the results before you understand what hit you. Going back to the delicious-food-evening. Place is a big red barn, style kind of homey or very Cracker Barrel, but on a more grandiose scale. They have a room that one of the walls is a display of old guns, rifles, etc. Weapons enough to start some sort of small-country- revolution. No kidding. But in the name of decor, it does not appear or looks menacing. Then they have the “Turkey” room/bar. Lots and lots of figurines of turkeys, and more turkey galore stuff. It is a place to really go there and spend a whole day just looking at the decor, and oh yes, we went there to eat.
The spinach salad is so grand. Lots of fresh organic spinach, with lots of also good for you bacon, boiled egg, and croutons worth your salivating. They will not share the recipe for the dressing. Hard to explain the flavor, some sort of sweet, sour, that made the salad unconsciously tasteful. I would have been just fine with the salad and the bread. Butter, I believe also made from organic cows (is there such a thing?), was dripping from the toasted bread. Who’s thinking about fat when you could die right there and not even realize you are being taken out.
That’s not even the beginning. Carmen, our server, was just plain pleasant and very willing to make this a very unforgettable experience. Excellent training! She brings some type of square home-made (in this case, restaurant-made) crackers, with aged cucumbers, pickled celery, two small containers of aged cheese, cheddar and a sharper type of cheddar and an assorted type of olives. I love olives. I am still recovering from the so good strong-tasting cheese, washed down with the house red wine, that who cares if the gazillion of calories are just being added to your soon to pass out into a heavenly body experience.
Then, finally the steak, also very good for you, from very happy, well-grass-fed- cows. Not an ounce of hormones or anything insulting to the beef population. I made a mistake, as I requested the steak “well done.” No blood running on my account. I should have asked for next to well done, because steak was a bit too dried. My mistake. Just had the leftover with my Sunday lunch salad. Melting in my mouth. Add rice pilaf and a baked seasoned with all herbs tomato.
Dessert? Where? I really wanted some key lime pie, but my eyes were bulging out.
L’addition, s’il vus plait. The check? I was just there to eat and generate and join in the conversation. I was one happy and grateful camper, I mean, eater. But I gather that I would have to save some of my personal allowance a few months to go back and enjoy again the experience. Looking forward to that one.
So it was today, 26 June, 2011, a day to play back in my mind having had such a wonderful eating experience with fascinating people to share it with.
Your Happy Contessa
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer and aviator. 29 June, 1900-31 July, 1944. He wrote “The Little Prince.”