I'm excited about it though. This is something I've been wanting to learn to do for awhile.
Last night, Mike decided he wanted to take me out. I'm not sure where or what I was thinking. I knew we had to go to a bead store, and we did that. And I was dressed completely informally. Black skirt, cute teeshirt that said "Go Away, Get off my planet!" (which is what I'm wearing today too. I only had it on for a couple hours yesterday, and I need to get laundry done. Don't judge me. You've done it before too.), my alien necklace from Gina, and my gitd alien bracelet and my alien earrings.There was definitely a theme going. At the beadstore, Cat said she thought the alien earrings would look cute in the size 15 delicas, but for some reason, I didn't register she meant *my* alien earrings, so I asked her which ones. She said "Didn't you make alien earrings?" then noticed I was wearing them. I felt.. umm.. really really stupid?
After though.. Mike wanted to go out to a grown up restaurant without the kids together. We stopped by the Bear's Tooth, but they were, of course, SLAMMED. An hour wait for a table. Then we decided on Italian, and he took me to Villa Nova.
Oh wow.. it was so good. He asked me what kind of appetizer I wanted, he was looking at a few things on the regular menu, but on the specials for the day was an artichoke/crab/gruyere dip. So we ordered that. It was so rich, it was foreplay. The meal was the foodgasm. I tend too often to just eat for fuel, and not indulge often. This whole meal was an indulgence. Dessert was something like a chocolate cream puff. Fresh, handmade puff pastry filled with chocolate mousse,topped with a chocolate ganache, served in a puddle of chocolate sauce with bits of chocolate in it. All high quality chocolate. We shared. It was so good. I did wind up ordering one to go at the same time for E. I felt a little guilty, since my leftovers from dinner are going to be given to W. I wondered if E would be able to eat the whole thing. I know at Nordstroms she can't not eat a whole slice of chocolate cake because it's so rich and dark, but I guess since the mousse wasn't dark, and with the puff pastry to cut the total chocolateness of it, she had no issues and ate the whole thing happily.
Mike ordered a spicy chicken pasta thing. I didn't try it, I don't do well with spicy. I ordered a veal dish, which I normally don't because I feel too guilty about it. But it sounded so good. It was amazing. Veal cutlets in a mushroomy garlicky sauce, covered in bits of bacon and bread crumbs, and topped with mozzarella baked to a golden brown. I only managed to eat one of the 3 in my serving. It was more then enough, and so good. Lots of different textures and flavors, and I ate each bite slowly and savored it. On the side of my entree, I had creamed spinach with I *think* candied pecans in it. Sweet nuts of some sort, and some potatoes that were creamy and fried to a light golden in butter. Mike tried a little of everything I had. Plus I had the soup, which was minestrone done with chicken broth instead of a tomato base with bits of parmesan in it. I've been planning to make a vegetable minestrone soon, I'm so very toasting some parmesan and serving it that way. I think I can adapt the veal to turkey patties and make a meal E will love. Which was a big part of why I was eating very slowly. I was trying to identify flavors and think of ways to replicate the texture. Obviously, I won't be able to completely replicate the texture of veal with turkey, but E loves ground turkey, and it's a whole lot less expensive.
It was lovely, and the waitress complimented my earrings and teeshirt, which made Mike all smug because I'd snarled at him "If I'd known we were going someplace nice to eat, I'd have dressed for it." But Alaska being what Alaska is, honestly, I can't think of any restaurant in town you can't get away with casual clothes. We tend to be fairly casual people, even when we go out. He knew what he had planned, and wore a long sleeved Metallica teeshirt.
Well.. my opinions aside.. what did the guy who went to high school in Italy think? He liked it. The chef hasn't Americanized the dishes, or given in the "more garlic means more authenticity" habit. He does wish that more restaurants in the US had parking like in Italy. Where you park someplace 4 or 5 blocks away and have a nice walk before and after the slow take your time meal. He was thrilled with the chocolate dessert. Which I picked. They recite the dessert menu there, and it was hard to keep up with. Usually I *don't* order chocolate desserts. I'm picky. But their cream sauces were so perfect, I figured the chocolate would be good too. The only disappointment for Mike and I was the bread. It was plain, white, boring and predictable rather then the artisan breads we've been getting used to in those sorts of places. Mike likes bread with texture and bits of grain. I really wish I could understand why the big chains like Outback and Chili's are so popular when for pretty close to the same amount, you can go to a local place with amazing food. And wow.. I'm absolutely sure that right at this moment, the other Cat.. the one in California? Is seriously seriously wishing she were in Alaska.
E of course, thought Mc Donald's (which we also picked up for her on the way home) and a fancy dessert make nearly the perfect meal.
Tonight I'm making chicken teriyaki for dinner I think. With a ton of veggies to help make up for the total indulgence last night. Plus I think when I get to the gym, I'll do a half hour extra cardio.
But.. it was a lovely evening!