Sunday, August 10, 2008
The white dress makes its debut
Dan and I (in white) hit the town.
Back when I finally decided that I was not going to wear the white dress to Dan and Jacey's wedding, Dan agreed to take me out on a hot date this summer so I would have the chance to wear it. August rolled around, and I reminded him that summer (and white dress wearing days) are getting scarce, and so we decided to do it this weekend.
I did not have a plan on where we should go, but then Dan started throwing out names like Daniel and Babbo--very upscale, critically acclaimed foodie places with celebrity chefs that I never thought we would ever set foot in (though secretly harbored an ambition to do so). I did not fight him on it. Remember, we are the type of people who are reluctant to go anywhere that requires a reservation unless it is a special occasion--so this was a big deal. And the fact that Dan suggested it, bigger than big deal.
I know you are all thinking at this moment: Dan is going to propose. But I know my Dan better than you do. It's too obvious. And then he told me a few nights before, "I am not going to propose to you at dinner" to which I replied "I know." (The reason why we had this conversation in the first place is because our friends heard fancy restaurant and started getting ideas).
Based on restaurant reviews and who had a table available, Dan and I selected Aquavit--a well-respected Scandinavian restaurant in midtown with food prepared by chef Marcus Samuelsson. When Dan made the reservation, they told him on the phone that men were expected to wear jackets and that is when we knew that we hit the jackpot. This was the kind of place we were looking for. Sure initially it was all about the white dress, but Dan also relishes any chance to dress up.
The whole experience was a whole lot of fun. We totally felt like we weren't supposed to be there, like we were little children who sneaked into the big-kids party. (Although it wasn't over-the-top fancy smancy--there were men in there who weren't wearing jackets but we promptly made fun of them). The waiter was friendly and acted like we did belong. He did not speak down to us, but educated us on the menu, with every course talking about the highlights and the best drinks to pair with what meals and all this foodie stuff that went a little over my head. I enjoyed it immensely.
The restaurant is known for their homemade aquavit which is like a flavored vodka. I ordered the pineapple and Thai basil that tasted like pineapple candy--it was so good. Dan got the blueberry and elderflower which I also thought was tasty. For dinner, I ordered the lobster roll for an appetizer and then the duck for my entree--which offered my waiter some challenges in getting the correct drink for me. Dan ordered the foie gras and the venison. As you would expect, all the food was artistically arranged on large white plates, and while the portions seemed small, they definitely filled you up with their flavor. For dessert, Dan got a chocolate pie and I got the house favorite: The Arctic circle which is a goat cheese parfait with blueberry sorbet and passion fruit curd. Pretty interesting.
On top of our meal, they gave us free tastings from the chef at every turn. Two complementary appetizers or "amuse bouches"--just a taste of food to amuse your palate. I got an icy aquavit to go with my appetizer that I was told would help cleanse my palate in between my bites of my lobster roll (it did). And I did not complain when they placed on the table a rectangular plate filled with mini-desserts, including homemade Swedish fish which tasted like hard jam.
At the end, Dan said, "This is the best meal I have ever eaten" and we were already talking about next times and what other places we would like to go and who we would like to go with. (Though I hardly doubt this will become habit).
We ended our fancy night at a fancy bar--the King Cole at the St Regis Hotel where I ordered a glass of wine for $18 which totally wasn't worth it. Somehow Dan had enough room in his stomach to eat all the macadamia nuts out of the mixed nut bowl. We left when I began to start yawning non-stop at 12:30 (I guess I am not such a hot date after all), and when we hailed our taxi on Park Avenue, I said, "This feels like an episode of Sex and the City." Dan replied, "You're drunk."
Back home, full of Swedish food and ready to go to bed.
Posted by Yvonne at 8:34 AM