Birthday dinner

I’ve been super busy with work and the fiscal year switchover and also with the birthday so I will post bits and pieces. This is the thing I wrote elsewhere about my birthday dinner at Al Vento:
David took me to Al Vento for dinner. Very lovely Italian food. First we debated the wines. David likes very dry cabs and I prefer something less dry and more fruit forward (without being too sweet). The Sommelier recommended something, the name of which completely escapes me. I was skeptical on first try, but he assured me that as it sat, it would open up and it did.
Question, you know when they open the bottle and pour a little and you try it? What’s the protocol for saying “actually, I do not want this. It tastes bad!” That didn’t happen last night but it happened once before. The wine wasn’t recommended, we picked it out so I figured I couldn’t tell them we didn’t want it, they’d already opened it and yet they had me try a little to see if I liked it. I’m not a ‘wine person’ per se, i know the stuff I like (sangiovese, tempranillo) but I’m not like “oh the 97 Spongebob Estates Parnouti varietal is really coming into its own this year!”
Anyway, back to the food.
We started with an appetizer of white nectarines wrapped in prosciutto rustica and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. What impressed me the most was that they didn’t go all overboard with the drizzling, making stupid designs on the plate and using too much balsamic. The dish was perfectly balanced. The nectarines were sweet and a little tart, and the pieces were rather large. At first I thought they were too large, but it was the right size to counterpoint the saltiness of the prosciutto. Prosciutto rustica is a little more ‘meaty’ than regular prosciutto, it has more texture. Every few bites you would get a little balsamic reduction, syrupy and sweet with a not over powering tang to it. It was almost cleansing.
For entrees David got the spaghetti with garlic and something something. They used whole cloves of garlic in the sauce. He seemed to enjoy it but I think he wished there was more.
I ordered the lambchops which I had grilled to medium rare. They came on a bed of sauteed mustard greens which were absolutely divine. On first bite yuo picked up the smokiness from the lamb, then garlic, a touch of vinegar, a little mint and finally the bitter green. I cannot put to words how much I adored those greens. David was trying to steal them from me. The plate also came with parmesan crisps and lightly herbed goat cheese.
Whenever the waitress came over she apologized profusely for abandoning us, but we didn’t feel abandoned. It’s nice to have a meal without someone stopping by every few minutes to bug you. Besides, there were no less than 3 other people who were constantly and silently whisking in the clear plates, fill water and wine glasses and at one point, replace silverware (???). She apologized and offered up free dessert. Awesome!
I ordered the creme brulee sampler, vanilla bean, chocolate espresso and pistachio. David swear the vanilla was excellent, full of vanilla flavor but I started with the pistachio and worked my way around and after 2 very strongly flavored custards, my mouth just couldn’t pick up subtlety. Either way, they were velvety smooth and light and they didn’t use a metric buttload of sugar to make the crust. I hate a super thick crust on creme brulee, I’m a fan of subtlety. Obviously.
Then we went home and watched Sarah Silverman “Jesus is Magic” and that sucked donkey balls. I mean maybe it would be good to someone who had never heard a shocking thing in their life but you know… oh, I don’t know, it sucked balls.

7 thoughts on “Birthday dinner

  1. Jesus is Magic did suck. I’m sorry you had to sit through that. Every once in a great while she says something that really IS funny. She has too many lame ones in between though.

  2. Oh, one other thing. I far as I know, you don’t taste the wine to decide whether you like it or not. The tasting is to tell if the wine has gone bad. If it tastes like vinegar, the restaurant will gladly take it out back and shoot it. I’ve seen my dad reject a bottle for this reason, and it was no big deal.

  3. AWESOME!!! That is exactly what I needed to know. Thank you anonymous commenter.
    Okay, I’m glad I never sent a bottle of wine back just because I did not like it! That would have been ugly.

  4. I’d like to believe you but the IP addresses are so different. It’s a pretty jerky move to try to claim praise reserved for the anonymous people.

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