Monday, January 21, 2008

If that's your best, your best won't do...

Last night was long overdo...

Last night, Kerrie and I sat down to a proper meal of small plates and lots of wine. Yup, my favorite of all: Tapas.

I can fondly call on the memories of that first time I had a tapas meal. It was one of those crisp September days where one second its scorching hot out, then it's suddenly cloudy and a chill descends on everything.

I am, of course, referring to Ann Arbor and the ever-amazing Cafe Felix.

Ever since that day I've craved not only the food, but the atmosphere and style of the tapas meal. I even told Kerrie that if I ever wind up on death-row, a very lengthy tapas would serve as my last meal.

The meal I prepared last night consisted of 5 small entrees and 2 desserts.

Plate 1 - Cheese & Baguette
Plate 2 - Pan Seared Scallops with Pico de Gallo & Chipotle Smear
Plate 3 - Polenta Fries w/ Marinara & Shredded Parmesan
Plate 4 - Scampi
Plate 5 - Beef Tenderloin w/ Balsamic Glaze
Ruby Port & Lindt Truffle

Blush Ice Wine & Cocoa Creme Brulee

Everything was just as I wanted it to be. It took just under three hours to eat and it was perfectly relaxed. Plus, Kerrie and I have found that scallops are now on list of "Seafood that doesn't suck". Maybe I'm just a little too proud of myself here, but the scallops REALLY impressed me after I had prepared them. Granted, scallops are easy to do but these were so... right. They were cooked to what I figure is "just right" in the sense that there was no offending odor, they were butter-soft, and despite the uber-spiciness of the dish, they were really good.

I was less adventurous with the wine selection, but to be fair - when you find one really like, you just go with it. I'm a fan of the Protocolo, as it went with the beef and the polenta very nicely. The white, a 2006 Vega Sindoa, was a surprise hit because of how well it went with the cheese plate. The Ice Wine, a gift from Kerrie's parents from the very cool South River Vineyard in NE Ohio, paired very well with the Creme Brulee.

All things considered, it was an exceptional evening if not overly tiring. The wines certainly hit me a little harder than they used to. (I can hear Wes laughing maniacally from all the way down here...) Nonetheless, this is as close to perfect as a meal can get for me. The kind where hours disappear and the food never seems to stop.

Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
The Gypsy Kings - Hotel California
Blues Brothers - Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
Bobby Bland - Turn on your love light
Mojo Nixon - You Can't Kill Me

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