I am not a mushy person.* And Valentines Day as a holiday does not particularly excite me. But love does, and so does food. So since Valentines Day is supposed to involve both of these things, we can get along. Although I don’t know why you would reserve just one day of year for this excitement. If you don’t recognize love (romantic or otherwise), enjoy food, or dine out unless Hallmark tells you to, then Valentines Day may possibly be a very important holiday to you. Maybe you also would go nuts over a Vermont Teddy Bear, Jane Seymour’s Eternal Hearts necklace, or the dreaded Cupcake in Bloom. Someone is getting that crap. And someone is thrilled about it. Pleh.
Here is my effort at being cute for yesterday’s breakfast:
Justin: "Did you nom a bite out of my egg samich?" Me: "It's A HEART. Geez."
So I tried.
We decided to go to In Fine Spirits for dinner and drinks. We hadn’t been there since the summer. *Sigh.* It was June. They had their lovely patio opened up at the back of the restaurant. I can remember having a Blanc Bombshell flight out in the sun with a scrumptious pairing of cheeses on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I think I would pay $1,000 if someone could fast forward time to May, when all of Chicago goes completely out of their heads on the day that patios open up city-wide. We love our dining alfresco.
Back to mid-February: Justin and I ordered a couple reds from the extensive wine menu. The Rioja I had in my glass was the winner. I wish I could describe it properly. Oaky and dry I think. Like smoked wood? It perfectly complimented our plate of Roaring 40s Blue (King Island, Australia), Chorizo (Palacios, Spain), and Sunset Bay goats milk (River’s Edge, Oregon). The second I bit into the Roaring 40s Blue and had a sip of wine directly following, my eyes became squinty, twinkly and a bit blurry. I think Justin calls it my happy-food-place-face?
Wine, small plates, and a pretty tin ceiling.
We followed up the cheese with small tapas style plates of roasted chicken tartine with provolone, celeriac rémoulade, tomato marmalade, followed by meatballs with sake-braised bok choy, soy, ginger, and roasted cauliflower with brussels sprouts, bacon lardon, pine nut, golden raisin. With the exception of one husband-approved brussel sprout, I finished the roasted cauliflower plate without much sharing. It was my first taste of brussel sprouts ever! And I love them! And they weren’t mushy at all!
Brussel sprouts! Not Mushy! A whole page in the menu for cheese! Entire water flasks for our table alone. No ice!
Any restaurant that gives me the whole water pitcher/flask/decanter and leaves it on the table gets major bonus points. Anyone that has spent more than 10 minutes with me in person is aware that I drink more water than thought humanly possible. During a week-long a photo shoot with my lovely former boss-lady Anne (hi, Anne!), I probably frightened the crew with my ability to clear an entire water pallet from Sam’s in less than two days. While driving back to the hotel one night, I freaked out about not having any water (and chap stick?) within arm’s reach and made her pull over to the nearest gas station so I could buy 2 liters of the good stuff. I went to bed with the bottles full on the nightstand, and woke up with them thrown onto the hotel floor, completely empty. I am a sleep drinker apparently.
Although I love water, I am not a fan of ice. It inhibits me from drinking water as fast as I would like, and causes brain freeze. It also makes the food and wine less tasty when the mouth is frozen. So I would rather not have it. So bonus points to In Fine Spirits for not having ice water.
Also, bonus points to the entire country of Italy for also never serving me ice. It is one of the top reasons I wouldn’t be mad if I had to move there someday.
<3 <3 <3
*A note about not being a mushy person. I am an ENTP that needs to rein in the “T” (thinking) and concentrate on developing the “F”(feeling) side a lot more. Things that help with the “F”: kittens, babies, heart-shaped egg samiches, and an encouraging INTJ husband who is more in touch with his “F” than I am. I will try harder. <3