After a pint-sized tantrum last weekend, when I complained bitterly that we don’t go anywhere interesting to eat, thus depriving my brain of opportunities to ponder new culinary concepts, we decided to go out somewhere decent tonight. We chose a restaurant called Silo Elevated Cuisine that had come highly recommended by the locals. I had wanted to go there another time when some drug reps had held a dinner there, but we had a conflicting schedule that night. So this was a make-up session.
The restaurant also had the selling point of offering a prix fixe menu, which is a feature that I absolutely adore for one reason and one reason only: there is no dithering about after the meal with me desperately wanting to order dessert, while some douchebag (and there is always at least one) loudly announces “Oh my goodness, I couldn’t possibly. I’m just STUFFED.” Yeah, you know what? How about you just GET stuffed? Because now I cannot possibly order dessert, since you’ve already told the waiter you want the tab and everyone is shuffling around in their wallets for currency. It ALWAYS happens.
And then if you have the audacity to say “Um…I’m not stuffed. It turns out I still have a whole bunch of room in my dessert-belly, even though my savory-belly is full” people look at you like you’re some kind of raving glutton. And then, if you suffer the indignity of giving the waiter an additional order after he’s already printed the tab, the looks of people thinking you’re a pig, the stigma of being the dessert-fiend, just to get some of that awesome-looking dessert, the people you’re eating with sigh and take off their coats…AND THEN THEY TRY TO TAKE BITES OUT OF YOUR DESSERT!! The waiter always brings a whole handful of extra forks to facilitate this, and that also pisses me off, but what am I supposed to do? “Yeah, can I have the lemon chiffon cake with the white chocolate pastry cream and just the one fork so these vultures can’t make off with it?” No. It’s ugly. With prix fixe, you always get dessert, and everyone always gets their own. And I like that.
I also liked that they had their menu posted online, so I could sit and mentally figure out exactly what combination I was going to order during the day. The thing I was the most excited for was the chocolate mousse with salted caramel and cocoa nibs. Drool. I decided to go with the house salad instead of the Caesar, and the raspberry-chipotle glazed pork loin with ancho-cherry sauce, garlic spinach, and green chile mac n’ cheese. Only I wanted veggies instead of mac n’ cheese (you never know when they’ll put bleu cheese in their mac n’ cheese, and that’s not a risk I’m willing to take).
I got ready, wearing my awesome new jeans and some really cute black boots that I got at Nordstroms last year at the end of the season. They’re knee-high leather, and make me well over six feet tall, and I love them. I had never worn them before tonight. I had taken time with my eyeliner, and had done something with my hair, and was feeling all miniature because my new jeans are a size 5 and I had managed to button them without unfortunate muffin-top happening. It was all systems go, which was strange feeling since I haven’t worn anything that wasn’t locatable at Lady Footlocker in months. I mean, shit, I was wearing PANTS. So you can imagine how delighted I was when I stepped out of the car at the restaurant and realized that my heel had broken off of my BRAND NEW BOOT in the drive over. Seriously. I am not joking. Fortunately my pants were long enough that I could just walk on one boot and one tippy toed heel-less boot and nobody was any wiser. But I felt really silly in my soul.
We sat down, and the waitress came over to take our order. She looked kind of sorry for us since we were eating at 6:30 on a Friday night like a pair of sad geriatrics, but let’s be real–I have to run my farthest yet tomorrow morning, I needed to carbo-load (cannot get enough of the carbo-loading, I tell ya), and I am HUNGRY by 6:30. I am usually hungry by 5:00, but manage to distract myself by counting sheep and marshmallows and sheep-shaped marshmallows until prime time television starts. She started yammering about the wine list, so I just picked the top riesling off the list (I know, I know, you wine people are probably cringing) and ordered it hoping she’d make with a bread basket soon. She came back with the wine, and it was sad. I never remember how measly an actual “serving” of wine is. At home, where I usually drink wine, a glass of wine means a glass. Full of wine. Not a small sample to put in my mouth hoping that there will be enough that some liquid will reach my back taste buds before being absorbed into my tongue grooves. See? This was after only a couple of little sips.
She finally came to take our order, and mispronounced fois gras, at which point I interrupted her and told her exactly what I wanted for all three courses. Chris did the same (he ordered almost exactly what I did, only kept the mac n’ cheese) since the only other options were seafood (which isn’t our favorite) and a vegetarian risotto that boasted pea tendrils. I get that pea tendrils are delicate and sweet and delicious, but all I could picture at the time was a green octopus rising out of a sea of white risotto and reaching its tentacles/tendrils at me. Must have been that tablespoon of wine…
We got an appetizer of arancini, because I love arancini. I knew it was just the leftover risotto from the night previous, fried into a ball with some goat cheese in the center, but it sounded great. It was, even though Chris totally bogarted the artichoke off of the top. And I don’t like goat cheese.
Our salads came next, and were kind of “meh.” My dressing was decent, and the tomatoes were very sweet, but otherwise it was unimaginative and the croutons were like hard white bread with no flavor. Chris’s was a typical Caesar salad, with a parmesan crisp (OH! How avant GARDE!)
Next, the entrees. Again, they were almost identical, except that mine had asparagus and his had the green chile mac. His green chile mac was, to the best of my deductive abilities, just orzo with green chile cream. Nothing cheesy or hearty about it. Lipton could have pulled this off and called it Lipton Orzo n’ Sauce. Maaaaybe a semi-imaginative combo, but certainly not a brain-buster. My asparagus were cooked expertly, I will say that. Crisp-tender and flavorful without any limp bits. I’m not usually an asparagus lover, but this was a great substitute for the mac. The plating was kind of sloppy and unimaginative, and I was pretty sure I could do a better job, so I did. Meet “Aspara-Gus.” Chris didn’t look ashamed, not even when I pulled crusty pieces off of my pork to make eyeballs. His only remarks were “What are you? Tom Hanks? Is that your friend?” and “I think it needs a corncob pipe.” He even donated a piece of orzo so that our friend could be gifted with the power of speech. And that’s why I’m marrying him. Shortly after this photo was taken, Aspara-Gus was in a tragic accident and somebody ate all of his limbs. Oh yeah, and the pork was a very nice degree of doneness, but the flavorings were slightly muted. It could have been executed with a bit more panache.
Finally it was dessert time. Joy unbounded!
She brought over my chocolate mousse with salted caramel, whipped cream, and cacao nibs.
She brought Chris his trio of sorbets (passion fruit, raspberry, and coconut–which I got to eat since Chris hates coconut). Both were festooned with mutant mint leaves that were large enough that I started to suspect they had been grown in nuclear ooze like the Ninja Turtles. Chris tucked into his with gusto, while I examined mine and got closer and closer to tears. There was no salted caramel. None. Nada. The waitress finally came over and interrupted my mourning to find out if everything was okay. I told her there was no salted caramel, and she said, “Oh, it’s just at the bottom.” It was a clear dish! So I lifted it and showed her, still sniffling and sounding panicked, and she said “Huh. Looks like they forgot. I’ll go get some.” She sounded flippant, and that pissed me off a little because HELLO?! It’s salted caramel! That’s WHY I ORDERED IT! Plebes. It came back with its rightful saucing, and I thought it a bit mean that the chef didn’t give me extra, since it was his screw up. I ate all of the caramel, much of the mousse, and then put pepper in the dish so I wouldn’t feel compelled to eat all of the whipped cream. I have to vandalize my food when I’m full, or I will just truck right through it and end up uncomfortably full.
While we were waiting for the waitress to come back with our tab, Chris added, helpfully, “if this room lost its gravity, we’d still have seats.” I looked up. There were padded hangy-things that did look remarkably like benches. Excellent observation, honey. I took a picture of the benches. And him, because I like his face.