Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not Your Parents Dinner Out

Fred and I went out to dinner the other night. We are lucky in Thornbury, a small town, to have so many fine-dining restaurants. It is the result of living in a tourist town.

But the menus in today's fine-dining restaurants make me smile. Years ago, when Dad took Mom out to eat, the menu said something like Roast Beef Dinner. Once you told the server whether you wanted mashed or baked, the rest would be a surprise. Well, not really. You could count on canned peas.

But today's menus begin by mentioning the name of the chef and sous-chef. Perhaps there are chef 'groupies'. Do people eat at restaurants featuring a certain chef, the way I might choose to see a movie because of the director or producer? Perhaps they do.

Then there is the description of the food. I selected the soup. Described on the menu as
Roasted Green Garlic and Local Mushroom Broth with Crustini and Garlic Confit. Translation? Beats me. Here it is.
And remember when they would bring bread or rolls with butter? This is the new butter.

When presented with the 'olive oil for butter' substitute one evening when dining out with friends, the husband, perplexed, asked
"What the heck is this?" And well he might. It would be easy to think you were meant to toss your own salad.

And just so you know.
Here is what an $11 glass of red wine looks like. My most typical wine purchase is a California Red which cost less than $7 per bottle. On a real special occasion, I buy a Canadian Red at $12.
This was pretty darn good wine though.

My main course was Wellington County Roast Suckling Pig with Seasonal Vegetables and Basil Pesto on a bed of Polenta. I got the 'pig' part and since Fred is allergic to fresh pork, it is what I most often choose when eating out. Delicious.

We had a great time. It was a fantastic meal. And for sure not your parents dinner out.

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