Dinner for Two

Tiny Phil

This year, Anne and I celebrated Valentine’s Day, big time! I had made us table  reservations for dinner at Acero, a nice Italian restaurant in Maplewood. While not on the Hill (the Saint Louis Italian neighborhood), it was pretty close to it. Acero had a special menu for this holiday. It consisted of five courses, with three choices for most courses. The menu follows. We tried to cover as much of the menu as the two of us could. I’ve grayed out courses that we did not order. 

Cime di Rape Crocchette – Parmigiano, pecorino, pomodoro, butter

Ribeye Crudo – endive fonduta, chive oil, sprouts, shallot, Parmigiano reggiano
Gnocco Fritto – Prosciutto di Parma, olive oil, sea salt, black truffle
Shrimp & Lobster Bisque – shrimp, lobster, tarragon aioli

Egg Raviolo – nduja, black garlic, Parmigiano
Risotto – saffron, bone marrow & lardo butter, parsley
Tagliatelle – twelve vegetable Bolognese, Parmigiano reggiano

Caul Fat Wrapped Porchetta – potato puree, braised vegetables, herbed sugo
Black Bass – garlic confit potato, fennel, broccoli rapini, white wine
Beef Tenderloin – leek whipped potato, porcini mushroom, asparagus, sugo

Chocolate Torte – red velvet cake gelato, raspberry cream cheese crema
Tiramisu – espresso soaked lady fingers & glaze, mascarpone, cocoa powder
Strawberry Cannoli – fresh, roasted and strawberry balsamic reduction

When I originally made our reservation, I was unaware of their special menu. We had some trepidation about the amount of food to be ordered. No one likes to feel too full. The amount turned out to be a non-issue, because the above menu turned out to be a tasting menu, with portions sized accordingly. So, we enjoyed a romantic evening, with some pretty fine dining. 

What Not to Give Your Valentine

Powder Puff

Your one phone call — I was on my way to pick up Anne, after school. She was at ECC (Early Childhood Center) also-known-as the home of Egregious Child Crud. I was sitting southbound on Laclede Station Road, at Manchester. At this long light, I was first in line and had plenty of time to observe the lengthening northbound line that was primarily populated by departing parents, who had just picked up their little darlings, from the afore-mentioned ECC. A car pulled up in the otherwise empty, opposite left turn lane, The driver waited for a break in traffic on Manchester and then turned right on red, from the left turn lane. I watched this agape, while continuing to sit at the red light. I’m sure that the parents in the opposite lane were similarly gob smacked, all except for the third car in line. The cop sitting there, flipped on his lights and siren and gave chase. It wasn’t a very long chase, because there was no way that the driver was going to cruise through the adjoining Big Bend intersection at that time of day. This thought must have occurred to the driver when he first heard the siren and first saw the lights in his rear view mirror, as he was breezing past the neighboring police station. I’m sure that the driver had plenty of time to contemplate how much time and money that illegal turn did not save him in the end. 

Orchid Mania

Cloud of Butterflies

First thing Monday morning, I headed over to the botanical gardens and got there just after it had opened. I made a beeline for the annual orchid showroom and found it empty of people. Soothing music played, while I alone enjoyed the sight of these gorgeous flowers. Usually, it’s hard to navigate the confines of the show’s too small room, because of the crowd. This year’s theme is orchid mania, the Victorian era fad that sparked a mad rush for New World orchids. This fad resulted in the over harvesting of rare orchids. By the time I left the show, the crowd had arrived. I toured the rest of the garden, starting with the Climatron. The garden was just as empty as the orchid show had been. 

Cycle Monday

African Daisy

Anne went back to school, taking the car with her and I went to work, making Christmas. I put up all our decorations, both inside and out. The weather today was gorgeous and it looks like it will continue to be unseasonably pleasant and warm for the rest of the week. So, I went for a bicycle ride in Forest Park. Since, I didn’t have the car, I also ran my errands on the bike. I hit the library, post office and grocery store and then got the rest of my miles in.