There is a lot to catch up on in my month away from the blog. The first notable is the passing of another birthday for me and M. He took the day off; this is the second year in a row I didn't, and I think it may be the last. I liked making it a special day, admiring the residents of the Aquarium and going out to dinner.
Nope, I dressed up in my favorite black lace skirt and trooped off to work in the umbiquitious April Shower. But I don't think I did a lot of working. I started with a trip to Panera for breakfast, The Capital Grille with J and C for lunch, then dinner at Cinghiale after work with M.
While we didn't have good weather karma, we did get good table karma. We got a great corner seat and lots of wine and food and attention. We had Prosecco to start (his sweet, mine dry) and the Prezzo Fisso dinner (think prix fixe) where each course came with a glass of wine that compliments that particular menu choice.
So I had:
Too much bread with dry Prosecco
Il Fritto Misto (fried veggie slices with a brown butter and lemon sauce)
I Funghi (caramelized forest mushrooms, truffle, and crostini)
Gli Gnocchi (potato and spinach dumplings with red pepper bits)
and M had:
My breadcrumbs with sweet Prosecco
I Marubini (a butternut squash soup with ricotta stuffed pasta floating on top)
I Casunsei (sausage filled pasta with butter and sage)
Il Manzo alla Griglia (grilled ribeye with marinated mushrooms and baby arugula)
One of my bosses (who frequents the Osteria) warned me I may leave hungry. The dining room is different. We could barely eat by the time we got to the main course. And we didn't have a single duplicitive glass of wine between the two of us, so we had a lot of fun tasting each other's wines.
M's main course was served with the new love of my life: 2001 "Mocali" Brunello Di Montalcino. OMG, so good. I had the waiter call Bin 604 to see if they sold it, and of course they didn't. BUT. Since Cinghiale HAD a bottle... they could transfer it to Bin 604, sell it to me through them, and give it to me there. I didn't even ask how much it was. It took a while, but I am the proud owner of a bottle. I should've gotten two.
On the way out, I asked for a menu to help guide my blog post, and in honor of our birthday, the hostess had the executive chef sign a copy: