Surprise, surprise, surprise!
a guest post from Mr. Leaven
I recall few childhood memories as well as my fifth birthday, crisp mental snapshots of green grass, decorations, cake, games, and lots of friends -- a delightfully self-centered day in Derry, New Hampshire. There is an almost unsurpassable happiness in those memories. Years have passed since that first day of July 1971, and with them the need for the pomp and parade of birthday parties. Now I am content to enjoy simply and quietly the passing of another year. My wife made my favourite, tomato corn pie (she posted the recipe last year about this time -- it is to die for, and with my annual ageing party, I am doing just that), and gave me some wonderful and very practical gifts, just like her fantastic mother does.
flatbread, courtesy Smitten Kitchen and my wife. Divine!
Our journey wound through the backroads of south-central Texas first to Montgomery and the Retreat Hill Winery, where we talked and tasted and had a wonderful time.
The next stop was the Bernhardt Winery in Plantersville, where Penny helped us relax on the patio, and where we broke out the cheese.
The pace was so relaxed that we got to our last winery tour stop, Pleasant Hill, somewhat later than expected, and pretty much just changed there. Changed for our dinner destination, that is, as yet a mystery to me!
The Inn at Dos Brisas. Wow! My wife and I had discussed this remotely, but I had totally forgotten about it. Located in Chappell Hill, it is praised for its excellent dining experience. Eight courses, with wine pairing, and three-and-a-half-hours later, I heartily agree. Amazing does not begin to describe the experience. Some pictures below caputure some of the amazing dishes we enjoyed, though I left out a superb tuna tartare and terrific cheese plate, having forgotten to capture them before consumption. The descriptions are recollection only. The menu was personlized and I will try to retrieve it from them. The wine pairing was phenomenal. It was the best I have ever had, and I will try to retrieve that and add it in.
|Dos Brisas Emblem|
|Amuse Bouche: caramelized onion, olive, anchovy goodness|
|Spring rolls with peanut curry satay on Himalayan salt block|
|Avocado, crabmeat, and watermelon, with foam|
|Salmon and beets like I have never tasted before - soooo good!|
|Milk-fed chicken on carrot sous vide puree with foie cannelloni|
|Dry-aged beef with eggplant three ways|
|You are looking at the best potatoes that I have EVER tasted.|
|Pink peppercorn pineapple sorbet with kiwi, mango, and kefir lime meringue|
|Dessert: fig ice cream, white chocolate mousse, hazelnut chocolate crust, and fig|
This was the better than any birthday I have ever had, even my fifth. I adore my gal!