When yours is a family comprised of 3 children (aged 20, 17, 16) and two adults of varying gastronomical preferences (I’m from Borneo, he’s from Southern Italy), eating out can be quite the challenge. Particularly when it comes to special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas Eve, that sort of thing. It’s usually my man who proposes a few options and together, we pick one. The problem with that arrangement is he often forgets to make reservations until a few days prior, and you don’t toy with ginormous days like New Year’s Eve. You just don’t. It bites you in the buttocks, most viciously, I might add. Let’s just say I wasn’t looking forward to a repeat of 2012 and 2013, and decided I’d be the one to shop around for a place to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
I know it sounds trivial, petty even, but this is where things get complicated. The oldest
does not like seafood much tends to change his eating preferences every week, the middle doesn’t eat anything with a shell (nor rabbit), and the youngest isn’t a big fan of meat unless it’s chicken. I personally love red meats and seafood but I absolutely will not touch greens. My man doesn’t particularly enjoy anything too heavy and he absolutely loves greens. You feel my quandary?
The next part of this saga is that I’m not very familiar with the local food scene. At all. Therefore, you can imagine how much I genuflect before the tabernacle known as OpenTable (no, I’m not being paid to plug them, I genuinely adore that website).
Thanks to the people there (bless them), we had an amazing feast at The Rainbow Lodge.
I blogged about my outfit here in a new column called What Would Sheela Wear 🙂
My soup was Smoked Duck and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, with Rice Pilaf. Spicy, yes. Delicious? Oh, yes.
Remember my loathing for greens? This almost changed my entire outlook. Young Spinach tossed with Duck Confit (this bit I must quibble, I had a sliver of Duck and that was it), Toasted Mushrooms, Pecans and Sliced Port Pears. The Gorgonzola was a subtle touch until the end when I accidentally gulped an entire cube and gasped.
For the record, that’s Eve’s Salad and THE GIRL HATES GREENS. She wiped this plate clean. A simple Cesar Salad with Ciabatta Croutons.
My entree was magnificent. It made the fireplace burn a little toastier. The air a little cosier. The chandeliers a little brighter. And my expanding waistline appear ever so much smaller in the photos. Yes, it was magical. Chilli Rubbed Nilgai Antelope with Grilled Venison Medallions (rare), served with a Cheddar and Jalapeno Bread Pudding, Mojo de Ajo Sauce (orgasmic) and Grilled Asparagus (I can’t comment on these since I didn’t touch them).
This was Eve’s main course, Pan Seared Sea Bass with Gulf Prawn, served on a bed of Forbidden Black Rice, Swiss Chard and Endive, and drizzled with Saffron Vanilla Butter Sauce. I’m showing it because she gave me her prawn. Yums.
My dessert was swoon-worthy. Nothing too elaborate. Just old-fashioned Croissant Bread Pudding with a Whiskey Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream and Almond Tuile (they need to work on this though, it was much too thick).
My man had Chocolate Terrine with a Hazelnut Fudge, Chocolate Custard and Glaze, and sprinklings of Honeycomb Crunch. This was so good. So so good.
Eve’s Ginger Snap Cheesecake Bar with Orange Caramel, Candied Walnuts and Chocolate Ganache. There aren’t any pictures of what the boys ate because they finished everything before I could get to their side of the table.
Suffice to say we rolled out of there.
p/s What did you eat for New Year’s Eve? Did you pig out like we did?
pp/s I know the pictures are a little on the dark side. I was too shy to pull out the camera and relied on my iPhone instead. Mea culpa.
What a fantastic dinner for the family. Happy New Year.
Thank you, Dad 🙂 it would’ve been perfect if we’d all been together.