What is your most memorable birthday dinner?
It's birthday celebration time at our house and I'm thinking of food, what else? I have had enough birthdays to have some memories that make me laugh and some that make me hungry. I laugh when I recall spending a hot August afternoon preparing my favorite oven fried chicken only to have the dog steal three quarters of it. I get hungry when I think of the lemon meringue pie a neighbor baked for me when she was scandalized to learn that I usually baked my own birthday cakes.
So, share! What says BIRTHDAY to you?
For my entire life, I have shared my birthday with my mother, which I have always considered a treat. We generally share them together with our entire extended family and that makes the day very special. Two years ago we were all vacationing in Destin, FL for the week. I had done some homework, as this was a milestone birthday, and we went to Cafe Provence in Santa Rosa Beach. The chef/owner is from Belgium, also my mother's home. We planned a multi course meal in his private dining room with several wines long distance and we really looked forward to it.
This turned out to be an incredible evening. We have done fine dining, but somehow the place, the ambiance, the food, the wine just all hit the mark that night. We had given Chef Michel our list of food and dietary restrictions and he created a remarkable menu of locallly sourced ingredients combined with extraordinary French wines. It was the entertainment as well, as dinner took 3 hours. It was also one of the most expensive dinners I have ever had, as we had aobout 5-6 courses and 3 types of wine.
This year. July 1, 2008, I turned 50. My wife and son surprised me with a trip to Cincinnati's only four-star restaurant, Jean-Robert at Pigall's. We had the special menu to celebrate their retention of the fourth star.
Jean-Robert at Pigall’s Four Star Celebration Menu
Rock Shrimp Ravioli with Oyster Mushrooms and Corn, Basil Emulsion
Kerpen 2007 Wehlner Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
Indiana Goat Cheese and Duck Leg Confit Tart, Local Field Greens with Dried Apricots
Thevenet 2006 Macon Pierreclos
Red Trout with Light Curry Sauce, Piperade Rice Flan, Fondue of Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach, Glazed Carrots
Danjean-Berthoux 2005 1er Cru Givry
Pork Tenderloin with Peppery Grape Compote, Bordelaise Forestiere, Local Bitter Greens, White Beans, Whipped Potatoes
Caves de Papes 2005 “les Closiers” Chateauneuf du Pape
Assortment of Sweets
Food Only: $40
Wine Parings: $20
I thought of two.
The first was my 17th birthday ~~ we had just moved from Pennsylvania to California during my SENIOR year of HS (late 60s) and to say that the transition was brutal and jarring for a teen is, well you can just imagine. My parents, in a flash of brilliance, took the family to Disneyland (I was a small child when Disneyland opened, grew up on the -original-Mickey Mouse Club and the "Wonderful World of Color" on TV) so it was a real thrill. We ate at the Carnation Plaza (now Plaza Inn) and I had broasted chicken and real mashed potatoes. My children grew up in Southen California and we went to Disneyland many, many times and we always ate at the Plaza Inn and they always wanted chicken and real mashed potatoes. I don't know why we called it that, but we did.
My other favorite birthday was my 21st. I went with friends to Parker AZ for a weekend of water skiing on the Colorado River. Sunday was my birthday and they broke out ice cream and cake. ICE CREAM in the middle of the Mojave Desert. They had packed it on dry ice. I have never forgotten that gesture.
The last couple B-day dinners have been really good. This past year dinner @ Joes Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab in Chicago, and last year dinner @ Saloon Steakhouse in Chicago. Better because I didnt have to pick up the $300 tab for each.
A b-day dinner for me is a big rare, prime steak, some crab legs, or stone crab claws, and alot of tequila, and cold beer(not much different than most any other weekend).
My most memorable birthday dinner was also the last time I let someone else plan dinner for me. I don't remember the food as it was overshadowed by the giant ice cream cake I was given. Even though I am lactose intolerant. Initially I refused to eat the cake, but then gave in since I didn't want to seem ungrateful. They had already planned drinks for me later on and I didn't want the evening marred by my attitude. Little did I know that they planned to celebrate my birthday by taking me out for drinks at someone else's birthday party. When the DJ gave a shout-out to "the birthday girl who brought us all out tonight," I felt little regret that the dairy in the cake forced me to leave them at the party they had planned for "me."
A few years ago about a month before my birthday DH and I traveled to Barcelona with friends. I fell madly in love with the Iberico Jamon...couldnt get enough. A month later the same friends hosted a BDay dinner for me and lo and behold they had smuggled an entire leg of the stuff home in their suitcase...unmatched Bday dinner