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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Year of the Horse

Where does the time go?  Not only did 2013 pass quickly, but the weeks from when we went out to celebrate the Lunar New Year to this day, this moment, when I can post about our meal has flown by. Snow storms, colds, and the fatigue of winter feel like heavy weights chained to us and so a reason to celebrate is embraced with a bit more enthusiasm than usual.  So it was on a Friday night that coincided with the celebration of the Year of the Horse and the 4 of us decided on Pine Bush Chinese Restaurant after a hard day of work and a quick trip to the grocery store.

Here is the special celebration menu:


I decide to veer off course and try the new-to-me items.  While we are ordering, the restaurant is quickly filling and I spot a friend.  We act like we haven't seen each other in ages (maybe it's been a few weeks at best) and call out across the restaurant.  Good thing it is a fairly casual place and we didn't seem to disrupt anyone.

To start, a few bowls of won ton soup and I try the seafood tomato bisque.


I love the symbolism; the red especially for money luck and while I do not know the meaning of the seafood in my soup, it simply feels decadent to have scallops and shrimp in the uniquely flavored broth that is not fully sweet nor savory.

The appetizer from the holiday menu:




A steamed bun with pork inside.  The bun is reminiscent of marshmallow mixed with mashed potatoes in consistency and mouth feel.  However, the flavor of the bun is not very easy to describe though the dryness, perhaps baking powder, can be associated with a southern biscuit.  Soft, pillowy bun encases plush pork in a sauce that also seems both familiar and yet not like anything else.  Not everyone is enthusiastic about trying new things, but the Mr. has a forkful or two.

A bit of lag time between the appetizer and dinner allows the family to chat and I also have a bit of text messaging going on with the friend across the restaurant.  I send her a Mai-Tai and she seems to enjoy it.

Main courses begin to arrive:


For the youngest, the sizzling steak.  It was and he was happy!


Continuing from the special menu, I had "Blossom" as my main course.  I just could not imagine shrimp stuffed with ham.  My choice turned out to be exceptional.  

Our older son had the boneless ribs and I did not photograph them, but he always enjoys them at Pine Bush Chinese Restaurant.

The Mr. ordered a dish with chicken, shrimp and scallions.  Yes, of course he had chicken.  

 

I felt as though an observer would never be able to tell I ate from my plate as I asked for a heaping amount of food be wrapped to take home.  I also had a hard time finishing my generous pour of plum wine. However, I always make sure to leave a little room for a dish of pistachio and the few bites it takes to finish a fortune cookie.

When our check arrives, our older son graciously treated his family to dinner.  A lovely surprise.  I could not resist playing a prank though on my friend and asked the hostess to bring our check to my girlfriend and let her know we said thank you for treating us to our meal.  My friend's face at first was priceless as we waved, put our coats on and said thank you.  Once she realized it was a joke, she yelled out, "We'll all have to pay the old fashioned way and help out with the dishes."  Life in a small town.

As we left, we added our son's business card to the community style bulletin board by the door.


We will enjoy the Year of the Horse and continue to be Fed Well.  Wishing you a prosperous New Year.

Pine Bush Chinese Restaurant Inc. on Urbanspoon




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