We were seated quite quickly and I am relieved because a party of 5 at 6:30ish on a Friday can be a risky bet. I scan the blackboard specials before we walk to our table and take a bit of time looking over the specialty drinks. Though everything sounds appealing, you guessed it, I still order my classic Cosmopolitan.
The bread basket is brought out quickly and we each take a slice of the room temperature foccacia leaving behind the traditional bread.
After scanning, no make that studying, the beer list and asking our server a few questions, our younger son very seriously decides on a beer. I don't claim to know a single thing about beer, but I do know what I like and this selection is a bit stronger and maybe denser than what I am used to while still having a nice flavor.
I am happier when my Cosmopolitan arrives in a tall glass with ice and a strainer. Two drinks in one!
We ask for and quickly receive a second basket of just the foccacia bread.
I decide to break the rules a little and order a soup that caught my attention and an appetizer as my main course. I am a little uncomfortable to eat my first course alone and I always think it strange when a small house salad is not included with dinner for the rest of my family. The soup includes broccoli rabe, beans and is simply delicious.
My next course includes horseradish mashed potatoes and grilled shrimp. My plate is reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's work, don't you agree? Most importantly, the food is flavorful and the heat in the mashed potatoes is just enough to keep them from blandly fading into the background. Nothing overpowering. The generous portion makes this appetizer a perfect main dish when paired with the soup.
For the Mr.? Chicken. I know you are surprised. Chicken parmigiana with penne. Remember, he is fussy about sauce and though the taste seemed fine and he said nothing, I am sure he would have preferred to see a red pool ladled onto the top of the pasta.
Our older son's girlfriend opts for the tilapia topped with capers and cherry tomatoes, which she praises and finishes.
Our older son selects a stuffed chicken dish which includes cheese and Prosciutto. Underneath the chicken is a risotto cake and brocolli rabe. For a few moments he left one half of the poultry and I thought the dish must be extremely filling as he has a healthy appetite. Turns out he was having an intermission and also finished the dish.
The theme of brocolli rabe, which I have learned is also known as Rapini, carries over to our younger son's plate as well. It serves as a base which is covered by crisp french fries and the Tuscan Ribeye prepared medium-rare. He shares a few french fries with me and no flaws can be found. The meal also mostly disappears. He grew weary of the greens and I took the liberty of helping finish most of them.
Two of the same desserts are ordered and beautifully presented. We share the Raspberry Tart and I admire both the decorative plating and the taste. I enjoy the tart which reminds me of a shortbread cookie, the filling, the sauce and raspberries. Without explanation or reason, I left the cream to the side.
We truly had a nice night. Laughter, talking, no tension, good food and a fabulous kick-off for the weekend. I remember a time when my days off were split, my husband worked shifts and life had a frantic pace between our sons school and activities. This is a comfortable time and place in all our lives, more like being able to gently float once in awhile and simply enjoy each other and everything that leaves us feeling Fed Well.