I confess, I was a bit worried the Mr. would not like it. No Chicken Marsala at Aroma Thyme Bistro.
I reviewed the menu in advance and with the knowledge they would also have daily specials, I was pretty confident he would find something he would like and I wanted to try everything.
When I parked the car (I always drive to the restaurant and he drives home so I can enjoy a cocktail with dinner), the lot was almost full and I worried we wouldn't be able to get a table. We are not patient folks who will just pull up a chair at the bar. The hostess asked if we had a reservation and when we said, "No," she said, "that's fine. Please follow me." Whew.
I did notice what seemed to be ample seating available, but the mystery of the empty tables would soon be solved.
I like the look, the vibe, atmosphere. Awards and recognition hang on the walls. Warm and welcoming.
We are presented with, "The Binder." Specialty cocktails, beer, wine and the specials are all available in The Binder and I choose a Pear Martini.
We were brought a bread basket that included a lovely and unique crusty bread with a white bean dipping sauce. It was both hearty and light. Lovely. Unfortunately the ambient lighting in the dining room was slightly challenging for a simple cell phone camera to capture.
I select an appetizer for us to share from The Binder. Sometimes I opt for things simply because I am fairly certain the Mr. will also enjoy it and who can find fault with soppressata and cheese? The plate also included an organic fig jam and walnuts. Sweet, crunchy, savory, salty and soft. Yum. I enjoyed every bite. A great start.
The main courses:
The Mr. and I each went out of our normal routine. For him, Bouillabaisse.
The dish included seafood and potatoes in a fragrant and flavorful broth. Yes, we did dip some of our bread in the remaining liquid.
Silver Fern Farms 10 oz Grilled Ribeye Steak
Crushed Yukon Potatoes, Roasted Garlic & EVOO
Asparagus, Crimini Mushrooms, Red Onions, Basil Oil & Aged Balsamic
Silver Fern Farms is 100% grass-fed & finished
The potatoes were the base on the plate, with asparagus and mushrooms the next layer and the steak sliced on top. It was amazing. The beef was tender, flavorful and beautiful. Again, I enjoyed playing with the available textures and flavor combinations in each forkful. Swirling through the sauce (or not) also made this meal fun and light while quite satisfying.
Once our plates were cleared, the Mr. confessed he had a bit of empty belly space and so I knew dessert was going to be ordered. We chose to share the Wild Maine Blueberry Crisp a la mode.
Silky, smooth, and cool on top of warm, bubbly berries...
We were also brought a french press of coffee, a pot of tea, a timer and instructions not to pour or drink our hot beverages until all of the sand had emptied from the top to the bottom of the timer. I just love these little touches.
It was a great date night. We laughed. I think that's one of the best signs of a great time - laughter. A funny face, an inside joke, a bit of teasing, a great story - whatever the reason, laugh a little, together.
Oh, and the mystery of all the empty tables in the front of the restaurant by the bar? Well, they were filled before we left. We found out it was a special beer pairing/dining event with Captain Lawrence. Folks reserved a spot, paid one price and received a particular beer with each course as well as a side of education. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and every seat was taken. Other events are regularly held at Aroma Thyme Bistro and you can learn more by either visiting their website (here's the link again to Aroma Thyme Bistro) or their Facebook page at Aroma Thyme Bistro's Facebook page.
A question I ask the Mr. and/or our family when we go out is, "Would you come back here?" Tonight, the answer was yes. Whew. And I was nervous.
Thanks again to our lovely and fabulous neighbors. We were Fed Well and had a great date night.