I won't tell you how long we've been married....long enough to not believe it's been that long, and yet it still feels perfect and as if we've always been together. Enough mush!
This post...without photos of food, if you can believe that!...is about our dinner. We went to Da Maurizio in the heart of Heritage Properties just off the Halifax Harbour and right next door to my favorite Saturday haunt...the farmers' market. They specialize in Northern Italian food and the rich setting, with high ceilings and Botticelli et al prints and lots of candles makes it a perfect refuge on a wintry day. We could imagine snow outside, a sleigh pulled by horses, waiting for us outside....but I digress...service was friendly, but not intrusive. Our knowledgeable waiter seemed to show up just when we wanted something or other, like he read our minds.
But let's face it....you really want to know about the meal. We almost went for the all inclusive seasonal dinner...appetizer, main and dessert for $40, with lots of choices in each category, but I had my eye on ....I was going to say a couple of dishes ...but actually, make that a bazillion choices... on the regular menu.
We started out sharing Calamari alla Gradese - flash fried calamari finished with tomato, sautéed garlic, crushed chilies, lemon and fresh Italian parsley. It was so fantastic, I could go back and make a complete meal of a double portion...crispy yet light batter coating the tenderest calamari rings and lightly topped with a perfect sauce. I'm drooling as I write about them, before 8A.M. the next morning.
Perhaps next time I'll just do appetizers...
Salmone Affumicato Cipollato - Nova Scotia smoked salmon layered with horseradish mascarpone, lime marinated red onion, shaved cucumber, lemon, capers and grilled bread.
Lumache al Tartufo - Snails sautéed with garlic butter and white wine, baked on crostini with melted truffled pecorino and fresh herbs.
Fegato Grasso all’ Amarena -seared foie gras deglazed with brandied cherries, orange, honey and port, served on toasted brioche.
Muscoli alla Triestina - fresh mussels sautéed with garlic, onions, chilies, white wine, leeks, tomato and fresh herbs, topped with crusty bread.
Prosciutto e Fromaggi ai Datteri - San Daniele prosciutto and medjool dates stuffed with goat cheese and fresh basil, garnished with shaved grano padano and balsamic reduction.
There's more and I haven't even mentioned the soups and salads.
But on to the next course....we should have done a pasta course, but passed. Not because there was nothing appealing...there are ten droolingly delicious sounding varieties to choose from. Perhaps next time I'll forgo the Secondi Piatti (main course) and choose Fettucine All’ Aragosta - Fettucine sautéed with fresh lobster, shallots, garlic butter, wine white, tomato and cream, finished with fresh herbs.
This time around, though we opted for veal scaloppine - Lombarda for my Honey -sautéed with cremini, oyster, porcini and shiitake mushrooms, finished with red wine and demi-glaze and, for me.... all’ Astice - sautéed with fresh lobster and finished with a garlic, tomato, brandy and cream sauce. One word - DIVINE! So rich, I could barely eat a third of our shared dessert...Crema Bruciata alla Canadese - maple crème brûlée garnished with candied nuts and cinnamon sugar cookie. Don't worry, my Honey finished it up.
So...stretchy pants and much yoga on tap for today before I make my own simple pasta for dinner...not sure what exactly...stay tuned.
Just don't forget that this Friday, Deb of Kahakai Kitchen will be hosting Presto Pasta Night Roundup #141, all the way from Hawaii. You can send your entries to her debinhawaii (at) gmail (dot) com and cc me - ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com
Now that I've whetted your appetite, where do you like to go for a celebration dinner?