It was a beautiful morning in Southern California on August 7th when I woke up and finally pushed myself out of bed at around 7:30am. I’d like to think that the sun was out from behind the clouds with a cool breeze filtering through the open windows in supportive rejoicing over the fact that it was our 9th wedding anniversary. 🙂
My morning euphoria was interrupted by the fantasy-shattering cries of a 2-year-old who was more than ready to be liberated from his crib/prison. Joined by his 6-year-old brother and 4-year-old sister, the trio accosted me with their usual demands regarding breakfast. No milk for cereal. No oatmeal to sprinkle with raisins. I only had bagels and English Muffins to work with. They conferred and settled on requesting egg & cheese bagels (the English muffins had added ham) with homemade raspberry jam. I obliged.
After that, the morning came and went in a blur of swim lessons, missed naps, the Grumpy Lunch Hour and working with my wife to try to figure out how, since our evening plans were already figured out, we could best manage the early part of our day of celebration with 4 small children in tow. Solution? Make a trip to Skinny Minnies (Gardena location) for celebratory FroYo… that only the children get to eat, since we’re on a restrictive diet at the moment.
Back at the house, it was time to let the two older kids watch Despicable Me (the first movie) while the two younger ones went down for nap. This, of course, allowed mommy and daddy to get all gussied up for their night out. 🙂 Since I was first to get dressed, I left to go pick up my oldest son from work, who agreed to watch the smaller kids (sans August, the infant) while we went out to dinner.
Earlier in the week, my wife made reservations at a local place that consistently got rave reviews. It’s called the Tin Roof Bistro and the food in, in a word, heavenly!
But before I get into the food, I have to give a shout out to our waiter Jay, who was by far one of the best waiters I’ve ever encountered. He came to our table to take our drink order, and I couldn’t remember the name of a particular drink. So I described it briefly and Jay seemed to read my mind when I mistakenly asked for a mimosa when I really meant a mojito. 😛
You know what’s one of the wonderful things about our marriage? How much we laugh. I caught my wife in the middle of a good chuckle and couldn’t resist sharing it. I think she looks even more beautiful when she laughs. :pleased:
I thanked him and said with a smile, “What’s your name? I don’t think I caught it before. I don’t want to say ‘Hey you’ to get your attention.” He smiled back and said, “My name is Jay, but it doesn’t matter because you’ll never have to ask for anything.” And he couldn’t have been more right. In spite of the fact that it was moving into the busiest hour of the day and he had several other guest to handle, he never missed a beat with us the entire evening. He was there every time we were done with a plate. He brought additional forks for the appetizer and main course. And he continued to check on us to make sure we had everything we needed. Major props Jay!
Anyway, on to the meal… we started out with a full order Triple Green Salad that we split.
Then, my wife surprised me by ordering an appetizer (which was the main reason she wanted to go this particular place) of Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (she knows I love, love, LOVE brussels sprouts)! I can’t even describe to you how delicious they were. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming! They were sliced in half and the outer leaves were crisp and flaky. I nursed a mojito while I took my time and savored the exquisite taste explosion in my mouth. I had to wonder if they were really this amazing, or was my mouth just extra sensitive to other flavors after being on the new fitness regimen the last 3 weeks where I mostly ate broccoli, rice, chicken and extra lean ground turkey. Nah, it was just incredibly delicious!
But I don’t think my mouth or my mind was ready for what was next. On the recommendation of our waiter Jay, I ordered the Grilled Pork Tenderloin.
There were so many wonderful things about this dish that I wouldn’t be able to list them all! The sliced pork was grilled to perfection. A dollop of mashed potatoes was the perfect counter-flavor to the summer corn and bacon succotash. This is one of those rare occasions were every mouthful was immediately followed by a clearly audible moan of pleasure. Mmmmmmm… was all I could manage for the first 5 or 6 bites. Of course, I had to share this mesmerizing dish with my wife. 😉 We finished the night with two of their signature desserts: mixed berries with lemon curd and tapioca pudding topped with mangoes and toasted coconut. I have to say that this was most definitely an anniversary-worthy foodie experience. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll stop here.
When Jay brought us the check, he informed us that he took care of the appetizer and one of our desserts as a gift for our anniversary. Needless to say, I took care of him with the tip. This guy deserved every single penny and more!
Anyway, we were supposed to finish the evening by going to the movies, but since the hour was getting late, we opted to stay in. All in all, one of the best anniversaries yet! 😀