July 8, 2008

Fine Dining

Today was spent visiting St. Andrews, New Brunswick, a lovely seaside town. One of the highlights is Kingsbrae, 27 acres of outstanding gardens. My eye is always drawn to the sculptures in gardens and here they were particularly whimsical.

I was not my usual antisocial self and I met at least half of the town while strolling down the main street of town. It helped to have my dog, Zoe, with me. Everyone stops to talk to Zoe and I am her official interpreter. In return for a few moments with Zoe I expect local info. I quizzed folks about where I could find a great restaurant in town. I received a strong recommendation for the Rossmount Inn.

I recently have become interested in fine dining. I define “fine dining” as dining that is not cheap (and I am) and has menu items that I do not recognize. This is another part of the new me. I tend to go to the same restaurants and order the same items. I certainly have never been fond of ordering things that are not part of the normal lexicon.

Here is one of the appetizers: “warm miso gratin beausoleil oyster, apple-versus mignonette.” I recognize “warm” and “oyster.” I definitely do not do oysters so I did not have to learn what the other stuff is.

Here’s what I ordered for an appetizer (which is a new thing for me because I never used to order appetizers): “candied baby beets + shaved fennel, figs, toasted pecans, warm chevre fritter, balsamic-vanilla reduction, bergamot essence.” I love beets from a can and I love candy. I could not resist this item. I am not sure what fennel is but I am glad that it is not hairy. I like apple fritters so how different could a chevre fritter be? A reduction must mean not much food. That’s okay. It’s only an appetizer. I still have no idea with a bergamot is and essence sounds like a shampoo.

Here are some of the other appetizers that I skipped: mousseline, homemade charcuterie, foie gras terrine + wild boar cretons (wouldn’t cretons by definition be boring) and pickled milkweed pods. I would probably still be picking those things out of my teeth.

For dinner I had the scallops. Of course that was not the entire description but I will spare you all the details. They are only for us “foodies” to know.

The dinner was fabulous. But tomorrow night we will be eating hamburgers back in the motorhome. I’ll ask my wife if she can whip up some citrus-brandy emulsion for the burgers. Or we can always substitute ketchup. That still is more my style.

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