Restaurants, Willpower, and (mostly) Great Choices!

We’re out of town for a few days, and the restaurant choices here are off-the-charts amazing! Four-star establishments are everywhere. The first night we were fortunate to be with a group of friends who were picking up the tab, so we played it cool and didn’t photograph the meal.

Last night I was on my own. Husband had a business dinner, so of course, I researched restaurant menus, knowing it had to be PERFECT if I was going to be happy about eating alone in public. (That one has never been my jam.)

I discovered a sweet, little French café that had outdoor seating for the beautiful 70° evening. Scored the perfect table right along the front railing of the elevated patio. Ordered a smooth Pinot Noir, and….. what do they then bring me? A piping hot 12” French baguette in a brown paper sleeve. My kryptonite! (A gal can be only SO strong, you know.) As you can see from the picture, I indulged. However, in my defense, I only pulled the heels off each end, and surrendered the rest to the waiter as he passed by. It was SO HOT that my fingers hurt when I tore off the two small chunks. It was gloriously reminiscent of the baguettes my daughter and I ate by the dozen in Aix-en-Provence. I don’t regret a thing! Profitons de la vie!

To start: a shredded carrot salad. Fresh thyme, scallions, white balsamic vinegar. After that, I chose an endive salad with gala apple, crumbled roquefort cheese with a cider vinaigrette. Outstanding! This one will be repeated at home, for sure! It was light and refreshing.

The main dish arrived and even though I wasn’t really hungry anymore, it smelled too good to pass up a few forkfuls. Filet mignon with bordeaux butter and red wine reduction. I’d asked for it to be cooked ‘medium-rare plus” and it came out perfect. If only we had a fridge in the hotel room, the rest would have come back with me.

Our last evening here was a romantic little dinner for two. ❤️ We needed to try a genre that we couldn’t find at home. We chose a restaurant with local, authentic southwestern cuisine.

Our shared appetizer was a tiger shrimp tamale with roasted, shaved garlic and cilantro corn sauce. Husband loved the tamale; I loved the shrimp.

My husband chose grilled lamb porterhouse chops for his entree. They were served with a Serrano chili sauce, mint chimichurri, and a pumpkin tamale with molasses butter. My sample taste was rich and delicious, but it was way too much meal for me.

I opted for their spicy steamed halibut in a guajillo chili posole broth, with mint, cilantro, avocado and crispy blue corn. Incredible. Light, flakey, and aromatic. We’ll be attempting this one at home for certain! When we figure out the recipe, I’ll lighten it up for sodium, fat and calories, and publish it here.

We’re back at home this evening, and going with what we affectionately call an “Armchair Buffet.” We’ve been traveling all day, and have no motivation to heat up the oven. There’s a hockey game on at 7:00pm, so we’ll cut up some fruit, stack some low-sodium Jarlsberg with sharp mustard on whole wheat crackers, and thaw some shrimp. Dinner is done, and we can eat it with our feet up!

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