October 18, 2005

foodie in training

have i mentioned how my mom is a food critic? incidentally, it's about the best job ever in the entire world, seeing as she's paid to go eat fabulous food, all the time. as a result, i've had an incredibly privileged life, food-wise. i've eaten at some pretty amazing and exclusive restaurants, and i do enjoy me some good food. oh boy do i.

there's this restaurant in dc,
equinox , that i'd been lusting over. it's consistently nominated for a james beard award ( = super prestigious restaurant award. like an emmy for a chef) and is highly regarded by, like, everyone. and obviously i could never afford to eat there.

enter wonderfully generous boyfriend who does fabulous things for my birthday :-) he took me to equinox! to eat! a whole meal! and MY GODS was it good. mmf. so good. and my mom is so cute.. she knew matt had made the reservations, so she called ahead and ordered us each a glass of champagne as a surprise. it was a lovely night.

equinox has a "taster menu," in that they have 6 different courses, with about 4ish choices in each course, and you pick the number of courses you want, then pick 1 from each of the courses you can. matt and i each got a 4 course meal, but divvied it up so that we managed to eat at least 1 plate from each course :-) this is what we had:

First Course
Pan Roasted Belle Farm Foie Gras
Black Mission Figs, Warm Honey Cake and Sauterne Gelée

Pasta Course
Heritage Braised Pork and Gala Apple Cannelloni
Baby Spinach, Parmesan Béchamel and Madeira Reduction

Fish Course
Grilled Filet of King Salmon
Rissole of Sweet Potatoes, Brussel Sprout Petals and Hazelnut Butter

Meat Course
Ridgefield Farm Hereford Beef Striploin
Crispy Potato Gratin, Portabella Fries and Cabernet Reduction

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Venison Medallions
Chestnut Puree, Sautéed Spinach and Black Currants

Cheese Course
Young and Creamy
Hoja Santa Goat, JHD Constant Bliss and Crozier Blue

Aged and Slightly Intense
Le Chevre Noir, Vermont Shepherd and Bayley Hazen Blue

served with Spiced Pecans, Roasted Fig Jam, Pickled Onion Marmalade and House Made Breads

Sweet Course
Chocolate Peanut Butter Terrine
Praline Ice Cream and Stewed Blackberries

then, they knew i was there for my birthday, what with my mom calling ahead and ordering the champagne, so they also gave me a cute little espresso truffle with a candle in it after dessert, while matt and i sipped a brandy and tried to look like we normally order and consume brandy. excellent night. fabulous. should you be in dc, and enjoy splurging on good restaurants... go to equinox. :-)


  1. Oh, Alice, I really wish I could relate to your excitement over your dinner, but since my mom isn't a food critic, and I was the "practice child," I grew up never eating things I thought I wouldn't like... therefore I pretty much lived on hotdogs and mac and cheese. And unfortunately, since I was not raised to try new foods, when I look at the lovely menu you enjoyed so much, I know that those are things I would probably NEVER even try. I know, I know, I should expand my horizons, your taste buds change every like 7 years or so, but I can't bring myself to do it.

    I feel as if I am letting you down, though, and now I feel really guilty for confessing my food sins. I am the only adult who can happily live on fast food and kid-friendly meals. Vegetables? Yuck. Sauces and glazes? Gross. And anything I can't pronounce is probably out too.

    But I AM glad you enjoyed your birthday dinner! Happy birthday!!

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  4. Sorry, I didn't mean to do that 3 times - I'll get rid of the other 2!!

  5. Alice, I am also a foodie in training. I was a nanny for 7 years for a woman who is a chef. I ate over there all the time, therefore expanding my food horizions because my mom? Not a food critic and from the midwest, which means basic meat and potatoes BUT she is a wonderful cook and makes the best chicken enchiladas EVER. I digress.

    Anyway, when the woman I nannied for and her husband opened up a restaurant, I was in heaven. Because I could have her homemade sweet corn tamales all the time. Along with "Scorpions" which are shrimp and cream cheese wrapped in a jalapeno and then all of it is wrapped in a won ton skin and fried. Aaaaaaaggghhhhh (that's the sound of me drooling). THEN I met my (now ex) boyfriend and HE'S a chef and also loves good food and so we spent four years together going to fabulous restaurants and drinking fabulous wine.

    Now I eat ramen. But how I love good food...that beef striploin sounded AWESOME.

  6. oh, I'm soo hungry now! Your mom has the best job! That's like my dream job! Obviously I'm not trying too hard to reach my dreams, working in architecture and all... but that restaurant sounds awesome - luckily my parents raised me to be open to trying different kinds of foods even if my mom can't boil water without burning the house down.

  7. dayum that was a $hit load of food at one sitting!

  8. It sounds awesome!! I wish I could cook...it's pretty pathetic but it's in everyone's best interest if I stay out of the kitchen.

  9. alice- i am on a chef boyardee diet today!
    now i am lusting to go go equinox...did your bf get you a card and flowers...

  10. anon e mouse20/10/05 8:54 AM

    I don't know if I should go there... the last time I splurged on a good resturant, I was asked never to come back and it left a stain on my good pants.

  11. And the total for your meal comes to: eleventy-billion dollars.

  12. Too bad it wasn't a buffet.

  13. Sounds like a great b-day dinner, and after reading the menu, I'm now starving.

    I was just down in DC yesterday, and I wished I'd read this while I was there. I could have avoided another meal and Ten Phen.

  14. My God, I'd love to have your mom's job. I don't know if I'd be able to be impartial, thouh.


  15. OK, now I need to find woman worthy of dating long enough to go there (or is it that will tolerate me long enough to go on a date there? lol)

  16. OK, now I need to find woman worthy of dating long enough to go there (or is it that will tolerate me long enough to go on a date there? lol)