I had a great dinner at Chez Nous last night with Jennifer, Shara, Bryan, and Marianne. Hiromi and Cindy were stuck at work till 10:30ish and couldn't come. Shara gave me some wonderful blood orange olive oil and yuzu rice vinegar from O Olive Oil and recommended some sea salt caramel chocolates from the Pasta Shop on Fourth Street. She also brought me my Mercenaries PS2 and Xbox copies and beanie and t-shirt. Marianne gave me a lovely necklace in the most adorable bag ever--a hamster blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Everyone treated me to dinner--thanks guys!--and we had:
Very hard and disappointing bread with salt but no butter or oil on the table (Shara hinted about me opening the olive oil sooner but I didn't catch the hint, and didn't open it until it was too late)
Asparagus soup with truffle oil--powerful-tasting and pungent; I didn't realize the taste was truffle oil till I got near the bottom of the bowl
Pommes frites with harissa (nice crisp fries, not very spicy harissa)
Spinach with lemon and garlic
Gnocchi with fava beans and garlic cream sauce (tender and wonderful)
Chicken kebabs with orzo (didn't try this)
Salmon cakes? (didn't try this)
Kobe beef with truffle butter and hen of the woods mushrooms (didn't try this)
Chocolate pot de creme covered in whipped cream, with a thin crunchy cookie. SO AMAZING
Chocolate caramel pyramid (dense chocolate cake in a beautiful marbled pool of caramel and chocolate sauce)
Cannele de Bordeaux? "Like a portable creme brulee" I think is how Jennifer described it--it's a pastry with a crunchy, dark, caramelized outside and spongy inside, all drenched in a sweet pale sauce like condensed milk. They forgot to put a candle in my pot de creme so they brought this out later, on the house.
Bergamot Earl Grey served in a funny little corked, dark-glazed ceramic pot like a moonshine jug
I feel like I'm forgetting something still... anyway, the good company overshadowed the food. It was a very nice evening, and so good to see everyone again. I found out Peter's second son was born the day before (he shares my birthday)!