Remember I mentioned recapping my crazy New Years Eve? I guess you could say it was crazy in its own right..
We had never really gone out for NYE, it was always spent with my family for dinner and then with friends afterward to watch the ball drop. Since we’re still newbies around here, we decided to give the whole crazy night out a go! Boot & Shoe Service, a restaurant that is known for their pizza, was having a cassoulet dinner followed by a dance party with live music at their sister restaurant, Penrose, across the street. Sounds like a good time, right? Sold!
Dinner was fabulous but unfortunately the lighting was not so I decided to spare you and show smaller pictures. You’re welcome 😉
Dinner came with a drink ticket for the “josephine baker”—spumante, bonal, & cane sugar. It’s not the drink that I would have chosen from the list but it was fabulous! The sparkling wine cocktail was a nice, light way to start the night. Not long after we arrived, they began passing the hor d’oeuvres. The gougère—mini cheese pastries—were warm and light.. perfect for popping! The caramelized onion tart was loaded with flavor and really, you can’t go wrong with caramelized onion and a crunchy crust.
By this time, we were ready for a couple more cocktails. I went for the “elevator to the gallows” [Caitlin would be proud!]—islay scotch, housemade french prune brandy, & génépi—and Nathan chose “the upright”—amaro montenegro, cocchi rosa, suze, & lemon. After he took one sip of my drink, I agreed to share. What can I say? I’m good at choosing cocktails! I grabbed a couple of dungeness crab bites on endive with creme fraiche and an oyster on the half shell; these were my least favorite of the hor d’oeuvres.. I really enjoyed the warm bites more and I’m not a big fan of creme fraiche. I suffered through it to get the crab though!
After cocktail hour, we were seated at a long family-style table where we shared a charcuterie plate with the couple next to us. I was already being “that girl” taking pictures of everything so I thought I’d spare Nathan and not take a picture of the shared plate too! Included on the plate was duck liver pate, rabbit terrine [the best!], whole grain mustard, mini gherkins, pickled carrots, and crostini. We’ve grown to really love terrine so we definitely enjoyed this starter.
Next up was the frisee salad with marinated beets and perigord truffles. It was lightly dressed and topped with crunchy garlic chips which really pulled everything together. Unfortunately, the truffle didn’t really add anything to the dish but I loved it anyway and ended up eating most of Nathan’s beets too! The star of the meal, the cassoulet, was served next. Nathan and I shared the big ceramic pot filled with pork belly, duck, and white beans, and you bet we polished it off! It was a hearty dish and the meat fell right off the bone. There were also plenty of crispy bits which added a nice crunchy texture to the stew.
We finished off our meal with vol au vent with poached pears. We were both so full but it was too good to waste! Not too sweet and the layer of homemade whipped cream under the pears gave the dessert a nice balance. And as if that wasn’t enough, they also brought us stuffed figs. I’m not sure what they were stuffed with, but I could have eaten 100 of them!
After we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant around 11:15, we decided we were perfectly happy to head back to the hotel [yes, we’re old] and have a quiet end to the night watching the ball drop.. in New York. So bizarre that they just replayed the ball dropping in Times Square! But hey, I guess no one else does it quite like they do in New York!
Cheers to 2014!
Food for Thought
Do you have any big plans for 2014?
We’re looking forward to getting settled in California and having lots of friends and family come visit!