Our anniversary is on the 17th but we are celebrating today nonetheless. Actually we are sort of celebrating all week as we plan to go up to Wine Country on the actual day. We are married 46 years which sounds like a long time but to us it does not seem that way. We are still enjoying each other’s company (even though John has been retired for 15 years!) Obviously we chose well.
Our plan for our celebration is to drive out to Half Moon Bay, have a lovely dinner at Navio, the fancy restaurant in the too-expensive-to-stay-there Ritz Carlton. A room there after you add on the taxes, parking, and resort fee would run around $1200. One night!! Even in our heydays I do not think that John and I could get enough benefit out of a room that cost that much!
We are staying at a hotel on the beach up the road about 6 miles. It is soooo cheap, only $400, and it really isn’t much to write home about – leaky shower, uncomfortable bed, no carpet on the floor, meager breakfast, etc. But most places want you to stay two nights so this is the best choice. It does have a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean.
View of the Pacific out our window
John and I get nicely dressed for our dinner date. We head to the Ritz Carlton where it costs $40 to park your car. We are a little early and sit and have a glass of wine while we watch all the presumably rich people walk by.
When we are seated for dinner we decide to get the tasting menu with wine pairings.
Here are pictures of most of the dishes. I forgot to take a picture of the orecchiette because I am always so excited about pasta. It was not well done in any case, our least favorite dish. 🙁
Amuse bouche #1, hamachi and cucumber
Funny story about the next amuse bouche – there is a nice couple seated next to us. They are celebrating their 12th anniversary. We end up having a pleasant conversation with them as he is a recently hired doctor at the Kaiser facility that we go to. He is very gung-ho about his new practice. Anyway he orders the tasting the menu with the wine pairing (his wife who is pregnant just has a salad or something). We have already finished our second amuse bouche when he gets his. The small bite is an avocado cream, uni, and caviar in a buckwheat shell. The whole thing is sitting on a rock with seaweed decorating the plate. Our table neighbor eats the buckwheat shell with its goodies, determines that the rock is merely a non-edible rock, and eats in one mouthful all the seaweed. This is tough looking seaweed. He chews and chews and chews and chews. I think it is growing bigger in his mouth. Then with what can only be described as a Herculean effort he swallows the whole giant wad of seaweed. I am amazed he did not choke to death. Way to save face, though.
Amuse bouche #2, uni over an avocado cream with caviar in a buckwheat shell.
Ahi tuna ribbons with mustard fruit, black sesame, and basil
Next is the unfortunate, unphotographed orecchiette. It is supposed to be prepared ala cacio e pepe. Something other than pasta water, cheese, and pepper has been added so NOT AUTHENTIC! Plus the orecchiette is thick and grainy. This is a major fail.
King salmon with pumpernickel, sorrel, and smoked onion
Rabbit with foie gras, morrel mushrooms, and fava beans
I am so happy to see that there is only one small dessert. So often half the tasting menu seems to be half dessert.
Cappuccino coffe mousse with vanilla creme
We have had a really good dinner. The plates were quite small and we do not feel like we are going to explode. Our waiter comps the $40 parking fee (yay!)
Happy Anniversary to us!