It’s hard to believe that our friends are turning 70. It is not too far down the road for John and me as well. Luckily 70 is the new 50 and we are all eager to continue with our lives at a high level.
Ali and Van have planned a lovely party for Jim’s birthday. Sara and Wouter have flown over from Europe and many friends new and old are in attendance. We all have a nice walk down to the overlook of the Golden Gate bridge, have a delicious dinner and listen to Jim rock out some of his hits accompanied by his ubiquitous guitar.
Eli and his new sister, Vea, are up for the party and are as cute as ever!
Since John and I have been away and are going away again, we want to get over to see Nathan and Sam. I accomplish this by inviting ourselves over to dinner at Jon and Ryan’s. John is working today so I spend the day doing some shopping, having lunch with Sarah, and chilling in her apartment before it is time to go over for dinner.
Jon is home when we arrive. It is apparent that he has gone to some trouble with our dinner. He has made red beans and rice as the main course and his delicious chicken liver pate for before-sies. Wine is chilling in the refrigerator and the table is set. What a sweetie! We’ve brought along a salad and some Halloween goody bags for the kids.
When the rest of the family arrives home, we are greeted with hugs. John and Sam have a long discussion about our upcoming trip, looking at maps and even playing a map game. Nathan is still very excited about characters in his video games and talks about them as if they are real.
We have a nice dinner. Sam even eats some of the superfood salad. Then after dinner they open their goody bags. There is Dove candy which they zero in on right away but also some squirt string, glow-in-the-dark fingernails and a selection of mustaches.
We all enjoy the mustaches and take pictures of ourselves with them on.
The rest of our visit to St. George entailed traveling back from Las Vegas via the route around Lake Mead, more tennis playing, a trip to Springdale for shopping, lunch, and Zion views, packing up, cleaning the house, and the trip home which we made over two days. Here are some pictures…
We make it home around noon on Friday and get ready for visiting with family and friends in the two weeks before we are on our way to Europe!
Jon, John, and I make a reservation at Sage, a restaurant at Aria in City Center, Las Vegas. We do this by a complex series of eliminations. Sage has made the short list once before and we decide to indulge ourselves with the shorter of the two tasting menus. Really, it’s a bargain at $89. Before I get into the dishes we eat, I’d like to say that this is one of the best dinners ever from a savory food viewpoint. The parts that are disappointing are the service which is very off-hand and not gracious for a fine dining restaurant and the desserts which are not good. My dessert is basically inedible but I don’t really care because I am not a dessert person. The rest of the dinner is really, really good and more than makes up for the bad desserts.
So the food –
Of all the starters mine is best by far it is all I can do to let anyone even have a taste.
Now dinner comes to a grinding halt. We wait and wait but dessert does not appear. They offer us more wine. Still we wait. Finally a course that is definitely not worth the wait.
Would I recommend this restaurant? Yes, yes, yes. The savory courses are great and if you don’t really care about dessert it is well worth the tasting menu price. If I were to go back, I would probably just order the foie gras brulee and the 48 hour beef belly and call it a night.
It is really a great night for the three of us. In the morning we take Jonathan to the airport and he flies off to North Carolina for SoJam. John and I make our way back to St. George for another week before we leave for home.
Jonathan loves to visit with us in St. George and we love to have him. He is a non-stop dynamo when he is vacationing here. He plays tennis. He plays golf. He plays pingpong. He writes music. He cooks. He eats. John and I play tennis with him and then when he leaves for golf in the afternoon, we nap. Here are some pictures from his visit. Our fancy dinner at Sage is a separate post.