Friends, I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. This is only the 3rd time in the history of this blog (that is nearly 4 years!) that we’ve gone out to dinner without the girls. The last time was on my 40th birthday nearly 2 years ago. Let’s not get into the why, but rather revel in the fact that we did it (and to think that I got totally chewed out by a blog reader last year who said that I treated the girls like burdens to our lifestyle when we handed the kids off to Mark’s mom as soon as we got to Seattle so that we could walk around Pike Place by ourselves, bwahahaha).
We’re so out of the whole restaurant scene at this point that it was hard for us to choose where to go, but after some deliberation, Mark chose The Modern for his 40th birthday meal, the fancy formal restaurant inside The Museum of Modern Art. Somewhere along the way over the past few years, fine dining with 3 or 4 course tasting menus has turned into dining experiences with many little extra dishes in between the courses that you do choose (we are not talking about the 8 course tasting menus which, sad to say, I’m unsure I can do anymore. Can’t eat like I used to in my old age). So even before your first appetizer comes out, you may have already been given a few amuse bouche dishes and a few extra sweets at the end of your meal. In our case, we had some kind of foamy carrot soup in a test tube-like glass vessel, a bit of raw fish and some kind of goat cheese tart served on spoons, and our personal favorite, a ceviche like dish with skate in a sauce that I could have licked straight from the bowl, with a single squid ink marshmallow cube. And after our dessert course? Your waiter comes around with this insane sweets cart filled with rows and piles of macarons, petite cookies, brittle, marshmallows, chocolates and truffles and you get to choose whatever you want. And while you are stuffing your face with all this sugar (after already having dessert), some other waiter comes and hands you mini cones filled with perfect domes of ice cream, and then as you are handed the check, you are presented with this fancy, shiny box of petite cakes filled with caramel to take home.
I gave it to the girls. Okay, there were 3 mini cakes inside. I ate one.
We don’t have any more big birthdays coming up in quite a while (oh thank god, because I didn’t have a problem with 40, but the next one is almost too much to bear), and that has been the only time that we’ve indulged in such fanciness because let’s face it, the bill at the end of the meal can be shocking, but we decided that we should go out to fancy dinners once a year, perhaps on our anniversary. We also decided that when Mia turns 10, we’d like to take her out to a lunch at one of these fancy restaurants. If there is any kid who has a sophisticated adventurous palette, it’s this kid. While looking over the menu trying to decide what to order, we couldn’t resist saying how much Mia would have enjoyed this meal.
PS. thank you all so much for the birthday wishes to Mark. So sweet.