To celebrate our eighth year together and our first year of being engaged, Tony surprised me by having me meet him downtown after I got off work on Friday, November 30th. Our "anniversary" date is usually celebrated on December 1st each year but he had a gig that night; and then we got engaged on December 3rd last year but a Nor'Easter was supposedly on its way to us that day so we opted to going out on a Friday night.
So I met him at South Station in downtown and we walked over to the ICA. I don't think I had ever really gone to a contemporary art museum before, so this was quite a different experience. Different as in interesting. Unique. Very interesting. We were more taken by the giganomous elevator that was like a whole building's floor moving with glass surrounding you all around, and the cool architecture of the building. What was funner than anything else was seeing my friend, Aja, who I totally forgot manages the gift shop there!
Anyway, I totally shot these pics illegally (shhh, don't tell anyone!). The first one illustrates the wide open spaces inside the museum. The second one is of a stunning chandelier that I just couldn't resist capturing. And then the third one is of this aerial sky camera that some dude created (it was featured in Make magazine) Fricken genius! I would LOVE to have a camera that you could take bird's-eye-view photos with ... BUT ... I don't think I'd ever have the patience to build this contraption the way this guy did. Sheer genius.
Afterwards, we caught a cab to a restaurant called Radius. Wow! Talk about a stunning restaurant! We felt a little underdressed as we walked in because a lot of the men were wearing suits and ties, but the hostess assured us that we were okay. They seated us right away even though we were a little early for our reservation, and our waitress was super super nice. It's a French restaurant and the atmosphere is kind of low-lit and posh, but still comfortable.
We ordered the Confit Pork Belly to share as an appetizer because it just sounded so darn good (how can you go wrong with pig fat?! Sorry, Jill, if you're reading this!). There are people that walk around handing out warm, round, little bread rolls throughout the course of the night and so we enjoyed those while waiting for our food to come. With our glasses of Bordeaux of course. :)
Shortly after we had ordered our food, the waitress brought out a small complimentary appetizer for each of us from the chef. Unfortunately, it had jalapeno peppers on top so I couldn't eat it. It was really good (according to Tony), so I swapped our dishes and now it looked like I had eaten the whole thing up while he let his sit there. Funny thing was that when the waitress - who, by the way, had a beautifully strong English accent - came back to ur table, she saw his little plate was full and asked him, "Did you not fancy that, sir?" I explained that I was allergic to the peppers on top and couldn't eat it, which confused her since my little plate was empty. Then Tony had to chime in that he had eaten all of mine and was going to devour his. But then she was still confused and tried to take his little plate away until he grabbed it and almost bit her hand off (ha ha ha -- totally exaggerating here but you get the point ...). And then she realized what had happened and said that there were jalapeno peppers in our appetizer dish, so she was going to run and tell the chef not to put them inside for my sake. So totally sweet of her, even though seriously? I never would've thought that they'd put jalapeno peppers on something like Confit Pork Belly when they listed bok choy, manila clams, mussels, cilantro and coconut nage as the other ingredients. But then again, I'm no cook!
A couple of minutes later, she came back to our table with two bowls and explained that the chef wanted one of us to experience the dish as it was truly meant to be eaten with the jalapeno pepper garnish, so he made up two smaller portions for us. Of course, mine didn't have the pepper on it, and just the whole idea of him being so accomodating nearly made me cry! And I tell you, after one little teensy bite of this dish, I was nearly melting! It was THAT good. Man, I could've eaten ten more servings of it. The flavor! Mmmmm!
Okay, you can totally picture us sopping up the yummy pork fat flavor with the bread rolls right about now. And butter. Sinful.
So, on to the entrees. Tony ordered the Seared Day Boat Scallops which were served with delicata squash, roasted cauliflower, autumn olive sauce and szechuan peppercorn. De-lish! And I ordered the Mediterranean Sea Bass which was served with a garlic-parsley sauce, braised mushrooms and cippolini, escargots, swiss chard and port reduction.
Yes, I said this place was French. Escargots. Snails.
I seriously, seriously don't remember eating snails. Errr. If I did, they were so fricken good I didn't care what they were! Seriously. I think I thought they were the mushrooms.
Anyway. So yummy. So rich. So good. So would go back for another really special occasion type of celebrating. So would eat snails again if they tasted that good.
(there's always a but!)
The one thing that was a leeeeetle bit disappointing was their dessert menu. Most of the stuff had nuts on or in them. And then there was creme brulee which didn't entice either of us. Aw shucks. Ya can't have them all, right?
So when the waitress came back and asked us if we wanted dessert, we lied and said that we were too stuffed to eat dessert. (If you're that waitress and you're reading this now - we didn't really mean to lie but we couldn't think of any other nice way to say, "Lay off the nuts!" in relation to the dessert options!)
Anywho - she brings us the bill and a small plate of mini desserts - six of them! Like little yummy parcels of chocolate and goodness. Tony ate both of the ones with the raspberries on top plus one of the coconut macaroons. And then I inhaled (somehow) two pieces of dark chocolate something something and the other coconut macaroon. Point: empty plate. Second point: we obviously weren't that full. LOL
But there was a little comment card included with the bill so I made a note and suggested that they didn't have so many desserts with nuts on or in them. And that I was extremely gracious for the chef accomodating my pepper allergies.
And to end it all, we trekked home in the freezing cold together. :)