Before we get to the courses served last night at Chez Condoblogger (above), lets take a walk downstairs to Ted's where I dined on Friday.
Late last month the folks at Ted's Montana Grill (conveniently located directly below me) invited the residents of my building to enjoy a free meal one night as part of their pre-opening training sessions. It took place during my work hours however so I could not attend. Since then the restaurant has quietly opened for business. For some reason I held onto the card on which the invitation to the training dinner was printed, so Friday afternoon I walked downstairs and very humbly and politely asked if (and if they couldn't I would TOTALLY understand) they would still honor the invite. "Just this once, and don't let it get around the building," was the manager's reply. AWESOME!
When we arrived around 7 the place was PACKED! Lots of families, and LOTS of late 20 somethings still wearing their work clothes at the bar. The host taking names at the door warned us that there MIGHT be a wait of as much as 70 minutes! Instead of waiting we hovered until two seats at the bar opened up and ate there. Dinner was pretty good. P had beercan chicken and I had bison meatloaf (we ordered modestly so as not to take TOO much advantage of their hospitality). We also ordered grilled shrimp on a skewer to start. Interestingly the entrees came out BEFORE the appetizer. Our server/bartender said that they were still working out some of the timing because certain dishes (apparently the two that we ordered) we're ready made and didn't take long to get out. Everything was good. Nothing exceptional or extraordinary, just good. The fact it was FREE probably improved my opinion too!
Overall it was a nice experience. I'm still kind of surprised that even with the restaurant filled and the kitchen running at full steam I don't hear any sound or detect any scents from my downstairs neighbor. I even put my ear to my floor (Ted's celing) and couldn't hear a thing.
I'm told that in the near future Ted's may start offering a "room service" style menu from which they will deliver directly to the residents of my building. Kinda cool!
As for VD dinner in This New Condo... it came out GREAT! We started with a trip to the HUGE International Market nearby. This place is BIG:
We got all the stuff we needed, headed back to This New Condo, opened a big ol bottle of Woodbridge Cab (we ain't fancy) and started to cookin. I have to admit, it was all pretty darn good.
The filets were very good, and the salad was OK, but those roasted potatoes were the best part. I'd also make the parmesan puffs again. They were a big surprise, not very bready, more quichy... which I should have suspected considering the amount of egg in the batter.
The flambéed strawberries over "hot" vanilla ice cream were good... but much like the chef, they weren't very flaming. There were some wisps of fire, but nothing as dramatic as I had hoped. The "hot" ice cream was accomplished by softening some vanilla Haagen Dazs, mixing in some tabasco and then refreezing. Sounds weird and unappetizing, but dudes... SO GOOD! Totally unexpected.
A very romantic evening and a good test run for dinners to come!