Gastronomic Delights

We've been enjoying our time together with our far-flung family back in the home nest. Except...that every person in our household (except me) has been getting over sickness or getting sick every single day. Fun times!

When Katie arrived, she and the little guys were getting over a virus they'd been down with at home. Just a few days after her arrival the members of this household began dropping like flies. Soon the house was full of the worst flu of the season and Valentine's Day was celebrated with big pots of chicken noodle soup and hot tea.

Yesterday Katie was feeling well enough to break out of the house for a planned girl's night out in the big city.

We started with a bit of big city shopping. Andrew came along for the ride, as did our friend and Katie's sister-in-law, Loraine (who, as a mom of six, needed a little girl time out).

The special treat of the night was an invitation from Brother Kris to indulge in some fine dining at Blue Hour.

I told the girls how I had walked past this restaurant about ten years ago and peered in the windows, wishing I had the financial means to eat there. I had been reading all the restaurant reviews and knew this was the place to go for a memorable meal.
Because the restaurant was busy, we were treated like family by sitting at the server's meal table near the kitchen where the staff eats family style with the chef every day before the evening bustle begins.

It was actually fun to watch the kitchen and staff in action. We also got to meet the important cogs in the wheel, most notably Chef Thomas, the new chef who left the domain of Wolfgang Puck in Hollywood for the Great Northwest.

My son Kris arranged for food to arrive at our table at regular intervals. He took a moment with each course to explain the composition of the dish.

With her first experience in haute cuisine, Alyssa got to try victuals way outside her comfort food zone.

Here's a poor photo of some fabulous house-made charcuterie that included head cheese, divine foie gras on brioche and (Alyssa's favorite) blood sausage.

This sashimi melted in our mouths with delicate flavors of sea and soy.

The octopus terrine caused trepidation at the table but won everyone over with its deliciousness.

I was too busy eating gnocchi with rabbit ragout, seared scallops and drinking some fine libations to take more photos until.....

Dessert! House-made truffles with surprising flavor varieties.

This was the most amazing, satiny flourless chocolate torte in the universe, with barley ice cream to rival any Italian gelato in Roma. There was no polite leaving of the last bite when spoons dueled over this plate. We almost stormed the kitchen with demands for more.

Kris made the mistake of describing a new dessert of brown butter creme brulee with a garnish of a magically bacony (!) strip of crispy parsnip on top. So he had to bring us one.

Our family times do seem to orbit around good food, at home and abroad. We're so spoiled.