I do admit the pictures are terrible... BUT I cannot wait to tell about what's in them.
When I got married, I was young and naive. I received a beautiful cookbook by Alfred Portale- a James Beard Award Winner (Olympics for chefs). This top rated chef published a cookbook that has been used so often in my home that the binding is completely cracked and the page splattered with everything I've tried from it.
My tomato soup recipe- from the book.
My butternut squash soup recipe- from the book.
And countless others... As I have become more talented at cooking, I have tried the more difficult recipes from the book. I have read every tip in the index. It has been a near religion for me, this book.
Upon having our first (terribly cooked and priced) dinner at our hotel in Miami Beach, Jimmy and I started widening our horizons as to where to eat. I even walked 4 miles for the nearest fresh produce... yeah, the food was that bad. Last night, while exploring on the internet for our next dinner, quite by accident, I stumbled upon the restaurants at Fountainebleau. WOW- they all looked amazing. But when I scrolled down and saw, "Gotham" I screamed, literally and very loudly. Jimmy, who was in the bathroom, ran out with pants down- poor chap. I was breathless in explaining that I was within walking distance of an ALFRED PORTALE restaurant! The next 24 hours were on a cloud just waiting to get there.
Friends, let me tall you aaaall about it:
First, we were seated downstairs on Super Bowl Sunday during the game- the place was relatively empty, which I loved. Our wonderful server, Trevor came out and just was fabulous from the get go. We ordered salads and freshly made lemonade.
Oh. my. gosh. If this was a sampling of what it would be like, I was already in heaven.
THEN they brought out right-out-of-the-oven parker house rolls in a little personal sized pan with salted butter. Not just any salt, people. Freshly ground (from someplace I don't remember) red sea salt. I used one of my negative points for the food plan I'm doing to eat a roll. SO WORTH IT. The salads were just the beginning of what we experienced. I got a veggie chopped salad with dijon vinaigrette and freshly cracked pepper. Sounds boring. I assure you, it was not. Jimmy, though- got a lobster, shaved mango & honeydew, hearts of palm, fresh lime salad that was gorgeous. And tasted just as good as it looked.
By this time I was openly gushing to our waiter. So much so, that the whole staff was coming by to greet us. Word travelled fast about our visit from the great Napa Valley. I think we may have actually invited our server to visit us at one point. I guarantee if you go out to eat with me, you will not be disappointed- it is always an experience... on to the main course.
HOLY CRAP, people! I got a rib eye- yes, a rib eye. The kind of cut that I will not get anywhere because no one can make it like I do. Well, they do. But, with their steak comes a sauce... we got one of each (three of them complimentary... they really liked us)- bernaise was my favorite. A slightly nutty, rich, buttery mustard sauce with fresh chives.
Now, guys, with this steak was most likely the best mashed potatoes I have ever had. Until the day I die, I will tell you those potatoes were made our of cherub tears and heaven's clouds. They were smooth and buttery and creamy and light and just... I don't even know. But then you add the freshly shucked corn creamed with jalapeno and manchego cheese. Gosh, it just keeps getting better and better.
Well, I do have a confession to make- I ate dessert. That might sound like a big confession- but this is why it's huge. I made a goal to not eat sugar until my birthday, in April. I made that goal when I didn't know I'd be going to Gotham. I got two months into my goal, but I am not eating sugar again until April. I didn't know the next time I would be at this once in a lifetime restaurant, so I did it. I used my second negative food point for dessert. I have never heard angels sing, but I assume they sound just like the bite I took out of a freshly fried donut filled with vanilla bean custard, rolled in superfine sugar and dipped in dark cocoa sauce. Jimmy got it on video and it's embarrassing... nearly inappropriate. I cannot begin to tell you how absolutely worth it this goal breaking was. Not even. But, I will say that tonight was by far THE BEST dining experience I have ever had in my life.