Sunday, March 04, 2007

Weekend Dining

Jon's parents were in town this weekend and when they visit, we tend to eat out. We usually reach into the "Greatest Hits" file and proceed to make reservations. So we decided on The Village Pub for Friday night's dinner, and Tamarine for Saturday.

  • The Village Pub - Jon and I have been here several times before, and have never been disappointed. I love the food, the service and the ambiance here. The four starters at the table were: sweetbreads (me); lettuce salad (Jon); Caesar salad (FIL); and cabbage soup (MIL). I usually don't order sweetbreads because it kinda grosses Jon out. But this place is the exception. The dish is so delicious here, I would gladly tell Jon to sit at another table if he can't handle my sweetbread-consumption. Theu are crispy on the outside, and velvety smooth on the inside. The poached egg on top makes the appetizer even more rich, but you won't hear me complaining.

    Our entrees were: maple brined porch chops (me); pub burger (Jon); steak frites (FIL); and poached sole (MIL). Thumbs-up all around. Note: Jon likes the food at The Village Pub, but thinks it can be a bit heavy. So his entree is usually the burger off of the Pub Menu.

    So after we were done enjoying our entrees, the GM stopped by our table. He mentioned that he'd read my blog; he actually remembered Jon's name; he referred to some comments I had posted about previous dining experiences at The Village Pub; and he even got to talking about South Carolina with the in-laws. As if all of that wasn't nice enough, he even offered to comp our desserts! My father-in-law was way impressed by all of the above.

    I ended up being the only one to order dessert — the hot chocolate, served with pomegranate marshmallows and three miniature palmiers. (Note: The chocolate souffle here is completely awesome, but I decided to branch out and try a different dessert.) The hot chocolate, which is made with Valrhona, was so good. Thick, creamy and not overly sweet. At first, I thought the marshmallows were just ehhh ... But that was when I was just popping them, straight-up, in my mouth. Once I actually dunked them in the hot chocolate, the flavors totally came together and made sense. The palmiers were delightly crispy and buttery. And, really, who doesn't love miniaturized sweets?

  • Tamarine - Saturday night's dinner was just as satisfying as Friday's, although the cuisine and the restaurant were so different. Jon's parents have been to Tamarine a couple of times before. We decided to go back again because they've enjoyed it so much in the past, and there aren't a lot of Vietnamese dining options where they live (Hilton Head Island, SC).

    To start, we ordered the crispy mushroom rolls; crab and garlic noodles; and salt and pepper calamari. For our main course, we shared the shaking beef (of course); hoisin lamb chops (the chops themselves are fine, but I really love the sweet potato fries that they're served with); lemongrass bass (Jon thinks it's fun just to say it); and the curried long beans. It was just the right amount of food for all four of us.

    And, of course, I saved room for dessert! I have such a soft spot for fried bananas because it was my favorite dessert growing up. My mom made it all the time. So if it's on a menu (and this is very important: no coconut in the batter!), I am all over it.
We ate so well this weekend. And now it's back to frozen pizzas ... *sigh*