Dave and I had our first date at Red Cat in Chelsea, almost five years ago. I still remember what I wore that night. We went back a few nights ago for the first time since that date. I wanted to wear the same dress, but quickly realized that it had, long ago, been donated to good will. Oh, well. What I have no recollection of, is what we had to eat that night. Perhaps it’s because I was less into food then, or maybe I was just too nervous (Dave claims that my nervousness was what made him realize that I liked him).
Our meal this week was quite nice. We started off with some Prosecco for me and a very strong beer for Dave.
I wasn’t terribly hungry, and had been craving french fries all day, so I ordered an heirloom tomato salad and a side order of fries. This was my first taste of real summer tomatoes this season (our CSA’s tomatoes fell victim to the blight). Paired with a little bit of crumbled feta, and sprinkled with fresh basil, the tomatoes were brilliant. They weren’t overdressed, allowing their sweet flavor to shine. Each bite tasted like summer should. The fries were also surprisingly good. I ordered them thinking fries are fries, but I was proven wrong. These fries were sprinkled with a mix of crispy, fried herbs. Each bite came paired with a surprise burst of basil, parsley, etc. (since they were fried and shriveled, each herb was hard to distinguish, making each bite a true surprise).
Dave ordered the grilled pork tenderloin which came topped with blue cheese-tomato gratin, on a bed of wild spinach and caramelized onions. It was, “nice and crispy on the outside, tender on the inside,” and “the cheese flavor worked well with the pork but it wasn’t overpowering.”
For dessert I went with strawberry shortcake and Dave ordered the rocky road bread pudding which came with marshmallows, walnut ice cream, and butterscotch. The pudding was very chocolatey and, when eaten with some of the other elements, combined to form the perfect bite. I liked my shortcake, though I thought it could have been more tender, and the strawberries were nice and fresh. What I didn’t like was the fact that it was all sitting in a pool of liquidy sauce which seemed unnecessary and made the whole thing soggy. I would have rather had a bit more strawberry mixture to moisten the shortcake.
I knew I could do better, so the next day I went into work and made strawberry shortcakes for a dessert special that day, paired with lemon whipped cream. I must say, I liked mine better.