Let's eat!

Hi. My name's Carol, and I love food. No, you don't understand. I love food. If I were on the Titanic, I'd be in the galley (kitchen) eating up the chocolate pudding and the roasted quail. I go to most events, activities and parties just for the food. The company and the conversation are secondary. Here, I'll try to document everything that goes into my mouth. Aren't we excited? Oh, hey, are you gonna eat that?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Serafina Anniversary Dinner

Because I'm married to a working musician who's also good at programming, I lucked out for our 20th wedding anniversary dinner. My husband Eddie received a $125 gift certificate for working one weekend on Serafina's sound system.

Serafina is an Eastlake - Seattle restaurant institution. Even on a random Tuesday night (our son has basketball practice on the actual anniversary, tomorrow), the place was packed. It's always packed and it's always stifling as hell inside. Barring the fleeting glimpses of claustrophobia, our overall experience tonight was pleasant, a little like being lavished. So this must be how the other half lives. Snort.

Given my smaller appetite, we would've walked away not spending our entire $125 gift certificate, which wouldn't do. Honestly, I would've been perfectly satisfied with the Columbia City bread dipped in olive oil/garlic/parsley/red pepper flakes (husband is definitely repeating this recipe at home for our Christmas Eve), and their special Zuppa del Giorno, a hearty, creamy butternut squash soup. But then I would've gotten away with only $4.50. So Eddie encouraged us to order several courses, then we could have a few bites, take the rest home as leftovers.

There was so much to choose from, three whole pages worth including a purple sheet of specials, that I couldn't. Choose, that is. Immediately, though, I zeroed in on the mussels (Taylor Shellfish mussels in smoked tomato sauce, with harissa, sweet vermouth, leeks, fresh herbs, and garlic). They were okay. Needed a ton of salt. I couldn't taste anything, not even the garlic and vermouth. Where was the harissa?

I needed a cleansing salad, so I then went with their Insalata con Limone e Acciughe, the mixed salad with lemon-anchovy vinaigrette, topped with Reggiano cheese. The lettuces were seasonal, and fresh I suppose. But again, I couldn't taste a thing. Eddie's own homemade Caesar has way more punch, btw.

I did get to finally have a glass of Bellini. I'd always been curious about this glamorous, Italian cocktail -- made famous at Harry's bar in Venice, and made from Prosecco and peach purée. Prosecco is way too alcoholic for my virginal Daiquiri sensibility, alas.

I must also say my husband's choice of appetizer surprised me. Plin, agnolotti pasta stuffed with pork, cabbage and Parmagiano Reggiano, with a chive butter sauce. Very simple. Very appealing. It tasted to me like a cross between shumai and a potsticker.

For my main course, I went with a special, buttery, creamy Tagliatelle wrapped up in some sauteed greens (escarole?) and chanterelles. But by then, I was already hitting full, so I just had a few luscious bites, readying myself for the dessert, which I also zeroed in on from the beginning.

Dessert was a luscious, textured (cornmeal?) pear cake topped with browned butter and paired with a pomegranate sorbet, some tart sorbet at least. So good! This was one dish I completely finished. Okay, save for the last two bites.

Would I go back? No, thank you. But for the special occasion, considering the freebie (we only paid $60 over including a generous tip), it was a fair deal. Next anniversary, we'll probably go more low-brow, like Wallingford's Bizarro Italian Cafe with the best marinara sauce in Seattle--if Eddie can finagle a soundcheck barter there somehow.

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