Even before the boys went on to win first place in their division - Electronics and Electromagnetics - we decided that we all deserved a celebratory dinner after the efforts of the science fair. I snagged a reservation and we eagerly counted down the days. Today was the day.
The kids sat at their own table and, for the most part, had their own dinner party. We all had polpo grigliato - grilled octopus, fingerling potatoes, preserved blood orange, and green olive tapenade. This is the dish we always order...no matter what. It's not always the same, but it is alway a hit.
Undine and I wanted to try the crespelle - duck confit, balsamic spring onion, pecorino toscano, and herbs in a crisp crêpe. I'm glad we did. The fresh herbs were a delightful counter to the rich, unctuous duck. Absolutely delicious.
D and I both ordered the pesce del giorno. One for each table. Whole roasted sea bream, marinated artichokes, blood orange, and butter. The kids battled over who got to eat the eyeballs. Awesome!
Daryl ordered the bistecca - marinated baette steak with fingerlings, asparagus, and anchovy aioli. He shared bites with us and it was tender and tasty.
I brought along a bottle of Ian Brand's Le P'tit Paysan Petit Syrah. What a luscious wine! It's packed with rich berry notes balanced with spicy pepperiness. Cheers!
While I normally skip dessert, I couldn't resist the Espresso Crème Brulée. The kids split a spumoni bomba, lemon pound cake, coconut macaroons; the grown-ups had a lemon-chocolate tartufo, affogato port and multiple espresso.
There is no better restaurant at which to celebrate than La Balena. Seriously. Every dinner delights with innovative dishes from the kitchen of Chef Brad Briske. Can't wait to have something else to celebrate so we can go back. Soon.