Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dinner at the Balmoral ... mmmmmmm....

Yesterday I mentioned that we'd only dined out once since coming to Edinburgh. David has packed his lunch every day, and I've subsisted on toast and tatties for six weeks now. I would gladly go another six weeks of home-cookin' if it meant I got to eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant a few times a year.

One of my favorite things about David is his love for the sensual. That's not me being provocative. That's me talking about hedonism, specifically: food. He loves food as much as I do, and he appreciates a three-hour meal as the focal point of an evening, rather than a preface.

I restrained myself from taking photos of last night's dinner (sorry) because it just didn't seem appropriate. It wasn't a stuffy atmosphere or anything -- quite the opposite. It was relaxing, spacious, and quiet. Still, when I'm at the Louvre, I like to soak up the art, not take pictures of the Mona Lisa. That's what dinner at The Balmoral's Number One was like.

Beautifully plated and perfect portions, the meal left me full and sans heartburn. Even better? They knew we were vegetarians (thank you to Billy and Linda, our wonderful dinner companions, who warned the chef of our little "condition") and did not judge us -- at least not to our faces. Instead, they'd prepared a complete vegetarian menu from the amuse-bouches on wee spoons served on a rectangular plate of slate, through at least six or seven other courses, each of which was creative and tasty. It was so nice to have vegetarian restaurant options aside from "pasta and seasonal vegetables."

My main course was a Jerusalem artichoke with walnut gnocchi and various other sundries, while David had a risotto he was reluctant to share. The soup, salad, palate-cleansing yoghurt course, and "Terrine of Milk Chocolate, Apricot, Basil, Melon Sorbet, Malt Crisps" (the dessert that I was reluctant to share), followed by another larger slate plate (I love saying that -- "slate plate slate plate slate plate!") full of gorgeous candies, were all perfect complements to our fantastic company.

There really is nothing better than a good meal with good people, except perhaps live music. Fortunately, we all talked about concerts and music throughout the night, so it was a perfect compromise. Thank you to our wonderful new friends for the invite ... we will surely remember that meal forever.

It's going to be really hard to cook another baked potato tonight.

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