November 15, 2009

Happy birthday to me! (part one)

As part of the great 50th birthday celebration, I asked for an aliyah, to be called to the Torah at Shabbat morning services. The rabbi made a special blessing for my continued good health and leadership to our synagogue community. Later on I led the congregation in the musaf service. It was so wonderful to have my mother, sister and brother in law, and Rik's parents there to celebrate with us. I felt sneakily good about saving a whole row of seats and then being able to say, "My whole family is coming."

After shul we all came back to the house for coffee and cake and a chance to shmooze a bit. Once everyone had left I tried to nap but it just didn't happen. I must be so keyed up that my family is here that I simply couldn't sleep!

For dinner we went to Rover's, a wonderful French restaurant that I have wanted to try for years. When he was at Washington MIddle School, Rik taught the children of "the chef in the hat," Thierry Ratureau. We were greeted warmly by the staff and offered champagne, compliments of the chef and his wife. It was a lovely start to a perfectly exquisite meal. (And clearly it paid to mention the WMS connection when making the reservation!)

Here is what we ate, a special tasting menu in honor of Julia Child:

Amuse Bouche of fennel soup, sardines with harissa and fromage de tete (which is not cheese but made from meat pieces from the head of a calf, in aspic and seasoned carefully. I ate it but neglected to ask what animal it came from. It was delicious.)
Salade Lyonnaise with frisee lettuce, poached egg, bacon, garlic crouton and red wine vinaigrette (I asked for mine to be served without the bacon.)
Soupe a l'Oignon with baguette and comte cheese
Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew) with red wine, pearl onion, carrot and mushroom
Souffle au Chocolate served with rum creme anglaise

It was a wonderfully decadent meal, served professionally and spiced with lively conversation. We were seated in a private area and felt that we had the undivided attention of the staff. I can heartily recommend Rover's for your next special occasion.

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