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Il Fornaio

Since, Karen received a gift certificate for her birthday (We are both another year older, and since we bought a house, quite deeper in debt), we went to Il Fornaio for a celebratory schlep.

We both had the fixed price menu.

We had a half bottle of the house Chianti. Very flavorful with a nice chewy, brambly flavor, which worked very well as a complement to the rest of the meal.

First course for both of us was caramelized figs with prosciutto. The sweet, tart flavor of the figs delightfully complemented the salty flavor of the ham. In a word yum.

At this point in the meal, I managed to get Karen to look up to see that our waiter was an absolute hottie, and the meal went from there.

Next course, I had wild boar ragout, while Karen had risotto rice with quail. Our choices pretty much resolved themselves into yin and yang. My choices, as in this case, were savory, with strong flavors. Karen's choices tended toward the subtle and flavorful. The quail was rich without being overwhelmed by cream.

In the next course, I had venison and pumpkin mashed potatoes. The meat was rich, smoky, with that game meat flavor. Karen had duck with a red wine glaze. Delicate with spicy arugula.

To finish off we had these little torte things. One was a bit dense at that point in the meal, but the other was light and flaky. Tasty.

Cheesecake Factory

Melinda and I went her for our catch up on life dinner. I was catching her between trips to Japan and Wales.

So, some cheesecake was in order.

Melinda had her favorite jumbo chicken, while a delightful lemon cream seafood pasta. It was interesting, the lemon in the cream sauce kept the cream from being overwhelmingly rich and nicely complemented the shrimp. And the portions were so huge that it not only fed me that night, but both Karen and I the next night.

For desert Melinda and I shared this peanut butter swirl cheese cake that came with these immense daubs of cream. Why, because the cake is so rich, you really need them. Between the two of us, almost managed to eat the whole delicious thing.

Mmmm...cheese cake.

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