Celebrating with a Little Adventure

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I love, love, love giving presents - I'd be the ultimate philanthropist if I actually had any money. However, since I don't anticipate ever having oodles of money to just give away as I please, I make sure to put a lot of time and effort into gifts for my loved ones.

However because Steve's birthday is in the middle of January, I tend to be a wee bit tapped out on great ideas that will dazzle him. So, last year I decided to take him out for a total splurge dinner at a restaurant we had wanted to try (which I fully intend to blog about soon, Steve and I still talk about it a year later). This year, it only made sense to continue with tradition and hit up another great restaurant.

Since Steve had been talking non-stop about Top Chef finalist Dale Levinsky's new endeavor, Sprout, my decision of where to go was pretty easily made. Check out this article to read about how Dale ended up at Sprout and the inspiration behind his menu.

I love that Sprout is doing a prix fixe menu but calling it an adventure. Who wouldn't love to go out to dinner and choose the adventure option? For $60 per person on weekends ($40 on weeknights) it includes a starter, main, and dessert, along with a splash of wine, a little sorbet between courses and a yummy cheese course. The weeknights adventures are cheaper because they don't include the little extras, but the little extras were totally worth it in my book.

Ok, enough details - let's dig in! (Oh, and please note: we got to the restaurant and I realized that my camera was dead - so sad! Fortunately, Sprout has so fabulous pics of their food on the Web site.)

Steve started off with the scallop, which featured corn, parsnip, sage and peanut. I really really really wanted this dish, but it was his birthday so I let him win. I had a bite, though, and it was divine. I started with a yummy veal dish, however, no pictures or description are on their site right now.

Steve chose the rabbit for his main course, featuring celery root, chamomile, golden beet and hazelnut. Yum! We flip-flopped dishes so that we could try each other's mains.

I had read online that the short rib was amazing, but I was still torn as to what to order. I asked our waitress for suggestions, and when I ended up choosing the short rib her eyes just lit up. I knew I had hit the entree jackpot.

The short rib was super tender, flavorful and featured mushrooms, chicory, manchengo and TRUFFLE. Well, truffle dumplings, to be exact. TO. DIE. FOR. I really could have just eaten a whole bowl of the dumplings and been a happy camper. Since it was Steve's birthday, I managed to share two of them with him before scarfing the rest down.

No culinary adventure is complete without a cheese course, and I really don't think any cheese course could compare to Sprout's grilled cheese with sharp, aged cheddar, sauteed onions and Dijon mustard. Yummers. (And yes, you are correct - the whole top half of the sandwich is cheese that has gotten all brown and crackly in the pan, the best part!)


Our desserts were just as good as the rest of the meal. Steve went for the chocolate option, which featured a milk chocolate (I think) mousse, a dark chocolate dipping sauce, and a cookie for dipping. I chose the lemon, which included a cherry lemon poundcake and a tart lemon filling.

We had so much fun at Sprout from start to finish. We realized we hadn't been out to dinner just the two of us since our honeymoon back in September. It felt good to splurge a little.

The truffle dumplings were hands down the highlight of the evening. The only down side to the night? While Dale came into the dining room multiple times, surveying the room like a proud parent, he did not stop by our table. Waaah. I would loved to have told him in person how great our meal was, and that he most definitely should have won Top Chef, of course. He was totally robbed.

A happy happy birthday to my wonderful husband - I will make sure every year's celebration is filled with fabulous food and wine!


HisBirdie (Ali) said...

What a great birthday idea! and that food looks divine!
P.S. I thought Dale should have won too ;-)

Laura said...

Thanks, Ali! It was very, very yummy to say the least. I'm kind of a nerd, though, as seeing Dale was like seeing a celebrity, lol.

Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

I am so hungry right now. I love Top Chef and am so jealous you got to see Dale!

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