Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Easter-versary

On Sunday Stephanie and I celebrated the anniversary of our engagement. I proposed last Easter (you can see pictures on her blog), and rather than remember the exact date, we decided to celebrate the anniversary on Easter each year. My present from her was brunch at Spiaggia, Chicago's top Italian restaurant. They don't normally do a brunch, so we didn't know what to expect. Of course, it was fabulous.

We arrived for our 11:30 reservation, dressed to celebrate the season. I wore a tan and white seersucker suit with a light purple shirt, yellow tie, and purple pocket square, and Stephanie wore a pretty blue striped top with white linen pants. She looked lovely, if a little embarassed to be seen with me.

We chose the four-course prix fixe menu, which gave us choices of antipasto, primi, and segundi followed by dessert. Stephanie started with roasted lobster tail, and I had olive oil poached scampi with micro cilantro and coriander. Both were excellent and accentuated by celebratory glasses of Prosecco, Italy's most famous sparkling wine. My second course was a rich, dense lobster claw with homemade spaghetti and a deep sauce made from lobster stock. It paired excellently with a glass of Sannio Falanghina, a white wine from Campania that started with a pit of piquancy and ended round and rich like a great chenin. Stephanie had perfect gnocchi in truffle sauce that, we had to admit, were better than those served at Tru. It was matched with a glass of Grignolino from Heitz Vineyards in Napa, CA. I, like most of the world, am an admirer of Heitz's classic Napa cabernets, but I was not familiar with this bottling of a red Piedmont varietal. It was highly aromatic, with perfumey floral notes and a medium body. Stephanie compared it to the Guigal Hermitage Blanc we had at our first date at Five and Ten almost three years earlier.

Stephanie ordered a roularde of guinea hen with a different, yet equally enjoyable, truffle sauce for her main course. It paired very well with a Sicilian wine from Cerasuolo di Vittoria. I chose the beef tenderloin, crusted in marrow with purple potato puree and hen of the wood mushrooms. The beef was fine, if a little mild, but the combination ended up tasting distinctly and unavoidably of deep-fried corn tortillas. I can't explain it, but it's true. The aglianico from Terradora di Paolo, with its powerful pipe tobacco aroma, was, at least, an enjoyable match. We finished with excellent desserts of hazelnut gelato and moscato sformatto but passed on the grappa as it was only 3pm. It was a great meal and a perfect way to celebrate.


karen said...

Judy wants to see pictures of your future home. I want to see a picture of you two dressed on Easter Sunday as you headed out to brunch.
ox karen

karen said...

WOW! Very nice... and looking like a groom Chris!