Thursday, March 3, 2011

Belly Happy: A Taste of Luxury

As we approach the Palace Arms in the Brown Palace, I have that uh-oh thought, that somehow they will find out I don't belong in such a high brow establishment. While my tastes run to the elite, it is not a world that readily feels like home.

Immediately, we are greeted with a warm welcome and shown to a lovely booth off to the side of the dining room. The waitperson neatly opens the napkin, folds it into a triangle, and places it on our laps. I am starting to get used to this, thinking perhaps I could summon my eternal queen for a nightly dinner service. I notice a bell-like thing on the table and whisper to Nan, "do we use that to ring for help." She laughs at me, telling me it is covering the butter, which is a perfect room temperature delight topped with Hawaiian black sea salt. Bread is an assortment of four choices: a melba toast, wheat roll, brioche (our choice), and another choice that has slipped my mind. Our drink orders are procured, and I settle back to a balanced gin & tonic, not skimpy on the gin but not soaked in a gin bath.

Since it is restaurant week (the only way we could afford to enter into such a palace), the menu had few selections, but each course proved fucking delicious. Nan and I both ordered the tableside caesar salad, perfectly executed, not too garlicky, not too thick, a hint of lemon mixing with the mustard, lightly coating the romaine. For our entrees, Nan opted for the Beef Rossini, placed atop a perfect swiss chard and brioche combination, topped with a truffle/foie gras sauce (obscenely rich and delectable);  I chose the white fish, served with pearl onions, olives, crab, cauliflower (that was cooked/shaped like a fluffy gnochi), in a pine nut/blood orange sauce. At this point, I decided that this could become home.


Dessert kept pace with the rest of the meal, proving itself a worthy finisher: brioche bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream. And if this wasn't enough (could not even finish due a very happy belly), a couple of macaroons and chocolates.


I am so in food heaven.

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