The Amazing Adventures of Josie and Seb

October 30, 2009

Holy Mother of Quail!

Filed under: food, googly eyes, pittsburghing — Cate @ 11:12 am

Tomorrow is Joe’s birthday (that’s Halloween, if you’re playing along at home). Last night, as part of the Birthday Week celebrations (really, why limit it to just one day?), I took him out to Bona Terra for dinner. I knew I wanted him to have a Good Meal at a foodie-approved restaurant and I debated for a while over which of Pittsburgh’s many dining establishments to take him to, but Bona Terra won out. All reviews pointed to “awesome,” and they have a local-food mission that aligns with our priorities, so it was just a great fit. Even better, I managed to keep it a secret till we walked in the door.

OK, enough about that. Let’s talk FOOD.

I wish I’d been able to keep the menu because I’m about to reveal how little I know about fine dining. We started off with a teensy bowl of luke-warm green stuff – all I heard the waitress say was, “…blue cheese, heirloom tomato and chili oil.” But it was delicious. We ate it with an itty bitty little spoon. So fun.

For our appetizers, I got a semi-boneless quail with pears and Joe had a tuna thing. Blah blah blah tuna, but my quail was AMAZING. I’ve never eaten quail before and I think I had it confused with pheasent because I was shocked at how tiny and delicate it was. Tender and moist and with this wonderful crispy herbed skin…oh golly. I wanted to take it home with me and learn its secrets. But there was none left.

Then soup and salads. I skipped the soup because they only had clam chowder and tomato, neither of which I really care for, though now of course I wish I’d been less picky because I’m sure it would have been divine (Joe’s chowder was yummy, and I don’t even like clam). Anyhow. I had a baby spinach and greens salad with other things – I don’t remember what they were, but they were good – and gorgonzola crumbles. Joe’s had feta and bacon and other things. Both very tasty.

Then a taste of sorbet before dinner: cantaloupe. I cannot express deeply enough my love of that little dish of heaven. If the waitress hadn’t said it was sorbet, I’d have thought we were just eating a very finely pureed piece of fruit. Holy crap. It was so good. I licked the plate clean, to Joe’s horror. (Not really. But damn did I want to!)

Then dinner, the baby animals course. Oh, yum. YUM. I had a veal rib chop with braised cabbage and the most wonderful risotto I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. Joe had lamb with mashed potatoes and beans – his potatoes were divine, his beans so fantastically green. It. Was. So. Good.

For dessert, Joe had a cup of tea (such a civilized young man) and a lemon pound cake with berries. I had an apple tart made with local fujis. It was melt-in-your-mouth good, with a crispy crust and just the right amount of crunch on top. Oh momma.

Even the bottle of wine I picked out because it was pretty ended up being great. Even the music they were playing was great – an eclectic mix of Willie Nelson and Radiohead and others that somehow all worked just right. At the end of our meal, they started playing Sigur Ros, which I always associate with Joe and I. In the very early days of our relationship, when we were first starting to learn each other, he’d put on Sigur Ros. Those were happy times (heck, they’re still happy times!) and it was touching to hear it after we’d just finished that incredible meal and were staring at each other across the table, all full and happy and lovey…

I wish I had pictures, because it was so extraordinary and beautiful and DELICIOUS – did I mention delicious? – but I refrained from whipping out my phone to snap grainy photos while we ate. Barely. I didn’t even remember to get pictures of us all dolled up in our finery. Trust me, though: we looked good. Even despite a lack of photographic evidence, it was a wonderful night. And I certainly couldn’t have asked for better company.

We’re hoping to make a habit out of this kind of luxury, or at least a birthday tradition. Only four months till mine!!!!

Worth every penny.

Worth every penny.

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1 Comment »

  1. best girlfriend ever. for sure!

    great meal. great evening.

    thanks baby

    Comment by Joe — October 30, 2009 @ 3:32 pm


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