Birthday Dinner and Day one of Preparation

The soul needs beauty for a soul mate. When the soul wants…the soul waits – U2

Well they had to grease the doors and roll me out, but it was totally worth it.  Awhile back I purchased a Groupon for Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar knowing it would be perfect for celebrating a certain someone’s birthday. Celebrate we did! Solstice runs an amazing special on Mondays and Tuesdays. They offer a three course menu for a mere $25 and half price wines. Luckily this year Esq.’s birthday fell on a Monday and we took full advantage of all of the great deals. I felt a little guilty, like I stole from them or something, when I got such a tiny bill but felt so extraordinarily full. As promised I took pictures, but they don’t do justice.

Every meal, as far as I am aware, starts with a tasty treat from the chef, I love this idea! It is usually something I would never order on my own but is always super tasty. Tonight we were served Cream of Asparagus or Asparagus Bisque, I didn’t quite catch the name. Either way, it was a delightful little bowl of asparagus awesomeness with goat cheese lurking just beneath the surface. Very scrumptious and even better when I used my fresh multigrain bread to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Compliments of the Chef

Next on the docket was our yummy appetizers. I ordered Pork and Pistachio Pate with a cherry/raspberry mustard sauce and City Roots Micro Greens, Sunflower Seeds, and Egg on the side. Oh man, so good! I have recently discovered my deep and unabiding love for micro-greens, when you pair that with a lovely seared pate that would I have to describe as tasting most similarly to a very light sausage with a bright and tart mustard sauce I am in heaven!

So good I had to take a bite first!

Esq. went with the Oysters Solisticefeller. They looked to die for, and I will have to take his word that they were. They consisted of oysters with spinach-parmesan cream sauce, prosciutto, and herb breadcrumbs. I wanted to, and was offered, a bite, but I knew I had plenty of food left waiting to come my way.

Oysters Solsticefeller

Now for the best part, main courses! I ordered the Mahi Mahi with a miso and ginger glaze/sauce topped with pineapple and calamari slaw, served with jasmine rice and soy stewed baby carrots. I have never had anything that so elegantly tipped toed the line of over salted without crossing it. In my adult life I have never been a fan of cooked carrots, but I am a total convert. The depth of flavor and perfect, not mushy consistency cause me to scarf, yes, literally scarf, them down first. So good!

Mahi Mahi

Esq. ordered Brown Sugar-BBQ Grilled Pork Tenderloin with apple cider bbq sauce, green tomato relish, smoked gouda-bacon mac & cheese, and sautéed green beans. While I don’t think either of us are going to ditch our much beloved golden bbq sauce, the smoked gouda-bacon mac & cheese was worth the imminent heart attack. I believe my description was along the lines of “there is so much rich cheese that it is coating the inside of my mouth that I think if someone got a cracker and scraped the inside of my cheek they would have cheese and crackers”. Lovely dinner time conversation, I know. He sure knows how to pick a winner!

Birthday Boy!

Our meal was concluded by totally unneeded but throughly enjoyed desserts. When ordering our three course meal Pecan Caramel Fudge Cake sounded like a great idea. A few bites into my entree, however, I quickly realized I could have gone for a much, much, lighter dessert. Its a good thing I ordered at the beginning though, because it was soooo good. I am glad I was full so I couldn’t polish it off as there were probably more calories than one would ever want to know. The cake was dense with a moist layer of almost a ganache like topping. The garnish consisted of broken heath bar, pecans and caramel drizzle. I want to have this again, or maybe try my hand at a cupcake spinoff in the near future.

Pecan Caramel Fudge Cake

Esq. decided, by process of eliminating all things with nuts, to have the creme brulee cheesecake, which I heard was very good. At this point in the evening I was so full I don’t think you could have fit one more bit of food down my gullet. I didn’t think cheesecake would be worth the rest of the evening spent in agony.

Birthday Cake

Overall, we had a truly wonderful time celebrating his birthday and indulging in great food and wine. If you live in Columbia I highly recommend checking out Solstice, especially on a Monday or Tuesday!

In non-birthday related news…

I had quite the scare this afternoon when I went to turn in my chili cook off entry form. I had planned to leave work early to drop of the form only a couple blocks away. As I sat down to write the entry fee check at 4:05 and flipped the pages looking for who to make it out to, I noticed in large letters “Due by 4pm on Monday 2/21/11”. After sending a frantic email with all of my information I got the wonderful news that the entry deadline was extended until tomorrow, phew! So I am now officially a Palladium Society Chili Cook Off competitor.