Monday, January 9, 2012

On Expensive Dinners and Dreams

The very first thing I should tell you about this year is the very last meal I ate last year. It was decadent and very indulgent, and a lovely way to say sayonara to a year that did not agree with me. (Also, brace yourself, it was the most expensive meal I have ever eaten.) We ate at Passion Fish in Reston, which is a sister restaurant to Ceiba and happens to be owned and created by Molly Wizenberg's brother. So, excitement all around. There was a prix-fixe menu for New Year's Eve that did not disappoint. I loved being able to choose from such fun offerings and indulge in more courses than usual. All too often I find myself paying to eat food that is incredibly mediocre. When you go to a restaurant, you want to feel happy that you ate better than you would at home. Don't you hate paying $15 for something you know you could cook better? I think I'd rather save the heartache and save up to eat at Passion Fish on a quarterly basis. Perhaps I should make it a resolution.

So my last meal of the year included sushi, Thai spring rolls, red curry lobster, and a vanilla bean anglaise chocolate mousse praline. (Let us take a moment to notice my choices were all Asian-influenced [save dessert].) There was also a special chef creation of a haddock custard with creme fraiche and caviar before our food arrived and Sam's dessert was homemade donuts which made me want to stow away in the restaurant kitchen for the rest of my life, surviving solely on a diet of those sugar-dusted gems. Sam's dinner was a beautiful piece of tuna with foie gras cotton candy on top. How is that even possible? I don't know, but it was awesome. Do you care to see crappy iPhone photos of our spread? I hate to do the food such injustice, but here we are.

Over two hours we all stuffed ourselves happily celebrating the end of the year and excitedly planning for the new one. This year is going to be great, I just know it. And one thing I hope to do more is be more open and honest, so here I go: I started making plans last summer to really shake things up in my life, and I am happy I started down that path. Since I was working on my undergrad five years ago I wanted to go to culinary school, and I thought maybe this would be the right time for me. When Sam and I visited NYC last fall, the sole purpose of the trip was to visit schools. Our initial plan was to finish our apartment contract here in the spring and then move up there so I could start school. However, it's incredible how quickly things change. A couple changes to Sam's job and some other opportunities have opened up here, so it seems we'll be staying put a while longer. Part of me is sad to have to put off my dreams for a while longer, but getting so far down the path made me realize how attainable my dreams are-- and they will be waiting for me as soon as I'm able to get back to them. In the meantime, I've gotten a taste for excitement and am brainstorming ways to spice things up. I hope to share more of those adventures here while I gain some experience that will only make my eventual culinary career richer.


  1. we need to talk sometime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. That would be incredible! Don't give up! I know what it's like to have hopes and aspirations that then get replaced by promotions and practicality. Can you say at least one more year in beautiful expensive California? I know I can!

  3. Foie gras cotton candy??!?!? Wow!

    You're the best, Court. I'm excited for your 2012.

  4. take me to that place. I have to see that glazed over blue thing in person. Plus, homemade doughnuts at a restaurant like that? STOP. I am JUST.BAWLING.

    I love and miss you. I am happy that you're feeling positive about 2012. I'm also very happy that I get to come out and see you soon. (!!!hooray!!!)

  5. You're an inspiration! I love hearing about people's dreams, and I know you'll live yours. Good luck to you - 2012 just feels like it's going to be a great year all around. :)