30 March 2007

Happy Birthday Aaron!

Yesterday was Aaron's birthday, so Ben and I joined his (ex?)girlfriend, Kara, and him for dinner at Freemason's Abbey Restaurant in Downtown Norfolk. It's an old historic building that was originally a church, but now it's a restaurant. They kept all the old architecture, so it's rather cool to eat in. Ben said that he'd want to go back just to sit in the building, but the food itself wasn't anything spectacular, just par. Here's what we ate:

Apettizer: FRIED CALAMARI - Hand-battered fresh calamari rings on a bed of marinara sauce.

This was pretty good. I wish the calamari was crunchier, but the marinara sauce was good.

House Salad: A section of iceberg lettuce with cucumbers, red onion, cherry tomato, a cracker of some sort, and cheddar cheese. Thousand Island dressing and a slice of cantaloupe on the side.

Um.. wtf? I like salads using iceberg lettuce because it's crisp and clean tasting. However, if you're going to serve it as something that needs to be cut up, then please at least give me a wedge of lettuce that has been cleaned. And perhaps it was cleaned, but they forgot to take off the wilty outside layer. Minus points. Oh, I could have done without the cheddar cheese as well. A different cheese would have been better.

Main Course: VEAL PALLARD - Veal cutlets dusted wwith flour and pan-seared, topped with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and herbs, served over a rosemary demi-glaze

I've never had veal before, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was ok, but I don't think that I'll ever have veal served like this again. The dish was a bit heavy on the mozzarella and the rosemary. It was reminiscent of veal parmesan, but without the marinara sauce.

Main Course (Ben): FRESH GRILLED SALMON OSCAR - A boneless filet of North Atlantic Salmon grilled and topped with tender asparagus spears, backfin crabmeat and Hollandaise sauce

I had a try of this. It was alright. Ben didn't like the Hollandaise sauce. He said that it wasn't right for the salmon. He probably should have gone with the Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Main Course (Aaron and Kara): ROAST PRIME RIB AU JUS - The best Midwestern beef, slowly roasted and served with out special au jus: I didn't get to try their food, but it looked good. Aaron seemed to enjoy his meal quite a bit.

Dessert: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie. This was just like eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. It was pretty good. I love the way they ask you if you want dessert. Instead of bringing you a dessert menu, they bring out a plate with all the dessert choices on it. It's a great marketing scheme because you're more likely to order dessert if you see what it looks like. I forgot to take a picture, sorry.

The waitress was pretty good. She brought Aaron a free mug since it was his birthday. And she was on top of things (for the most part) throughout the dinner. Her only miss-hap was when she forgot to bring us water, but that was only once. Wine for the evening was 2003 Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva, and paired well with all of our food, save Ben's salmon, but I don't think he cared.

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