Monday, October 01, 2007

The Rich and The Crunchy

Tonight, even though I was so tired by the time I got home, I was even more hungry and couldn't think of something I specifically wanted to eat. I wanted something rich and something crunchy. I was thinking tacos or maybe some crusty bread and butter and a plate of pasta.

On my way home, I called Eric to see if he had any ideas and to find out if he wanted to cook since he was at home and I was still on the train at 7pm, he told me he started looking up restaurant reviews (I guess he didn't want to cook). So we went to an Italian restaurant we've looked at before but never ate at, Luna Restiorante in Concord. It had many, many great reviews.

We were greeted as we walked in the door and immediately seated. We read through the menu and the specials and discussed and discussed the items. SOOooo many great sounding dishes. I really struggled. The waiter didn't come over until I closed the menu, which I appreciated because I don't like the pushy server that seems to just want to get us out of there before we sit down. He said he noted that I was wavering quite a bit with the menu and part of me wished he had come over sooner. I am the type of person who tends to have a hard time making food decisions because I want to make sure there is no chance of Entree Envy or possibly wish I had chosen something else, so I take a long time sometimes. I get ever so slightly annoyed when a server isn't picking up on my signals of I'm not exactly sure what I want and would love some suggestions verses I'm chatting with my friend here and want a little time. I know, I know... yes I expect them to read my mind!

The waiter was eager to help me and told us about their most popular dishes and helped me make my decision. We ordered the Banana Squash Cream Soup, Mushroom and Gorgonzola Bruchetta (for my crunchy craving), I got an item on the specials menu of Gnocchi with Pancetta, Peas, Mushrooms in a tomato cream sauce, and Eric had the Risotto Con Scampi E Granchio. Um... YUM! Everything was wonderful. Rich but not overly so. Flavorful with excellent textures. The prawns, which came with Eric's risotto, reminded us more of lobster as they were far more rich and crisp then your ordinary shrimp. They were clearly either fresh or VERY well cared for frozen shrimp, and perfectly cooked (over/under-cooked shrimp are a pet peeve of mine and a well cooked shrimp says a lot to me about the quality of the kitchen).
We finished up with the Tiramasu and tasty dark roasted decaf coffee, because how can you go out for a spontaneous date without getting dessert? Especially at an Italian restaurant you've never been to, when everything else has been so wonderful you have to find out if their desserts measure up! Since I had about 2/3rds of my entree boxed up, I saved some room for a few bites of mascarpone loveliness! The sauce work was very nicely done that I wished I had my camera so I could share it's beauty with you all. We very much enjoyed the Tiramasu, although I would have preferred it if they didn't drizzle chocolate sauce over it. I found it was too overpowering for the delicate balance of the rum, espresso and marsala flavors in the delicate mascarpone. Perhaps someone that was going for a chocolate dessert would have liked that more, but when I get Tiramasu, I expect to experience the cream and maybe a little chocolate grated on top as a lovely garnish. I just scooped off the chocolate (heaven forbid!) and it was perfect to me.

Everything we ordered helped to satisfy my rich craving and I was all set for the night, but nothing ever felt too heavy. It was all comfortable and soothing. We will definitely be back!

And to think that I considered going to Taco Bell! Woulda been much cheaper, but after spending so much time with Eric everyday and then to be apart all day today, a special night out just seemed appropriate. Plus we both figured, "hey, we worked today," me at my corporate job and Eric landed a new landscaping client, we decided to treat ourselves. Of course we've been "treating" ourselves A LOT lately since I hadn't been cooking. (Hellooooo hips!) Our fridge has had very little fresh anything in it, as its been a lot of frozen meals, take-out and dining out for us. Good thing Eric likes to eat leftovers, I think he'll be having Gnocchi tomorrow!


MrsGrumpy said...

I adore Gnocchi. We have a favorite restaurant right around the corner where the whole dinner is an experience. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

~Donna~ said...

Oooooh....YUM!!!! Sounds like me and the Honey at Evana's Italian Kitchen across the street. Small place, but very warm and romantic. And the food is wonderful. I had my first ever full glass of wine with dinner there when we went last Friday. Can't remember exactly what we had, but it's been fabulous both times we've been.

ML said...

That sounds like such a delicious dinner! What a lovely treat for you both.

Gina said...

Oh yes, well-done Gnocchi is a total favorite of mine, it's hard to find. Not on the menu, but good Gnocchi, that is.

So glad you had such a wonderful dinner!

Anonymous said...

Yum! I love just going out to eat on a whim and then having a great meal. Always seems like it was all meant to be-- and everything is right with the universe.

Ginger said...

Wow! Sounds wonderful!