Saturday, August 18, 2007

A French, Delicious, Donald Fagen Birthday

My birthday came early this year. Two days early in the interest of being able to celebrate on the weekend. I was lavished with gifts this afternoon: Donald Fagen's "Kamakiriad" and "The Nightfly" and Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature." I'm swooning. I love it. I love how Nightfly sounds so throwback-ish - he's channeling the soft jazzy loungish sounds he grew up with in his childhood. I love how Kamakarind is this little journey. And I love how Two Against is just Steely Dan. But the best part of my gift was the card from Tommy, it always is.

Then we got all gussied up and set off for Bistro St. Germain, a French restaurant I've wanted to try since passing it while running an errand before a dinner dance 2 years ago. We drive aaallllll the way there and *POOF* it's gone! Signs removed, dusty interior. I was aghast. I had gone to the OB's office a WEEK ago which is on the same block and viewed people enjoying lunch there! So we thought quickly, and made a hasty phone call to Gabrielle's in Rockville Centre and snagged 6:15 reservations. We were told we'd be seated at the bar. (Which made me a little apprehensive but worked out nicely.) We make it to RVC (which really, is just a cute town, so I was glad we were there) were able to park and find the restaurant. It's decorated beautifully and we have a lovely, very private booth in the bar area, which is dead since it's only 6:00. It was comfortable, and when I went to the ladies' room, I noticed it was much nicer than the tables in the dining section. So we scored. It's a restaurant with a prix-fixe menu; appetizer, entree and dessert for $25. A steal, if you ask me. They had specials for which you could tack on an extra $10, or $3 for a special dessert.

I started with a delicious crabcake. It wasn't a lump crab cake, but one where the crab and stuffing were completely blended so that the cake was this moist co-mingling that was pan-grilled, so it was ensconced in a slightly crisp outside. And the "tartar" sauce it came with was very herby - more like a dressing. I was in heaven. I actually exclaimed gleefully, "This looks like something they'd make on Top Chef!" Then, for my entree, I had hangar steak grilled which was served over creamed spinach and grilled gnocchi in a bourdelaise (?) sauce - a red wine sauce. Which was savory, but not heavy. I still tasted the garlic in the spinach. The steak was buttery, it almost melted in my mouth. And the gnocchi - it soaked up the wine sauce, but still kept it's potato-ey taste. And good creamed spinach is just a naughty pleasure. I had to have 2 pieces of my steak and some of my sides wrapped up to take home for fear that I wouldn't have room for dessert. I upgraded. (Hey, it's my birthday!) A small chocolate lava cake was presented to me. It was delicious. A crisp, but not hard outside hiding the treasure of gooey chocolate on the inside. Even Tommy, who's so not a chocolate guy took a taste and got wide-eyed. You know it's good when it's rich but not off-putting. It was a perfect meal. The service was great, the restaurant is beautiful and it's a great value if you want something a wee bit more special - exactly what a birthday dinner should be.

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