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Oct
12

Roxy’s Birthday Dinner at Elizabeth’s Café and Winery in Duck, North Carolina

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We’re here for our third night in Duck, North Carolina, and have enjoyed all of our three very different dinners. On Thursday night, we went to the Blue Point. Last night, we went a bit more casual with four dozen steamed clams for my Jedi clam-eaters at the Sunset Grille, another two dozen steamed “middlenecks” for me, and five different appetizers for Rex and me to share. And tonight, in honor of my birthday, we planned and enjoyed the most elegant evening of our trip at Elizabeth’s Café and Winery.

On Friday morning, when we were at the Scarborough Faire for sticky buns at Tullio’s Bakery, we picked up a sample menu from Elizabeth’s, so we had the perfect birthday dinner for four planned out by the time we arrived for our 6:30pm seating. Since I started my back-to-school fitness program a little over a month ago, I have not only lost weight but have experienced the incredible shrinking appetite. I’ve also found in the past year or two that I enjoy little tapas-style tastings of many dishes, so we called ahead to assure that I could nibble on a couple of perfect appetizers while Rex went all out (and shared with me) the Six Course Wine Dinner ($125/person including wine, $90/person without wine).

I’ll start by saying that my two appetizer meal was made up of simple yet extraordinary bites. I chose to start with Elizabeth’s Original Scallop and Brie Bisque with Granny Smith Apples ($11), and selected the Pecan Crusted Sweet Onion Torte drizzled with an aged balsamic reduction ($10) as my mini-entrée. When I gave him a taste, Rex captured the onion torte as “old-fashioned and delicious.” London and Maddie shared the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Rack with (on the side, not touching of course!) a Pinot Noir barrel made molasses reduction served with roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed vegetables ($37). When the two girls devoured every bite of the eight lamb “lollipops,” and started to dispute who might have had five vs. three of them, Rex and I realized that we may have to order two full racks of lamb the next time the four of us dine out for a special occasion. Now, the amazing Six Course Wine Dinner that Rex and I shared:

Initial Sparkling & Appetizer

Extra jumbo shrimp (brushed with Bar-B-Que Sauce then flame grilled), lump crab meat, and lobster cocktail. It’s not often that Rex and I have chilled shrimp, but next time we do, we’re definitely going to try to replicate Elizabeth’s Bar-B-Que sauce instead of using the traditional tomato and horseradish-based cocktail sauce.

Wine selection: Perrier Jouet Grand Brut Champagne. Rex and the girls toasted me (”clink! clink!” all around) and lavished me with birthday wishes. Cheers!

Salad

Mixed Napa Greens – fresh and dried fruit with a pecan White Burgundy Chardonnay Wine dressing… “a symphonic blend of selected greens and fruit with a wine friendly dressing”

Wine selection: Columbelle 2007 Vin de pays des cotes de Gascogne. A bit of a grassy nose, not fruit forward in flavor, the perfect pairing with the fruity, nutty salad. Our lovely and friendly hostess, shown serving the Columbelle in the photo [on the right], poured generously and kept our shared glasses ready with the proper pairing for every course.

Fish Course

Pan seared sesame crusted tuna with a soy ginger beurre blanc and an Asian Seaweed cucumber salad

Two wine selections (half pour each): Dierberg 2005 Santa Maria Valley Santa Ynez California Chardonnay and Saint Gregory 2006 Mendocino Pinot Noir

Intermezzo

Chef’s Selection of Palate Cleanser Sorbet with a splash of Sparkling

Entrée Selection

Prime Angus Beef Tenderloin Medallion Au Poivre with Porcini Mushroom sauce (I considered myself lucky that this was the only taste of Satan served at our table, and I let Rex share his steak with our hungry girls) accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables.

Wine selection: Clark Claudon 2003 Tenth Anniversary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The menu says to “ask Alice about a featured to go bottle price for this wine” and it was so good that we did… we have a bottle all packed up to take home with us on when we head back to the Roxiticus Valley on Monday morning.

Desserts and Elizabeth’s Fresh Roasted Coffee

We let Elizabeth’s surprise us with a very special dessert, which turned out to be an ultra-rich chocolate pot de crème. Maddie and London shared another chocolate dessert, a chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream. Raves all around!

One of my proudest moments of the evening came when an older couple stopped by our table to compliment all of us on London and Maddie’s exceptional manners. Another highlight of the perfect birthday evening was meeting the owner, Leonard Logan, who also stopped by to compliment London and Maddie on both their lovely dresses and their terrific manners.  As parents, Rex and I find it so rewarding to be able to take our daughters out for steamed clams on checkered tablecloths one night and for a six course dinner at the finest place in town the next, and to know that all four of us enjoy the experiences at both ends of the gourmet spectrum. The girls signed the Elizabeth’s guest book as follows: “Maddie really enjoys dining at fancy restaurants… and London does, too!” I hope our new friends at Elizabeth’s will smile when they see the girls’ note.

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