30 September 2007

Parent's Night Out

The Bear & Mouse's school held it's annual Parent's Night Out on Friday. Essentially, the school turns into an after-hours babysitting club/pizza party, thus providing parents 3.5 hours of free time for a mere $20 a kid/$10 for each additional (on par with local in-home babysitting rates). We made reservations at an upscale, neighborhood BYOB, one which I have been itching to try for the past couple years, and gladly handed over the $30. What a meal we enjoyed!

Sorry in advance for any hunger pains the following descriptions induce.

I started with Braised Short Ribs over Soft Polenta. Unreal how good this was. This marks only the third time I had polenta. My virgin polenta experience was terrible, but this was remarkable. Quality matters when it comes to polenta, of this I am sure.

The Mrs. tried the antipasti tasting sampler, which consisted of 5 bite-size delicacies: Arugula-Pesto Grilled Shrimp over local, sweet "100" tomatoes, salami with locatteli cheese, breaded/pan-fried mussels in tomato coulis, crostini with pork ragu, and finally a wild mushroom frittata. All, save for the kinda-bland crostini dish, were close to perfect.

Oh! I almost forgot a cool extra - a kiddie tea-party-set sized teacup full of pureed sweet corn. Oh my god, I could have bathed in that stuff.

On to the main courses...I jumped at the chance to eat prosciutto wrapped cod with a crab risotto cake. Sweet Jesus!! (yikes, two references to the lord in one post - I expect the bolt of lightening at any moment). The saltiness of the fine, crispy ham was perfect with the cod (my 2nd fave fish next to the mighty halibut).

The Mrs. devoured Pumpkin Ravioli with sage, brown butter sauce. This too was executed flawlessly. The best part came next...

Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla gelato, a maple syrup reduction and the greatest thing on earth - candied pecans. Not a nut fan, I initially declined the Mrs. when she offered my one with a spoonful of vanilla. A near hideous mistake for they truly were the tastiest and most lovely textured dessert (when coupled with the Italian ice cream).

We finished dinner a bit earlier than we thought and we almost picked up the kids early - I sat in the turning lane torn with tiny-good parent on one shoulder and lil' bad parent on the other whispering to me to keep driving, enjoying the brisk air and the sound of another Phillies victory on the radio. And that we did, for another 1/2 hour or so...just cruisin' 'round the crappy suburban landscape.
We still collected the children before the official end of Parent's Night Out (and WAY ahead of most other parents!) so that makes us a decent mom and dad...right?


landismom said...

Hey, part of being a good parent is taking time for yourself, so it sounds like you did exactly the right thing. Glad you had fun!

Jeff - OWTK said...

Thanks for the reinforcement! We did have a nice evening...it was the 3rd night last week without the kids. The Bishop Allen show on Monday night and then Okkervil River late on Saturday while the kiddies slept at Grandmom's. The good news is, we still can stay up till 2am and have a great time as a couple. That is important, I think, as we approach our 5th anniversary.