Sunday, March 8, 2009

This is my birthday face !

Saturday was my 20th birthday! Technically the fun began when I got home from work Friday night when I picked on a beggar and saved a bunch of people while playing Fable: The Lost Chapters. It was unfortunate to me, because I was hardly able to be mischeivious! They wouldn't let me go where I wanted, and the only evil opportunity I had was to fart at a beggar. C'mon now. However, I did complete my first quest and walk away with quite a bit of gold (which I like, that only happened in Fable 2 when I used my augmented weapons). Anyways, I killed some massive wasps, and then went to bed.

The next day was full of family fiasco and schpealing about my upcoming adventure to France. Followed by a late-night dinner at one of
Maine Restaurant Week's featured restaurants Vignola. I had heard a lot of great things about the Executive Chef, Lee Skawinski, and was very excited about a new culinary adventure. Our 8:30pm reservation turned into our group of four not being seated until 9:30pm which was only odd because they were well staffed and walk-in guests were seated before us. They made up for it, though, with a complimentary cheese platter. It featured a small variety of local cheeses with some mixed greens and fruit compote. In addition, I ordered a brushcetta for the table, but it ceased to arrive (it did not appear on the bill either, luckily).

The rest of my meal was as follows:

1st course: Confit Leg of Duck, Tri-color Greens, Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette, Spiced Nuts and Pears
The confit salad was pretty tasty, with the exception of the mustard vin that was caked on the leg like a second skin. Once I scraped the vinaigrette off of the duck, I was more satisfied with the dish. The spiced nuts were amazing, and the duck, itself, was delectable.

2nd course: Hand Cut Fettuccine with Maine Shrimp and a Caramelized Fennel Sauce
I am still a little undecided on my entree. The Restaurant Week menu had stated that it would be a potato gnocchi with lobster rather than the pasta and shrimp. Although I feel like the choices of starch and seafood were better than the original menu, it did not appear that the flavors were well balanced at all. I couldn't taste any actual pasta, for it was drowned in a far-too-sweet fennel sauce that left a lot to be desired. Even after seasoning, the only thing I could taste was the sweetness of the sauce. Great idea, poor follow-through.

3rd course: Caramel, Raspberry, and White Chocolate Semifreddo with Biscotti
Being allergic to cocoa, I was eager to see this on the menu. As I shall explain in a later blog, I'm sure, my allergy limits me to just cocoa butter and chocolate liquor in my chocolicious ventures. The biscotti was very yummy, as was the semifreddo trio. It was my first experience with that type of dessert, but I am eager to find a recipe of it to try on my own someday.

Overal, Vignola was a great experience. Getting all dressed u and spending time with close friends and family over a nice meal is almost always a worthwhile experience. Especially when it's a part of one's birthday present :)

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