Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner

Tapping into my nomadic ways, I'll be moving around quite a bit this week and won't be making a Moosewood recipe. I will, however, recap one of the best meals of my life here for you.

The Monkey Tree is one of my favorite restaurants on the island, and probably my favorite vegetarian restaurant of all time. I love the food, the atmosphere, and the warm, hospitable owners. I love the soup. I love the garden in the back. I love waking up early and holding hands and tromping through the rain in my green boots for cinnamon rolls with apples and currants tucked between layers of spice and butter. The Monkey Tree has mastered pastry, conquered cassoulet, and staked a claim on my hungry heart. That being said, when Charlie surprised me on Valentine's Day with a special Monkey Tree dinner, I was beside myself with excitement!

Here is the menu from the night:

Tuscan White Bean Soup
served with herbed garlic crostini and basil walnut pesto
Country Garden Salad with romaine and arugula greens, fresh asparagus, and shaved grana Parmesan tossed in balsamic mustard vinaigrette
Surprise Valentine Interlude of amaretto and orange slices with honey
Roasted Spinach Potato Gnocchi pan seared in plum tomato vodka sauce with grana Parmesan
Risotto with creamy porcini mushrooms, grana Parmesan, and fresh thyme
Fresh Lemon and Fruit Sorbet
Cassata Siciliana:
a Sicilian chocolate cake with orange zest ricotta cream filling, pine nuts, golden raisins, and bittersweet ganache

I had a raspberry rosemary iced tea with my dinner. A violinist played sweet songs throughout the meal. I sat across from the most incredible man I have ever met. I almost fell over and died. But it's a good thing I didn't, because I wouldn't be here to tell you about the wonders of The Monkey Tree. Go there. Take a ferry ride across the water. Just do it. The island will soak you up and the Monkey Tree will fill you to the brim!

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