Monday, December 18, 2006


Over the last week, I've had the privilege of dining (that's right 'dining,' not eating) at two very fine restaurants.

Historically, I am not a great gastronome, no lover of fine food and drink. There have been many times I've wished I didn't have to eat at all, such a bother I've found it to be sometimes. But those times mostly come when I am bored with the (lack of) selection, or want to spend time spent cooking/eating/cleaning doing something else. But being a necessary thing, I learned to keep it simple and suck it up.

Simple is definitely not a word useful in describing my recent dining experiences. First, a holiday lunch at Maggiano's Little Italy brought a tilapia dish crusted with something light and toasty and textury. Side dishes and drinks were not as memorable, but the highlight of the meal was the cheesecake. The slice was a good three inches high and four inches wide at the round end. OMG, and the strawberry topping...I was a freak. Of course, cheesecake is one thing I'm always a freak for.

My second big deal was a birthday event for my wife and half of another couple at Laffrey's Steaks on the Hearth. Apparently some Detroit icon, this little place is deceiving in its size. The steak was probably the best I've ever had. This was just a steak, but the texture and juice and flavor (woody and smoky and red) still make me salivate to imagine. I also had a twice-baked potato (which I *must* learn how to make) and sauteed mushrooms with it. Okay, so this was a simple meal, but well worth both the drive and the price (which is saying something; plan $50/person) for any special event you can think of.

With the holidays afoot, there is lots more good eating in store for me in the next several days, but after that it's back to my old routine: looking forward to a weekly visit to Taco Bell for lunch, and the fanciest non-special-occasion dinner being baked mostaciolli, both of which are fine by me.

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