Friday, July 3, 2009

Dinner with Friends

Can there be any better evening than sharing a good meal with friends? Our dear friends, the Eichenwalds, were through Denver Wednesday on their way to Vail. We used to get together often when we lived in Lawrence and Kansas City was just a couple of miles down the road. Now our meals out are longer because they are more rare. Howard and Sonia once despaired ever having grandchildren, but they are now proud of the six little ones.
Our restaurant of the evening was Barolo Grill and it did not disappoint! Sonia spent part of her childhool on the shores of Lake Como, so Barolo had great potential for her with all the dishes from the Piedmont region. Howard and Sonia started with Vitello Tonnato alla Piemontese which I did not catch with the camera until they had begun enjoying:
By the time I got the camera going, there was just one little example of the veal that they pronounced as wonderful.
I loved the chef's salad, Insalata Verdure Fresca, from the tasting menu: I am not much of a radish eater, but these were sliced so thin that they were almost like a spice with the green beans, carrots, broccoli and such.
Robert chose the Cammillo:
We got so caught up in our conversation that I completely forgot to take pictures of our main courses. Part of our friendly culture is that we share extensively -- "Try this, it's wonderful." Robert loved his Salmone d'Avario, a seared salmon with artichokes and match stick potatoes. Howard seemed to enjoy his pork tenderloin which was served with curried mashed potatoes and broccoli rabe instead of the advertised asparagus. I had Gnocchi con Courgetti e Pesto and was happy I had chosen a smaller portion. I love pesto and this was a good pesto, but it overpowered the patty pan squash and zucchini so that I only knew I was eating the vegetables by the texture, not by the flavor. A larger portion would have been just too much over the top as well as being just too much food. I wish all restaurants offered smaller portions. Sonia chose the Tajarin con Funghi from the tasting menu and it was a deceptively simple dish -- just sauteed porcini mushrooms and shaved parmagiano reggiano over thin pasta -- that made a marvelous dish of delicate flavors! The pasta was slightly overdone, but that can so easily happen when a table is ordering pastas and main courses to be served at the same time. I've got some porcinis and morels ready to try my hand at a similar dish for our dinner tonight.
I did manage to remember my camera just after our first bites of dessert. The Eichenwalds gelatti was not so photogenic as the Sampson's Creme Brulee
which, by the way, was advertised as being for two but was more than enough for us even after Howard had a few samples as well!
We had a great evening with wonderful conversation, excellent food and good service. What a shame they live 500 miles away and much of their holiday time is devoted to the grandchildren! And thanks to the Barolo Grill for a lovely meal!

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