Happy 18th!

It’s hard to believe, but Nat and I have been married for 18 years now. As with all marriages we have certainly had our ups and downs. It’s also been very hard for me to adjust to the “step mother” role as I’m extremely independent and find it hard to connect to different personalities that were thrust upon me without any grace period. Everyone tries to get along because we’re all adults and some of us have to bite our tongues when certain issues are none of our business.

My love for dear  hubby is as strong as it is the day we married. I remember crying in Gail’s second bedroom when getting dressed for the wedding and suddenly seeing Nat in his tux walking up the driveway. God, he was the handsomest man I’d ever seen and that still stands for today.

And so it goes, each year we’ve celebrated our anniversaries by dining out. We’ve dined in various up-scale restaurants over the years – The Blue Mermaid, The Penthouse (for several years), The Keg (for several years), and Johnny Rocco’s,  all of which have been fabulous. Last night we decided to try @27, a restaurant in Port Colborne  (27 Main Street West to be precise), and which we’ve passed so many times as we drove through that quaint little Town. A two-storey yellow house with front porch, little wooden fence and small yard situated on a corner right by the Welland Canal has been converted into a beautiful atmosphere of fine dining, lovely interior design and delicious meals. We knew there was something about this place as it looked quaint and a bit up-scale for just a quick Saturday night meal. We vowed to give it a try this anniversary and we were not disappointed.

Once we walked through the front entrance we were greeted by a very friendly waitress who offered to take our coats and hang them up in the little closet that stood beside the Maitre ‘D’s desk. We were then escorted to a table for two near the window and with a stylized coloured glass tile that separated us from the table on the other side and one step down. Our reservations were for 5:30 PM, a little early, and as such other patrons had not yet arrived for their more fashionable time of dining.

The Fall/Winter menu was handed to each of us and everything looked delicious, including the appetizers. We were especially pleased to read that @27 used only local fresh vegetables and baked goods. So refreshing to hear and we knew right away that the food would be wonderful. As we began our appetizers (me, a Caesar Salad and Nat, a mixed green salad with all kinds of greens and veggies) we agreed they were the best salads we’ve had in a long time. The romaine was crispy fresh with one large crouton sitting atop nice chunks of parmesan cheese and fresh crunchy bacon bits; the various greens in Nat’s salad were the same, fresh and crispy with nice size bits of mushrooms, onion frits, etc., plus he raved about the Vinaigrette dressing.

The timing of our entree was perfect and very surprising. Being an up-scale restaurant we were kind of expecting smaller portions but were very surprised. My prime rib with mashed potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire Pudding was huge. The thick slice of prime rib sat atop the melt-in-your mouth mashed potatoes and the veggies were cooked to perfection. The prime rib and Yorkshire Pudding was drenched in smooth and velvety gravy and I knew in my heart-of-hearts that I wouldn’t be able to finish it. Nat’s dish of bacon-wrapped filet mignon smothered in a creamy lobster and shrimp sauce was the special of the day and he loved it. Try as I might, I really couldn’t eat the entire meal, and as uncouth as it may be, I asked the waitress to pack up a doggie bag, after all we paid for that good piece of beef.

With the main meal done, the waitress sang the praises of their desserts, all of which sounded lovely but alas, being the picky eater that I am, I turned dessert down. Nat and I looked at each other and knew we wanted to wait a couple of hours and have our tea at home in the comfort of our easy chairs. We finished our wine, paid the tab and thanked the waitress for a lovely evening.

As much as I enjoy receiving gifts for any holiday or celebration, in the end it’s the meal that I’m beginning to appreciate more. For me, it’s a time of relaxation, small chit chat and just enjoying the company of your partner or family. This anniversary meal was one of those times, so thank-you dear and I’m know the next 18 will be even better.

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