Thursday, December 22, 2011

22 December 2011 celebrating the winter solstice at Bonefish Grill

          Gloria and I met 19 years ago.  We’ve always tried to commemorate the meeting by dining out.  Our location, our physical conditions, and the ability of of local dining establishments to provide a genuine high quality meal have all been factors in our ability to keep our tradition active. 
          We’ve had some good meals, some mediocre meals, and the rare, truly atrocious meal.  The worst meal, at a Zagat-rated restaurant on Siesta Key was probably the worst dining experience I have ever had. 
          Last night we dined at Bonefish Grill in Johnson City TN.  We had the foresight to make reservations.  When we arrived, the parking lot was full, the line to be seated quite long, and wait times approaching an hour.  We were seated within 10 minutes. 
          Bonefish Grill is a chain.  They serve a limited seafood menu that varies with seasons.  The servers were polite, attentive, not overbearing.  They knew the menu items, could tell us how each was prepared and how it would taste.  The house has an extensive wine list.  Once they knew we didn’t want wine they never pushed the bar items. 
          We had two appetizers to share, our entrees came with a well-prepared winter squash, green vegetables, and several carbohydrate option.  We dined at a leisurely pace and brought food home with us. 
          As she almost always is, Gloria was disappointed at the lack of a sugar-free dessert.  Other than that difficulty, it was a great night out and we enjoyed our celebration of 19 years as a pair. 
          Tonight we will convert 2.27 kilograms of potatoes, 4 eggs, 2 onions, and some matzah, into that most traditional Ashkenazic poor folk’s nostalgia food, latkes.  While we’ve never lived in a shtetl, our road is not that unlike one if one takes away the electricity.
          We’ve invited our neighbor, Mike, an actual MOT, and another downstream neighbor who thinks Hanukah is “Jewish Christmas” and who can’t understand why we don’t hang lights and celebrate Jesus.  We will try to explain the reason for the festival of lights tonight.  It’s a good thing to do.  Otherwise we would surely wind up in trouble for trying to add a mohel to the nearby churches’ mangers scenes.  Winter Brissim, anyone?  Don’t sit in the front row!
          In a mild break from tradition, I’ve made a leek-onion-balsamic marmalade to serve with the latkes.  I doubt it will venture far from my plate.  

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