Thursday, December 29, 2005

Glutton for Punishment

Yesterday was a very, very special treat all round - I'll tell you why:

Got to spend actual Time with my good friend Christie (no kids this week! Yeah for grandparents!) doing grown-up things. To wit: Shopping extravaganza (by which I mean, perusing, commenting and at times making fun of clothing, not actually BUYing it.) Drinking tea whilst it was hot, with breaks for ... absolutely nothing. More shopping, also (I can't QUITE recall...) a scandalous mid-week, mid-day martini. We had a brief break for my trip out to Costco to see Exactly How much More Blind I am this year than last year. Answer: More! Blind! ... and did you know that I can now read the labels on the items at the back of Costco from the front door? Now you do.

To celebrate their blissfully child-free state (temporarily, any rate) we walked down to

  • Opal
  • (see below for review) and met Christie and Jeremy. Naturally, I still had to wear three inch plus! strappy, thin heels, because ... truly feel that wearing cute shoes and a nice-ish shirt makes up for the fact I wear jeans everywhere. (Silly me!) Fortunately, no foot pain/sprains to report since one of my few maddd skilllz is the ability to more or less hike in the most ridiculously innapropriate footwear.

    Dinner was Scrumdiddlyumptiosly good and included some or all of the following:

    -Ginger/mandarin martini, large steak and killer sauce, veggies, etc
    -Rosemary-infused lemon drop (I've made these at home to great applause) Phyllo-wrapped tiger prawns with curry sauce
    -Bubbly, Paella including scallops, mussels, clams, andoulaisse sausage, chicken and possible light case of food poisoning. Yummy!
    -Vino - Filet mignon with New York peppercorn sauce (extra sauce requested as it was so, so, so delicious) and taties, steamed veggies.
    -Dessert: Two creme brulees, one a Jack Daniels chocolate (SO! Good!) and the other vanilla with berries. MMMMM!

    I leave you to guess who got what. I'd go back there and have it all over again in a SECOND. Just not the after-effects, thankyouverymuch.

    Some people just don't learn. Apparently, I am one of them.

    Review Says:
    Opal is big with the pre-theater and post-concert crowds in Santa Barbara’s diverse, colorful theater district, offering a varied and original bistro-style menu heavy on wine-friendly foods with eye-opening flavors. We love to start with the rich oba fish wrapped in prosciutto, served on a bed of soft purple potatoes, red and yellow cherry tomatoes and crab meat; or tiger prawns wrapped in shredded phyllo dough and served with a silken coconut curry dipping sauce and a salad of napa cabbage, Mandarin oranges and toasted almonds, an inspired experiment originally developed to celebrate Julia Child's 90th birthday. Among the gourmet pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, we recommend the version topped with prosciutto, goat cheese, garlic and spinach. The main course lineup features the best-selling lemongrass-crusted fresh salmon filet, served with apple-and-orange-zest jasmine rice and a Thai curry sauce; and filet mignon prepared two ways, chile-crusted or herb-grilled. The wine list is one of the most impressive in town, with 300 served by the bottle and 40 poured by the glass. And the full bar features a long list of inventive cosmos and specialty grappas.

    It actually IS that good, and the prices and portions are very decent. How nice!

    Today's bonus: I saw six horribly squeeee!-inducing baby puppies (long soft hair Chihuahuas, NOT the horrid little bug-eyed vibrating kind) and a kitten (darling snub-nosed Persian) in posh pet shop in Montecito today, however was able to reason that paying $200.00 per pound for puppy is not an economical choice. We should all rejoice over that one!

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