welcome to 2012. can't say this year has started out as well as i had hoped, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed that it can only get better from here. besides the annual new years rehab party at my neighbors house this year... that included a polar plunge and Pat Walsh's signature bloody mary's- the best experience i've had so far was my dinner at Gingham on friday night. it was nothing short of sublime...
our menu was chosen for us, because it was a tasting event and invite only. we lucked out and got some of the best items on the menu. our meal started with a baked brie with fig jam and baguette... i've eaten enough baked brie to warrant heart failure, and i can confidently say this is the best i've ever had. it was thick sliced and layered on the bottom of a beautiful little square iron skillet, baked to perfection and dolloped with deep, rich, and delicious fig jam. my one and only complaint is that the dish came with too few slices of crispy oven baked baguette. i would have appreciated an entire loaf to soak up every bit of cheese grease i could. it was that good. ooooo.... almost forgot the amuse bouche of tiny cornbreads, that could easily be mistaken for pads of butter- yep, that yummy. following the brie, we were served venison carpaccio, sliced almost to transparency and layering a plate topped with fresh arugula, shaved pecorino and just the perfect amount of warm white beans that had been marinated in some heavenly pesto sauce. i didn't think it could get much better than this... then along came the beef ribs. they were covered in braised kale greens and had been perfectly cooked with bbq sauce that puts sweet baby ray's to shame. i so badly wanted to grab them and gnaw every piece of meat off, but mom said i had to use a fork... bunk. the ribs were served up with one of the best sides of pork belly and beans ever. the beans were spicy, so if you don't like spice... don't do the beans. as for myself, i could have poured them out of the beautiful little flame colored crock right into my mouth.... and yes, it gets better. as if brian malarkey isn't enough of a wiz, rachel king has his back. we were lucky enough to get a big slice of her candy bar cake.... moist devil's food, layered with peanut butter mousse and covered in a salted caramel frosting. this is the best dessert i've had in the last five years, hands down. my mom and i ate every last bite. from the dishtowel napkins to the comfy chairs and the perfectly selected and laid back glassware... i'm hooked. i feel fortunate to be able to walk to Gingham, and hope to stumble home often.
off to mail some packages of my scrubs that were supposed to show up for Christmas (sorry girls) and spend the rest of my day doing something fun like laundry or vacuuming. i will leave you with something that makes me so happy. this is a bouquet my oldest son Nash brought me. i wish it could last forever.