Sweetest Day is a rather important celebratory day in this household, because twenty-four years ago when my Bride and I tied the knot, it was on Sweetest Day. When I mentioned it on Social Media, it got anything from “love” to yawns and stares. One person that I know through Social Media on a couple of platforms was so intrigued, that she had to look it up, probably wondering, if I hadn’t had too much wine and was creating my own holidays for revelry. I had always heard that it was created by Frederick Sanders in Detroit, the founder of Sanders Candy Company and if you are from the Detroit area, that name alone will make you smile from all of the sweets and goodies that one can associate with them. Alas, it was not a Detroit inspiration, but the first Sweetest Day was October 10, 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio which chronicled the events leading up to the date, by a committee of twelve confectioners led by C.C. Hartzell and they began it by distributing twenty-thousand boxes of candy to “newsboys, orphans, old folks and the poor.” It may have also created the concept of “Pay it Forward,” because it was a day that people would leave extra money to pay for the person behind them a coffee or a lunch, and some people continue that theme. Eventually it was celebrated as the third Saturday in October, so periodically it lands again on my anniversary date. If you still haven’t heard of it, it is because only ten states really celebrate it, as well as parts of two other states. Some deride it and call it a “Hallmark Holiday” though they had nothing to do with it, but both Hallmark and American Greetings do manufacture cards for it now, and Cleveland and Detroit are the two major markets.
At first, we were going to have dinner home, because we had a nice dinner planned on our actual anniversary with an another couple and for some odd reason my Bride thinks that I can get quite carried away with ordering wine when we are out; I have no idea where she gets these ideas. As it turns out, the closer we got to dinner time, the less excited she was about cooking, so I had to think of some place we could get in. There is a charming little bistro way off the beaten track that we often go for breakfast and Mimosas, because they remind us the French Quarter in New Orleans. The restaurant is called French Toast and they are open seven days a week in this little strip center, not even on the corner of two major streets, and they are only open for dinner on Friday and Saturday, they close the other days after the lunch/brunch traffic fades away. We have been told at times for brunch that there will be almost an hour wait for a table, so people have discovered them for breakfast and lunch. Just to play it safe, we got there early and there were only about five tables taken. My Bride ordered the Lake Superior White Fish with lemon brown butter, capers, parsley, tomatoes Concaise, roasted red skin potatoes and asparagus. I had the Cajun Chicken Fettuccine with fresh pasta, roasted onions, poblano peppers and a Cajun Bechamel sauce with some good heat, beyond the temperature of the hot plate that it was served on. The manager sent us a complimentary dessert that we shared, because it was our anniversary.
We also developed a bit of a thirst, having to read the menus and the wine list. My Bride surprised me and went with the Barton & Guestier Bordeaux Blanc 2016. Barton & Guestier or in the old days, when the labels said B & G is the oldest wine house in Bordeaux. They are a negocient with over two-hundred winegrower partnerships, as well as their signature Chateau Magnol in the Haut-Medoc. The company began in 1725 when the Irishman Thomas Barton settled in Bordeaux and became a wine merchant. In 1802, his grandson Hugh joined forces with Frenchman Daniel Guestier and a partnership was created that is still going on today. The wine is a blend of eighty percent Sauvignon Blanc and twenty percent Semillon and the fruit comes from both Entre-deux-Mers and in the Bordeaux region. The fruit is left on the lees for the initial maceration with half of the wine aged in oak and the other half in vats. The wine was crisp with a nose of white and yellow fruits and a touch of vanilla, and a nice finish. My Bride truly enjoyed it. I went with a new product, to me as I hadn’t heard about it, from the Wagner Family of Wines, produced by Chuck Wagner of Caymus Vineyards. The wine was Bonanza Winery Cabernet Sauvignon California NV. In the old days this might have been found in a gallon jug, but the pedigree for it, goes beyond the simple concept. It is not an inexpensive wine for a Cabernet Sauvignon, but it was very tasty and was better than a lot of basic wines that I have encountered. I would probably not have it in my cellar, but if it is an option at a restaurant, it was enjoyable enough that I would order it again. As we were paying our bill, we noticed that our secret little dinner restaurant is no longer a secret as it was almost filled as we left.