Every year for a series of months, I get to say that my Bride robbed the cradle and then for a series of months, I stay quiet. Do I like to tease? Of course, I do. If I don’t tease, I just put up with someone and I have been like that forever. Anyways, we were going to have dinner at one of her favorite restaurants and it is the same restaurant that we went to for my birthday, a little while ago. It seems that they have an unwritten rule that your dinner tab is half off on your birthday, and they were closed on my birthday and when we went there it was two days after and they said no, but we had a great dinner, so we survived. Before we left that evening, my Bride checked her calendar and discovered the same thing would occur and we were told that it would be honored the day before, under that situation, so we booked a reservation the day before her birthday.
We were out in Ann Arbor again and going to The Earle and normally one has to give more travel time to get there, but the state is still in a quasi-lockdown and traffic was light, even in Ann Arbor. We got there with time to spare and we were going to go have a cocktail, but the main street was much different and we didn’t recognize most of the venues, so we just walked around, which meant that I had to have a mask on the make my Bride happy, even though we were outside. I was extremely glad to get to the restaurant to breath enclosed air. I am not sure how it happened, but for all the times we have been there, I guess I missed that they had Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing and I am really old school about salads, and as they say, “no great story started with I was having a salad.” My Bride decided that she wanted one as well, though she is healthier than I am, and has the dressing on the side and I want the entire salad tossed with the dressing. My Bride didn’t even bother looking at the menu as she wanted her traditional dinner there, which is Coquilles St. Jacques al crème de Xeres, or sea scallops sautéed with mushrooms and garlic, pan-sauced with Sherry and cream with rice. I wanted something different and since The Earle prides themselves on both French and Italian dishes, I went Italian. I had Veal Scallopini lightly breaded and sautéed with garlic and mushrooms, then deglazed with marsala and finished with cream, just something light, because I am watching my figure. We also shared a Chocolate Mousse in honor of the occasion.
I also studied the wine carte online, before we got there, because they have sixty pages to go through and when you have to do it on your iPhone it is a pain in the neck. Since the lockdown began most restaurants are making you download the menu and wine lists through the camera setting on your phone. One or two pages is easy, but not sixty. Since it was her day, I decided to surprise her with her favorite grape. We had a bottle of Couly-Dutheil “La Coulee Automnale” Chinon 2015 from the Loire Valley and it is Cabernet Franc. The winery was founded by Baptiste Duthiel and his son. The estate is three-hundred-twenty-one-acres of gravel, clay and chalk and is predominately planted with Cabernet Franc and some Chenin Blanc. This wine is aged until the following fall and is one of their more popular wines, it was very fresh and flavorful and had the terroir that reminds me that it is Cabernet Franc. We both survived another round of birthdays and we are back to our normal life again.