An eating-out spree
August 11, 2009
Not necessarily by choice, but because that’s what work dictated. Ain’t no thing.
Lunch Monday was Belle Arti, easily the best Italian restaurant in Hot Springs. Now, I am not a huge eater of Italian food at lunch, mostly because it tends to make me sleepy. Plus the gluten thing. But I had a caprese salad (wonderful) and eggplant parmigiana (ditto; apparently I can eat enough bread crumbs to bread eggplant with no ill effects), passed up the pasta side, reluctantly, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Met some visitors for a drink Monday evening and they wanted to go to dinner. And they wanted to go to….Belle Arti. So back to Belle Arti I went. I CAN, in fact, eat a caprese twice in a day, with little trouble. I was still full enough from lunch I just had the shrimp and scallops appetizer in pesto cream sauce (a thing of beauty, I might add) for an entree. And still couldn’t finish it. Never occurred to me to do pesto cream sauce. It should have. That’s some Fine Stuff.
Today I had a conference on doing business with China at the Capitol Hotel in Little Rock. I was saved from going to sleep by the fact it was approximately 42 degrees in the meeting room. Lunch was in the deal, and I must say, it was one of the better conference lunches I’ve had in a good while.
Chef salad. But, oh, dear, what a chef salad! Mixed greens. Halved cherry tomatos. Crumbled blue cheese. Basic viniagrette. Bacon. Grilled chicken. And the two things that took it completely out of the realm of the ordinary: beef tenderloin medallions, a luscious medium rare, sliced thin, and avocado.
That has to rank as one of the best all-time salads I’ve ever had.
Dessert was a communal plate of petit fours and chocolates. Also excellent. With a cup of good coffee to keep us awake for the Chinese Ambassador’s speech.
The Chinese ambassador says tell y’mama ‘n ‘em hey. Well, not really. He said lots of forgettable stuff, all about how the US and China are entering a new era of progress in their relationship. M’mm h’mm, thank you, drive through. Can I have your salad?
Tonight was a reception at the country club. Excellent shrimp. Reasonably decent stuffed mushrooms. A cool assortment of petit fours, including a really divine lemon coconut thingy. And three good vodka tonics.
I’m goin’ to bed early and headed BACK to Little Rock tomorrow for yet another conference, with the near assurance lunch will NOT be as good. Oh, well. I’m gone to Mobile this weekend to eat shrimps, so I can tough it out until then.
Check in with y’all tomorrow evening, when I may actually cook.