What an Anniversary Dinner!

At the very genteel Chez TJ, the Sweet One and I had a terrific celebration of our first anniversary together. Expensive but oh so worth it to create a memory we’ll carry with us forever. The restaurant occupies an old house in downtown Mountain View, built in 1894 for a bank vice president, and will celebrate its own 20th anniversary late next month.

Lamp and flowers in shadow

The food, prepared by chef de cuisine Kirk Bruderer and staff, was a taste delight. We started off with a little something extra, a salmon mousse served in a minature ice cream cone. Our first course was Roasted Bell Pepper Soup with Polenta Croutons and Basil Oil. The fish course was Pacific King Salmon with Sweet Potato Confit, Braised Red Cabbage and Chestnut Sauce. Next up was the meat dish, Spiced Glazed 1/2 Game Hen with Roasted Pumpkin Risotto adn Grain Mustard Sauce for Vivian and Slow Braised Lamb Shank with Bacon Chive Grit Cake and Pomegranate Sauce por moi. Simple and light were called for next and so we shared Petite Lettuce with Banyuls Vinaigrette and a selection of imported cheeses served with thin tart apple slices.

Last served, and surely the last we could have eaten, was dessert from pastry chef/wizard Pauline Lam. Vivian ordered the Chocolate Covered Banana: Caramelized Bananas surrounded by Decadent Dark Chocolate topped with Fresh Banana Ice Cream while I went for the Vahlrona Chocolate Bisque with Carmelized Brioche Croutons. Chocolate soup, in other words, an awesome treat after two months of no sugar at all on the Atkins plan!

Bill's dessert soup

Somehow (I don’t remember mentioning anything), the staff knew we were celebrating and so along with the two desserts they also brought out an extra plate with four extra small cookie treats, a sliced strawberry, a lit candle, and the words “Happy Anniversary” written in chocolate sauce. This kind of extra touch, combined with unintrusive but there when needed service, surely justify the hefty prix-fixe charge. We left on a cloud!

Our special treats

And although we had agreed not to exchange presents, she couldn’t resist getting me a little one, Elvis Presley’s 30 #1 Hits. This album has a great selection of Elvis hits and includes the super catchy Elvis vs. JXL remix of A Little Less Conversation. This new version of an old movie tune came to all our attention back in June when Nike used it to power their Secret Tournament commercials throughout the World Cup.

All my love, Ms. Sweetilicious!