On Saturday morning, my friend Lisa called to find out if Hubby and I were free for dinner. Yep, we sure were! Wanting to try something new, I did a little browsing through Yelp and found a couple possibilities. Eventually I decided we would try a French restaurant called La Provence that had some really good reviews and an interesting menu offering farm to table, seasonal selections.
One thing quilting has done for me is to make me a little more knowledgeable about food, because I often have the Food Network or the Cooking Channel on as "background music" while I'm sewing. When I DO cook--which is mostly on weekends--I've become a bit more experimental with food than I used to be. And without really thinking much about it, I've also picked up a some food terminology too--like "farm to table."
Hubby and I arrived at the restaurant a little bit earlier than our friends, and we decided we asked to be seated at our table to wait. While waiting, Hubby browsed the menu and was dismayed to find he understood very little of it. All of the menu items were in French, although the English translations were provided. Still, some of the English terms were unknown to him, like "charcuterie."
I think I was probably first introduced to the term "charcuterie" by the show Unique Eats. I've heard it used often enough to know it has something to do with preserved meats that are usually transformed in some manner--made into sausage or salami, for instance. On the menu of La Provence, one of the small plates was "charcuterie" and the description included "saucisson, sausage, and terrine." Of all of those words, the only familiar one to Hubby was "sausage." I wasn't familiar with "saucisson," although I've since learned it's similar to salami or summer sausage. I knew what terrine was, but I had a hard time explaining it to Hubby. I told him it was usually a meat mixture, like pate, that was pressed into a mold, like a brick, and then turned out and sliced. Doesn't sound very appetizing, does it?! And I surely can't blame Hubby for wondering what I'd gotten him into and giving me that look that lets me know he thinks I'm probably nuts.
In the end, Hubby had French onion soup and salmon for dinner; I had a cheesy spinach/artichoke dip with flat bread as an appetizer that I shared with the others, and Chateaubriand steak as a main dish. No one had the charcuterie plate, darn it! I wish we had--I'd love to be a little more adventurous and try new things.
All in all, it was an excellent dining experience, and I'd like to go back again. Maybe next time we'll try the charcuterie. Have you tried anything unusual while dining out lately?