Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I am content

My place of work cheesed out and shorted me two hours today; everyone's 7:20PM classes were cancelled. Finding myself very suddenly with time on my hands, I decided that tonight-- ah, tonight, good gentles-- would be my Maggiano's night. I texted my brothers and invited them to join me; David said he'd be there, but Sean texted (with a sad-face emoticon) that he had to work. So I met David and his wife Patricia at the Maggiano's in Tysons Corner, about half an hour from YB Near.

The meal was fantastic. David and Patricia ordered a couple's menu; I got everything à la carte. For me, this meant a Maggiano's salad (lettuce, red onions, bleu cheese, crispy prosciutto, and a light vinegar dressing) along with a subtly battered calamari fritte for starters, followed by a main course of chicken rustica and shrimp al forno on pasta-- all in a silky cream sauce. For dessert, the world's best crème brûlée brought up the rear. I'd forgotten how vulgarly huge the crème brûlées are at Maggiano's; mine was nearly the diameter of a ping-pong paddle. David and Patricia, meanwhile, had a stuffed-mushroom appetizer, and their main courses were lasagna for Patricia and a veggie bowtie pasta for David. Their dessert: a monstrous slice of Maggiano's chocolate zuccotto cake, a multilayered miracle of cake, chocolate mousse, and unrepentantly chocolatey icing. Patricia, not a big fan of overly sweet desserts, thought the cake was only so-so, but David and I enjoyed picking at its bones. In the end, we were all stuffed and barely able to move. My Maggiano's gift card came in handy when I paid the bill; it lopped $50 off the final tab.

Tonight marked the last of my last hurrahs. There's really nothing more that I might want from a culinary bucket list. As my Kiwi buddy John might joke, "I am replete." What's more, I am content.


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