Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Dinner Party

The office Christmas "party", which is really just a grand dinner out, was last night. We went to the location on the right. I've heard a lot about it but I'd never been there.

This is the first party where I couldn't drink. I looked at Janine's martini and the wine the guys ordered to go with their steaks with just a bit of envy. I can have alcohol in food because it's usually cooked off. I just can't drink it straight anymore. It's all part of adapting to a new way of living. But I kept thinking that this was the one party where I usually had a couple of chocolate martinis and I certainly missed it this year.

We were remembering how the former boss loved his steaks and that's usually where we went, some steak house. We were also remembering the $750 food bill for Capital Grill. We never spent more than that. Even going to Morton's, which bills itself as "the place for steak", we didn't spend that much. Now that he's retired, we are much less likely to ever have a food bill that big again. We just don't like those kinds of restaurants.

The food at Wildfire was very good. The menu is 4 pages, heavy on steak. The steaks Mike and Jon got were over an inch thick. I don't think I've seen steaks that tall at any other place we went. The service was spotty. The waiter took everyone else's drink order and then turned and walked away before getting me. He came back with the bottle of wine Mike and Jon ordered and brought 3 glasses. He seemed offended when I said, "I did not order the wine. You walked away before taking my drink order." He got the wrong dressing on one of the side salads and the water glasses were never refilled, even when we asked if they could be refilled. Perhaps that's not his fault, but we asked him to refill them and he never did.

I had a difficult time choosing something to eat. I'm not a steak person. I really have never been. The chicken offerings were very small as was the seafood offering. There was no pasta on the menu, something that surprised me. Most restaurants, even if they don't specialize in pasta, have 3-4 items on the menu. There were none here. It was a menu heavy on steak and accompaniments.

After hemming and hawing, I got their "Wildorf Salad". It was huge. I have half of it for lunch today. It's two kinds of lettuce, neither one iceberg, spinach, apples, dried cranberries, pecans, sunflower seeds and raisins with or without slices of herb roasted chicken breast. I got the chicken with it. It was really good. Usually, I get seafood when I go to these things and I know I should eat more fish. I was close to getting the cedar planked chicken, but the salad just seemed too good to pass up. I'm glad I made that choice.

It also meant I had room for dessert. Last year, we went to Claim Jumper. After a wonderful meal there, I ordered a slice of their chocolate 7 layer cake. This is what came.

It took me 3 DAYS to eat it. It was quite the novelty but that is way too much.

This year, dessert was perfectly proportioned and just the right size to finish the meal and not leave you feeling as if your pants would burst.

It's a chocolate peanut butter tart with whipped cream topping, dusted with cocoa and chopped peanuts. The plate it was on was huge but this is about the width of a baseball. It was creamy and delicious and I finished it all there. The only box in my fridge was the other half of my salad.

It was a nice place to go. I'd go there again. I can usually find, even on a menu heavy with steaks, something appealing. I bought myself a new sweater to wear and I thought I'd be under dressed but there were people in jeans and tee shirts. The former boss wanted us to dress up for dinner but we're not a "dress-up" crew. A place like Wildfire and last year's Claim Jumper restaurants fits us just fine.

Is it lunch yet?

Beverage:  Wild Berry tea


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