Saturday, November 04, 2006


As promised, I'm blogging about my dinner last night.

Just to backtrack a bit, I was part of a prize package auctioned off at a fundraiser for Caumsett State Park. The item was "Dinner with the Author," and the meal was generously donated by a divine, 4-star restaurant in Huntington, Long Island called Jonathan's Ristorante.

In my previous post I had passed along misinformation about the number of diners, as it was actually dinner for seven (three couples plus me), which was wonderful, because it was cozy enough to actually chat. I got incredibly lucky because the couple who placed the winning bid, Mr. and Mrs. L., were so lovely and gracious, and so were their friends. In fact, the whole gang was a hoot to spend an evening with, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, though next time I'd love to have my husband there.

Speaking of my husband, here's a funny thing. The couples were all strangers to me, but as it turns out, Mr. L. knows my husband from business! It was pretty freaky to discover this.

So okay. Now onto the food, which was, to use a quintessentially Long Island phrase, to die for.

I have to say that the restauranteur was generous to the point of indulgence, and I appreciated every minute of it. It was a four course gourmet meal, with a different wine served to compliment each course. Holy moly. Last time I had a meal like that it was at the sybaritic Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

To start, we were served a prosciutto appetizer I don't quite have the culinary vocabulary to describe. So "yum" will have to suffice. That was followed by a wild mix mushroom risotto with truffle oil. I'm weak in the knees just thinking about it. It was one of the most delicious things I ever ate. The main course was braised lamb shank with Barolo sauce, served with potato puree and french string beans. The lamb was tender and tasty and perfectly fatty. I did not need a knife for this buttery meat, and I wish I could give you a taste right now! Dessert was a vanilla custard drizzled with strawberry sauce and served with assorted berries. Heavenly.

My only regret is that I drove myself there, so I couldn't fully indulge in all the extraordinary wines. I enjoyed them so much I wanted to guzzle every glass, but kept myself to a few sips of each. I have no idea how I managed this restraint!

Anyway, if the Caumsett people want to auction me off again next year, I'm in. Meanwhile, I'll definitely be going back to Jonathan's before then.


Anonymous said...

I'm salivating, Ellen! What an experience! Bummer about not having your own driver.

Anonymous said...

That sounds awesome, Ellen!

I'm always floored when restaurants serve that much wine. So lovely. So tasty. So much I can't drink without curling up on the floor.