Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Scratching the 7-Year Itch

Last night Kevin and I, barely recovered from our meal at the Post House, had to face another big meal out. You see yesterday was the 7th anniversary of the day we had the government legally recognize each other as family. (Isn't that a romantic way of putting it? Would this make it better?)

Talk to people about dining out in Westchester and things will fall into two camps. The first camp will tell you that there is a dearth of good restaurants in Westchester and everything is poor quality and overpriced. The other camp thinks there are all kinds of exciting restaurants in the area.

I just have one problem with finding out just how many good restaurants there are around here.


Okay. It's not super-duper laziness. There may very well be some great new restaurants in White Plains. I know that if I'm willing to drive to Yonkers I could hit the exalted X20. It's just that Kevin often doesn't come home from his Manhattan-based job until at least 8PM most nights. On weekends we're in NJ riding and we tend to get home between 6 and 7 and are dirty and sweaty and exhausted and we want to eat somewhere easy to get to.

What it boils down to is that when it comes to eating out, we just want to go somewhere within walking distance. Maybe we'll drive a few blocks. But most nights even a quick trip to Harrison or Larchmont or New Rochelle seems like too much effort. White Plains is even more effort since parking is either difficult or expensive.

Fortunately, there is one place that is suited to special occasions that is right at the end of the strip we live on. It's called Le Provencal. It's a French restaurant (duh) serving traditional bistro fare with a few interesting twists thrown in. We've never had a bad meal there. I did want to take it easy that night because I had eaten so much the night before. Although our meal was pretty good, I've had better meals here. They were slightly off their game.

My first course was a jicama and apple salad that also had mango, scallions, and parmesan. There needed to be a little more apple and a little more dressing or something to add a little more depth of flavor. I tasted too much scallion and cheese and a lot of underseasoned jicama. It was an interesting idea and very light and refreshing after having eaten platters of french fries, hash browns, and fried zucchini the night before.

Kevin had a lobster bisque. I found this an interesting bowl of soup since I often think of lobster bisque as being white and creamy. (But what do I know? I don't eat lobster.) He said it was VERY filling. I know it smelled very lobstery.

I had a roast duck with a thyme and apricot sauce. The green beans on this plate were nice and buttery and the sauce was delicious. There was a nice little ratatouille on the side as well. My only complaint is that the duck skin wasn't crispier. It was sort of limp. At least the meat wasn't dry.

Can someone explain how a mere TWO spears of asparagus, just TWO SPEARS, can cause that long-lasting effect that asparagus has. Really, I shouldn't have been noticing it this morning after having eaten two spears last night.

Kevin had crabcakes again. He's so original.

I forgot to photograph dessert. He had ice cream profiteroles (which I sampled). They were really good. I had some hazelnut gelato. I just couldn't do a heavy dessert last night. Even I have my limits. I got two scoops and wished I had asked them if I could mix flavors. I had been tempted to get the pistachio and it would have been nice to have both.

Service was excellent. The restaurant wasn't crowded on a Monday night, so the pace was leisurely and the waitstaff was attentive. They put candles in our desserts for our anniversary.

Kevin gave me a cute new watch (a cat-themed Swatch) and I gave him a new tie (pictures of gas pumps and signs that said, "Gas, 99 cents).

Here's to another 7 years!


Maria said...

Yahoo for you! Glad you were able to celebrate with tasty food!

Emiline said...

Congrats on your anniversary!

Everything sounds so good. I want some hazelnut gelato.

Who knew lobster bisque was so red? I didn't know that. Yeah, I thought it would be creamy looking.

Peter M said...

Congrats on your anniversary and the meal looked fab.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Happy Anniversary! Glad you were able to go out for a nice dinner.

I don't know if I ever told you, but I used to live in Westchester when I was a little girl. We lived in Elmsford and Scarsdale. Small world!

Dee said...

Hey, congrats on 7 years of legally recognized union :) Looks like you guys got that itch scratched good. The gelato sounds great, but that chocolate treasure box looked disgustingly evil. Yum!

Adam said...

Congrats on your big day. I think many people don't understand how much of a hassle driving around can be until they move to downstate. I agree that walking distance is nice :)

Your food looks great, I really liked the duck

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Maria and Peter - Thanks. We had a greart celebration.

Em - the bisque was a weird color. It reminded me of Manhattan clam chowder except it was made with lobster.

SGCC - You did bring it up a few months ago in reference to Playland. I think you need to go visit your old stomping grounds!

Dee - The treasure box was to die for, but I don't think I could have eaten it two nights in a row.

Adam - These days walking distance is everything. I really can't pull myself up long enough to drive anywhere for dinner.

noble pig said...

Okay, I love your meals out.

We Are Never Full said...

you crack me up when you talk about kevins palate. ha!

happy anniversary! i know what you mean about being tired and not wanting to even go 20 minutes away from home to eat out. it just seems like such an effort. oh, and those stupid 2 asparagus spears - totally unnecessary. TOTALLY annoying - they already had green on the plate - why add those 2 stupid spears?

Lo said...

Congrats on the anniversary... but thanks most of all for sharing your dinner adventures :) Love it.

Sue said...

Happy Official Day Of Recognizing Your Status As A Couple! What gorgeous pictures. And I love your present to Kevin. How funny...and sad.

My husband is just like you. He wants to go out local or not at all. I'd fly to Mars for a good meal.

Dinner looked great. I don't think the color of your lobster bisque was terribly out of the ordinary. It probably came from tomato and tomato paste. I do like it lighter though, because that means there's more cream. :-)

Lore said...

Congrats Rachel! I laughed out loud at the "romantic" part :D
I'm glad you had a nice time and boy does that duck look fabulous or what?