dark_of_night had chosen Lou because they prepare the top-secret food product & we wanted to compare it to our own effort. To our mingled consternation/delight, our own first effort was superior to Lou's.
The cheese plate, however, was really excellent. Five fancy-schmancy artisanal cheese. I'm not a fan of runny, stinky or bleu cheeses, but I managed to enjoy at least a taste of all but the bleuiest bleu. Two I think were from Cowgirl Creamery, and the St. Pat, wrapped in nettles, was really interesting, albeit just at the edge of my stinky/funky threshhold.
We each had a different entree, and they all looked beautiful. Portions are modest, prices are immodest, but it's clear that primo ingredients went into everything, and it was all prepared to perfection.
And then, of course, there's the wine. They offer it by the bottle, by the glass, and by the taste, which really amounts to about a small glass of wine -- not at all insignificant. Our semi-hosts having plied us with a tasty cocktail as an aperitif before we strolled to the restaurant, I didn't go all out on wines, but managed to pick a couple, and share a few tastes of other people's selections. I will still credit myself (through no virtue of my own) with the most interesting find of the night, the Timorasso from Vigneti Massa. Evidently Walter Massa rescued this Italian grape from obscurity. Very fresh, with some mineral tartness. Went great with the cheeses.
For supper, I had the chorizo and lentils with fried egg on top. The chorizo was amazing: spicy and firm and tasty, and I don't want to know what went into it. I kept things in 'Spain' with a wine that was a blend of tempranillo and (I think) grenache. Usually, I like meat with a spicy wine, but this meat was so spicy, that no wine couldn't possibly win, and was instead a refreshing unspicy to go with the meal.
We staggered back to the DebKev homestead for fresh-baked cookies, muscat, and mock-acrimonious discourse on politics, religion and the foibles of common acquaintances. All told, a great evening!