Friday, August 2, 2013

Six Years, and Seafood

A quick break from my Chicago blog posts...

On Wednesday, "R" and I celebrated our sixth (dating) anniversary. Within weeks of meeting him in Ohio, I knew that he had to be mine, so I boldly asked him to not see anyone else. I know a good thing when I see one! Sometimes, it feels as though we've been together forever. That level of comfort, ease of being together, and deep trust and love. Other times, six years ago seems like just yesterday. Where does time go?

We weren't supposed to be together on Wednesday evening, but things change and suddenly we had the evening together and free of plans. What to do? "R" proposed a bite to eat at Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen. It's easily becoming one of our favorite spots, and I haven't had a dish there that I haven't liked. There were only two entrees left on the menu that I hadn't tried yet, and the Scallops had been calling my name for a while now. Some tempting specials had kept me from trying them during my last two visits, but I was determined this time.
With braised fennel, radicchio, warm bean salad, and tarragon vinaigrette ($21), the dish was pretty to look at and just as tasty. I absolutely loved the tarragon vinaigrette and the large pieces of braised fennel. Some of the beans were a hair undercooked, but otherwise, I really enjoyed this dish. It may not be my favorite thing in their Bigger Things section (Flat Iron, Chicken, and Pork Paprikash are up there), but I would certainly order this again. Now, that just leaves the Walleye to try.

On Thursday evening, we had scheduled a romantic dinner at Pier W. It's been years since I've been there for dinner (we love their brunch!), and with the spectacular view of the city and splurge-worthy seafood menu, it was a perfect spot for our anniversary dinner. Perched high along the lake's cliffs in Lakewood, this restaurant has one of the very best views of our city, and they are finally taking advantage of the patio area near the restaurant's entrance by adding some outdoor dining this year.

We decided to start with an order of the Oyster Sampler ($18), and they allowed us to mix and match the three types of oysters offered that evening.
It is served with your standard Horseradish Cocktail Sauce, but also a light and refreshing Mango Cucumber Relish.

I was torn between the Cod, Swordfish, and Tuna dishes on the menu, but a last minute switch led me to the Pier W's Famous Bouillabaisse ($32) with fresh fish, Top Neck clams, shrimp, scallops, snow crab claw, and mussels in a saffron tomato broth with oven-roasted garlic crostini and rouille.
Divine. I was surprised at how good the rouille was on the toasted crostini and then dipped into the broth. It really brought together all of the flavors of the broth.

We shared a bottle of one of our favorite splurge wines, and the meal was near perfect. "R's" Pan Roasted Lake Perch was exceptional, and I'd order that in a heartbeat. As we were leaving, our server presented us with two tiny cupcakes and a chocolate that said "Happy Anniversary" on top. It was a cute gesture, and appreciated. The evening was very special, just as it should have been.

Stuffed with some delicious seafood between the two evenings, we called the anniversary celebration a "success." Then we took a "staycation" day off of work today to play in our city together. More on that later!

He won't see this, because he has never read a blog post in the five years that I've been blogging, but...Happy Anniversary, my love! It's been a tough road at times for us, but they've truly been the best six years of my life. I met you, fell in love quickly, followed my heart to Ohio, and am now thrilled to call Cleveland my home. It's all because of how wonderful and special you are, and I couldn't be more thankful that you're mine. You truly are my "better half" and life with you is pretty grand. Cheers to many more!


Alana said...

he doesn;t read them!? he's missing out!!! happy belated anny :)

Bite Buff said...

Aw, thank you Alana! It's probably better that he doesn't read it sometimes, ha.

Crystal @EatDrinkClev said...

Ah, a late Happy Anniversary to two of my favorite love birds! I'm so happy for you. I know last summer was the supposed to be the Year of Fun, but I think this summer is fantastic - so much fun crammed into a few months!I know you'll have many many more happy years together. xoxo