|The Happy Royal Couple!|
As a very happily married couple we are so blessed! It's true, The King and The Queen enjoy every day together, and we are totally grateful for experiencing this wondrous loving relationship! I want you to know that you really can find soul mate love after 50! And as foodies we like to celebrate our 'Anniversary of Love' at amazing restaurants. You know, something extraordinary and posh like us! LOL! Actually we would not usually have time to do this with my husband's professional musician gig schedule taking up our weekends. So when we saw a rare Saturday evening off for him around the week of our wedding anniversary I began researching the best restaurants in the Baltimore area! Let's plan a great elegant evening together baby! You are worth it!
The first thing I wanted to do is go over the "Best of" lists posted online and check out the various dinner menu selections of the top rated restaurants. I was looking for fabulous restaurants with enticing delectable healthy ingredients and menus that include vegetable dishes with a farm to table mentality. Sadly the majority of menus I was seeing are built around meat and cheese! Yikes! That would not work at all. Pay attention to menu selections the next time you are out, or strolling along window shopping the menus, and you will see what I mean with this meat and cheese appropriation of food. This immediately reduced the number of qualifying restaurants in our healthy quest. Narrowing down contenders that know how to prepare fresh vegetables, we decided together who we want to experience this year. The first restaurant we chose is well known for its farm to table menu and could only place us on a waiting list for Saturday evening. Seems this place is the most popular restaurant in town at this time. Which is a good thing...if there is going to be a food that's popular let it be local farm food! Plus this was not even the number one rated restaurant in town either, so I applaud people supporting good local farm food!
|Front step entrance to Antrim 1844 Main House and Restaurant|
The next restaurant that caught our healthy eye was a Country Inn Restaurant that Baltimore Magazine rated number two in town, it is the luxurious 'Antrim 1844.' We dined at 'The Antrim' a few years ago and had a wonderful culinary experience. And since Ben often plays classical guitar at weddings held at 'The Antrim' we felt it was time for us to be a pampered guest at this amazing location too. To learn about the 'Antrim 1844' click here and read my PQ blog post about this lovely wedding venue. We had no problem getting a dinner reservation and I was very curious how I would enjoy the food now that I have made so many changes to my healthier lifestyle. Food has become a healthy adventure and truthfully I would like to enjoy a beautiful evening out with my honey while feeling good about my choices. Although within that paradigm, I also feel once a year it's okay to do a few things I would not do normally and indulge. Which for me is to have some fresh baked rolls, sip a glass of wine, and share a sweet dessert. I am not going to be the food police to myself on such a special occasion. So I say... just relax during a splendid time like this, enjoy the moment, make reasonable choices, and bless the food!
|The King in the topiary gardens. So gorgeous! Oh the garden too!|
When the time came to get dressed for our evening out, I surprisingly found I had lost so much weight that even the clothes that I had thought I would fit into now, were too big. A good problem to have at this point. So I see some shopping for a cocktail dress in my future. You will see in my photo below that I finally settled into a pair of slacks and a nice blouse for the occasion, and that worked out fine. Even when I look at that photo I say that girl looks thin! I do have 10-15 more pounds to go for my personal goal, but where I am at now is a good place to be. Plus I have a lot of energy!
After a nice pastoral drive in the country, we pulled up to the stately manor house, and parked right next to a convertible Austin Healey Sprite. Oh how nice of them to have my swanky sports car waiting for me! Once inside the home we could repose in a parlor listening to grand piano music, relish being served fine hors d'oeuvres, and accept drinks till our table was ready. (We had water. So fancy of us!) Of course Ben knows the pianist, who later played another piano within the restaurant area. During our wait in the parlor I would accept most of the hor d'oeuvres offered, and then just pass them on to Ben who is not as strict as I am about my food. I did take a bite of a big scallop after removing the bacon, it was very moist and quite good. Yes, sometimes I like to take bites of food I no longer eat, and see what I think about them now. Much like a science experiment. Hmmm... I will say after trying the old style food item...no thank you, or...really don't even like the taste any longer, or...not too bad, and sometimes... I still actually like the flavor or texture. It's ironic that cheese was the last unhealthy food I gave up, and it is now the one food I immediately do not enjoy the taste or texture of any longer. The body knows.
|Photo from when Ben played classical music at a December wedding.|
Soon we were taken to the restaurant area which is on a lower level in the rear of the building. Our table was in a low lit private room with two other couples. Hunt Country decor covered the deep green walls that expanded upward to an arched barn-like timbered ceiling. Finely appointed elegant tables sat on the loose brick cobbled floor next to a large fireplace. We had at our service four different dashing people taking care of our royal needs. Each person was professional and friendly, although our personal favorite was our waiter with the Irish name who was positively fantastic. (He took the photo of us at the top of this post.) I did not think it would be proper etiquette to be taking photos for my blog during dinner and disturb the other guests so I will just tell you about what we had for our four course prix fixe dinner. We were there for over three hours, yet we never felt like we waited for anything. Everything arrived at the perfect time.
|The Queen with a fountain headpiece!|
We were delighted with our long dinner menus from the Antrim 1844 Restuarant that were personalized to our anniversary, then signed with a note and drawing by the Executive Chef Michael Gettier. We had the previous experience of a personal touch when we went to 'The Inn At Little Washington' for our second Wedding Anniversary as well. I always appreciate the effort to provide thoughtfulness to a very special evening by a grand restaurant. Our charming waiter at 'The Antrim 1844' greeted us with the statement that he was there to serve our every need, and he meant it with a smile too! You can feel when someone is sincere in their wishes!
The King's Choices
Crab In Two Fashions
Grilled baby artichoke hearts with a duo of crab salads,
served on avocado sauce and roasted tomato sauce
Wild Gathered Greens
Intermezzo - Champagne with berries to cleanse the palate
Roast Wild Rock With Sweet Corn Topping
Fillet of wild rockfish gratin with white corn,
served with summer squash and red bliss potatoes.
The Queen's Choices
Two Melon Soup with Mint Cream
A light chilled summer soup of cantaloupe & honeydew melons,
garnished with whipped cream.
Wild Gathered Greens
Intermezzo - Champagne with berries to cleanse the palate
A vegetarian plate with mushroom,roasted red pepper,
onions and hummus in puff pastry. Served on a bed of sauteed greens.
Our Royal Shared Dessert
Panache of Chef's Desserts
Every course was melt in your mouth delicious with lots of "mmmm" noises! We exchanged many silent glances that said "Oh yes that is delightful!" or "OMG do you believe how good this is?!!!" The wild gathered greens were served in a whisper thin lentil chip bowl....so satisfyingly scrumptious it could break your heart. My beautiful two melon soup within a sparkling martini glass was more like a divine dessert. I will have to try and recreate that pleasurable experience when we buy a Vitamix! Oh you caught me, I did sneak in a quick photo of our dessert plate above after the other two couples left the room! Our favorite dessert of this exquisite tempting group was the chocolate cup at the front, with lush strawberry cream filling. Ahhhhh so heavenly and light. We took the chocolate mouse layered cake home for the next day, since I do not eat sugar, and it was a rare sweet treat to indulge in these little goodies. A few spoonfuls is all I really needed. We then each had a cup of green tea to finish our delightful evening. Before we left with our magnificent memories of our splendid anniversary dinner celebration we chatted with our waiter and the pianist. The next time we visit to 'The Antrim 1844' I will have Ben call ahead and tell them I am a vegan, and see what they prepare for me. I totally enjoyed having someone else cooking, serving, and cleaning up for us! Enjoy your royal pampered moments! So says the Queen!