Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving at Rialto (again)

Last year we had Thanksgiving at Rialto and it was fabulous: a cozy corner table, flawless service, excellent food.

So this year we decided to go back.

Okay, let's get the bad stuff out of the way first.

I know I should be thankful that there are enough financially sound people to fill a restaurant at Thanksgiving. And I know this is a time to get together with family.

But still, there we were, sharing space with a party of three, yelling at each other despite sitting next to each other; and a party of nine (four of whom were bouncingly under 6 years old). Yay.

(If you've been following for a while, you know I have issues with people who don't use their indoor voice in a restaurant.)

Similarly, I know I should understand when the lunch rush means things get a little backed up. But still, somehow we were overlooked, and our server didn't notice we had no first course until everyone else was finishing their second. Our second course arrived before the first; our third arrived before the second.

But enough complaints, on to the good stuff!

First course: a rich, creamy roast-chestnut soup with a garnish of diced pear, parmesan and celery.

Next, I had tiny taleggio and fig tarts, cheese and fruit and pastry dancing together perfectly.

The Boy went with bite-sized pumpkin and sage ravioli, served with scallops:

And then instead of going for the turkey dinner, he had duck two ways on a bed of lentils (that sounds a bit rude, doesn't it? Tasted rather juicy, too ).

I stuck to tradition.

The meat was tender and moist; the mashed potatoes were creamy velvet; the stuffing was a thick slice of bread pudding.

Best, though, were green beans finished with shallots, and a light, citrusy cranberry chutney.

And then dessert, which came with the unexpected accompaniment of comped Moscato D'Asti. We assumed that was to make up for the upside-down service (though it was never explained).

My dessert was a lovely apple and quince tart, with generous chunks of fruit, topped with maple-cinnamon ice cream.

The Boy was the clear dessert winner, though; his honey-ricotta cheesecake was a light, fluffy, gently perfumed cloud.

So while Thanksgiving at Rialto was a slight disappointment this year (mostly because we were rather unrealistically expecting a re-run of last year), it was still a fantastic meal.

Still, we've decided that we'll spend next Turkey Day at home. That way, we also get leftovers.

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