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At the end of the day…

August 25, 2011

Sean and I spent a recent weekend working around the clock on a big project at our house.  It was the kind of project that as your house starts to look better, you start to look worse.  By the end of it we were tired, sore, and worn out, but happy with the outcome.

And hungry.  Really, really hungry.

There was no way I was cooking dinner that night,  I wanted to clean up, head out and enjoy a meal that required nothing more from me than my appreciation.  I didn’t want to lift anything heavier than a fork.  Actually, by that point, I probably couldn’t have lifted anything heavier than a fork.  I just wanted a good meal, something comforting and nourishing, and a lot of it.  Did I mention I was really, really hungry?

St. Francis seemed like the right place to reward ourselves for a job well done and it was with happy luck that my favorite seats at the kitchen bar were available.   It was just what we needed, to sit and relax and watch Aaron Chamberlin and his crew turn out one amazing dish after another.  It was a fine dance with each station preparing and plating, a constant movement from the moment orders were being announced as they came in to when the dishes were being inspected as they went out.  I have no idea how they do it, but I do love to watch it all going on.  Restaurant kitchens always seem like chaos to me, but it is a choreographed science when you put out food like this.  We ordered a number of our old favorites from the menu that we have loved, including the roasted chicken and the blue cheese, fig and arugula flatbread, but it was the sides we tried for the first time that blew me away.

The red quinoa and romaine salad was as good as it looks.  Light, refreshing, it was the perfect starter.  I would have ordered a second bowl if we hadn’t had so many other things on their way out.   My list of favorites at St. Francis is now growing.

The wood roasted seasonal vegetables are now on that list too.  It was a beautiful blend of flavors from a creamy butternut puree with roasted cauliflower, with a tangy kick from dried currants, and some pine nuts and spinach to round it out.  I have a feeling I will be attempting something similar at home soon.   We also had two fabulous desserts, and why not, we had worked hard.  Their Sticky Toffee Pudding is another one from our favorites list, and now the Cheesecake in a Jar is as well.  Nevermind that it came with strawberries and an almond crumble, they had me once I saw it come in a mason jar.  Why is that immediately appealing to me?

The best part of the whole evening was the feeling of being welcomed in a place we enjoy so much.  That alone makes everything taste better.  You know what else I love about St. Francis, since this is becoming my love letter to them, I love that they have kids eat free.  Aidan didn’t join us that night, and while I do not mind paying for his meals, as a parent I like the gesture that lets me know that he is welcome there as well.  Knowing that they understand that sometimes you want to go out for a decent meal with your kiddo, makes it that much more appealing.   St. Francis is definitely a grown-up venue, but it is nice that they are open for everyone.

And that they have a sense of humor…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2011 3:15 am

    Cheesecake in a jar?! WOW!

  2. Shelley permalink
    August 31, 2011 7:09 am

    OK I live 1/2 mile from St. Francis, I might just NEED to checkout the cheesecake in a jar. Better yet, figure out how to make it.

    It looks like it was baked in the jar, correct?

    Thanks for sharing.

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