John and I went out to dinner last night to our 8th Anniversary. John had a favorite Japanese restaurant we occasionally went to but they closed and he has really missed it. We saw they were re-opening in a new location and wanted to check it out. I read in the paper that they were having a “soft opening” the end of March but when we finally found the new location, they were not opening for another month.
Now before anyone starts asking why we were going to John’s favorite restaurant on our anniversary, I will explain. First reason is because we go out to eat all the time and we go to my choices more often than not. I do have to be fair on occasion and let John have his pick. Our official anniversary was March 28th and we have gone to dinner several times between then and last night.
Also, I make a lot of fun about going out for sushi, which is John’s absolute favorite but the truth is that I am learning to enjoy it. I offer to go more often now than ever. I have discovered that sushi is a much better Lenten meal than fried fish from the local fish and chips fast food stop.
We were both disappointed that the restaurant, Ran Getsu was not open yet but decided since we were in a different part of town to try some place that we normally would not visit. Our normal spot is a mid priced casual dining chain and we enjoy it very much. We agreed on a high end steak restaurant that would be a real treat for us. Since we were dining early a reservation was not necessary.
I was amazed at the difference in an upscale restaurant. When we pulled in, they have complimentary valet parking. Driving around looking for a parking spot is the norm at Texas Roadhouse. It would be great to not have to deal with that issue. And, to be fair, I guess you expect a valet at finer restaurants. What was really surprising though is they would wash your car for $15.00 while you ate.
As we were seated, the hostess told us Rachel would be our server so when a tall young man approached the table we were confused. Her accent made Richard sound like Rachel. I think we might be out of our league! As Richard was explaining the menu, someone brought us a basket of fresh baked bread with two kinds of herbed butter. Then we had to decide between ice water (the polite way of saying tap water) and bottled water from someone else. Ice water was fine for us. Next was the wine list. Luckily our server had a sense of humor and was used to ducks out of water. They do not have a “house wine” because they serve over a hundred different kinds of wine. That didn’t help me much; I just wanted a glass of Merlot or Pinot Nior. How do you say a bottle with a screw top is ok for me? I am really not that picky or educated on wines. I went with Richard’s suggestion, which turned out to be $9 a glass. Yikes, I should have asked the price before I had the 2nd glass!
After reviewing the menu, Richard explained to us that they also had two specials, Steak Maxwell was a filet with lobster on top and Steak Oscar that had lump crab on top. I DID ask the price of those because he conveniently didn’t reveal that information. John got the Lobster Maxwell and I got the Oscar. We also had a Caesar salad to split. All the sides, salad included were ala carte. The salad was perfect; I do love a good Caesar salad. I get very irritated when I go to a decent restaurant and get bottled dressing. YUK. I think I might be a salad dressing snob.
Just as our salad was finished, out came our steaks. They were perfection. My lump crab was a very nice addition but John’s lobster was tiny. I don’t think he expected a full lobster tail but this was more like a large shrimp. He said the flavor was good but he wasn’t about to share it since it was so small. I couldn’t complain because I didn’t share my crab either! John did let me taste his sauce but I didn’t share mine. (I really don’t like sharing my food.)
I noticed as we were eating that the valet guys kept walking in and out the restaurant carrying glasses of water and I commented to John that I hope that wasn’t the water they were using to wash our car!
I had a piece of chocolate walnut pie for dessert and they brought a small bowl of homemade whipped cream, I pushed the pie aside and ate the cream and John was a bit embarrassed. The waiter said that was normal so I didn’t feel so bad. No cool whip there! It was so good.
Then the waiter asked if we valet parked and took our ticket out to the valet so they would have our car ready for us as we walked out the door, In some ways it would have been fun to be driving a clunker, don’t you think?
John paid the bill and out we went; our vehicle all clean and shinny, was waiting for us. We were pleasantly surprised that they had a hose and bucket and didn’t use the glasses of water after all. They did a great job!
It was really a nice dinner and our not going back has nothing to do with them and everything to do with us. It is nice to see how the other half lives every once in awhile but I don’t want to get used to it. I like the real world that I live in better. We could have had four or five meals at Texas Roadhouse for the money we spent on one meal there. I am not sure I’d give my keys to a valet at Roadhouse anyway; we might never see the car again!