anybody hungry?

While my brother is still smarting over that “mean” post I did for Valentine’s Day, maybe this will make up for it, since he was actually here for this one. On the other hand, another sorely missed brother will perhaps be glad that he helped bring this dinner about, even if he couldn’t be here (Love you, Joe!). DSC_0967

Generally, my cell phone resides at the bottom of my backpack, or somewhere equally difficult to locate, because I don’t need it when I’m at work (except at lunch, to sign on to the local wi-fi). My phone is almost always on vibrate, because no one ever calls me, and I even use the vibrate setting for my alarm clock. It also prevents random wrong numbers from scaring me, in the middle of the night, though it also keeps me from hearing the “Minion Laughter” that erupts when a text message arrives. Such is life.

It was a normal day for me, I finished work, went to the gym, and headed home. To find my family milling around in the hall, waiting for me, because we were going to dinner in Greenville. They had tried to call me and text me, but received no response. The reservations were set for an hour from my arrival time, and I was assured that jeans were allowed. So, contrary to any of you who think a girl can’t get ready to go out, quickly, I was out the door in 15 minutes or less. So there. A bit dazed and confused, but still in the car and decently dressed (I assure you, I looked quite nice, even if I was wearing jeans).DSC_0987

Three of my brothers, my parents, and I went to a restaurant in the West End of Greenville, where only Dan had ever been to eat. Of course, that isn’t surprising, because Dan knows where all the good restaurants are. The Breakwater Restaurant and Bar was a delightful surprise, even if I was still a little rattled at my sudden “kidnapping” for dinner. DSC_0968

I didn’t really take THAT many pictures, but even in my slightly confused state, I managed to find my camera and bring it with me. Don’t expect any pictures of the family, as the lighting wasn’t great, and my family needs lots of preparation and coaxing, in order to have pictures taken of them.DSC_0970

But the evening was fun and the food was delicious! While some of us started with a very creamy she-crab soup, we also got a sampler that included beef carpaccio, fried shrimp, hummus made with butterbeans, and pickled shrimp. The hummus was amazing, but I wasn’t a fan of the pickled shrimp. But then, I’m not a big fan of pickled anything, unless it’s sweet pickles. So, don’t go by what I say. I’m still not sure what carpaccio is, but you can decide for yourself, from the pictures. And I didn’t get any fried shrimp, because Matt ate the last one.DSC_0972

By the way, if you’ve never figured this out from my pictures, I absolutely HATE taking pictures with a flash. Not only does it startle and blind people, when you’re indoors, it often makes people look unnaturally pale and/or shiny. Even with a camera with a not-so-harsh flash, I will avoid using it, if at all possible. And in such a nice restaurant as this, I didn’t feel the need to disturb the clientele, either.DSC_0973

So, though I did quite well with most of the food pictures, I was standing up for the pictures of the desserts on the other side of the table. It is very hard to hold still enough in a dim setting to get clear pictures. But I thought you’d enjoy seeing the chocolate mousse cake, anyway. DSC_0975

My brother even asked “Why do you keep taking pictures of everything?”, and I just looked at him strangely, and said, “It’s what I do.”. I’m a blogger. I don’t take pictures everywhere, especially if I think a camera will be in the way, but this is an outing with my family, they won’t mind. And when you write a blog, you’re always looking for the next pictures to take or the next story to share. It’s what I do!DSC_0976

In many restaurants, I am usually tempted to get the fish, because I love seafood. But when I saw the lamb meatloaf on the menu, I thought of Australia, and really wanted to try it. Not everyone likes lamb, but while I don’t get lamb cravings (like some people I know), I developed a taste for it, because we ate it regularly. Most people would think of meatloaf as a somewhat homely dish, but not only was it beautifully presented, it was delicious. By the way, I’m not dissing anyone’s homemade meatloaf, because my mom’s is awesome, too. Just so you know.DSC_0974

My mom was very brave and tried the shrimp and grits, because if there’s anywhere you’re going to try something so odd-sounding (to those of us NOT born in the South), then it should be at a really fancy-schmancy restaurant. She really enjoyed it, and I had a taste, and agreed that it was really good.DSC_0977

Dessert rolled around, and we tried all of them. They were quite small, which is a good thing, because we were getting full. Dan had the pecan tart, Jon tried the beignets with chocolate sauce, Matt had the chocolate mousse cake, Dad had the apple cobbler, and I had the caramel creme brulee with sea salt. And Mom got to try all of them. Of course, the rest of us shared, too. DSC_0978

To those that are serious chocaholics (there are several, in my family), the chocolate mousse was very rich, but SO good. None of us had ever tried beignets, which Dan described as fancy doughnut holes, but they were like no doughnut holes we’d ever eaten. They were fried batter, soft, moist, and fluffy. And with the chocolate added, they just melted in your mouth. DSC_0980

My creme brulee was amazing, especially with the sea salt added. If you look closely, you can see the white sprinkles of salt on top of it, in the photos. The contrast of the sweet and the salty was fantastic. Of course, you have to like the combination of salty and sweet, but I was already a fan. DSC_0981

Looking around the restaurant, I really liked the paper lanterns that hung from the ceiling, reminding me of some that I have (but are in storage). I tried to take a picture of the one over our table, but it was too bright, and didn’t show very well. So, the picture of the reflection in the window will give you a better idea of the lanterns and the lovely table settings.DSC_0982

And so, minus one brother (we missed you, Joe!), we were able to have a family get-together with our visiting Floridian, while another brother prepared to move to New Hampshire for his new job. You’d think they didn’t like each other, or something, the way they planned their job locations.  : )   But at least we all have good reasons to go to both New Hampshire and Florida, now. DSC_0984

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