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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dinner @ The Lark

I have had the opportunity and the pleasure, several times, to enjoy dinner at one of Michigan's only 5-star restaurants, The Lark.  It's an amazing French restaurant set back from a fairly busy intersection, but you would never know it.  The exterior is adorned with trees and whimsical landscaping, so that you truly feel like you are stepping into a villa in France.

The restaurant is small (approx 8-10 tables), with only two seatings per night.  They fully expect their guests to enjoy the food and company in a relaxed and appreciative manner.  While their normal menu and experience is exquisite (granny took me for my birthday for several years), my Dad was in town recently and made reservations for night that happened to be a special theme night.  "A Northern Italian Dinner".  We were asked our preference of fish or lamb a week before the dinner, and that was our only choosing.

We were seated next to the fireplace adorned with fantastic fresh flowers, with a view of their flower and herb garden outside (well, the place is so small, everyone has that view).  We were offered a substantial wine list from their large wine cellar of wines from around the world, which the owners personally travelled to and purchased.  We were also given the option of a wine bouquet, which was a small glass of wine specially selected and served with each course.  3 of the 4 of us chose this option. The 6-course dinner is as follows:

Primo Antipasti
Grilled figs wrapped in San Daniele prosciutto with black pepper fett'una, mussels "alla Tarantina" steamed with limoncello, shallots, and Italian parsley, and spring vegetable fritto misto.  These figs were the most amazing thing I've ever tasted!

Seconde antipasto
Roasted quail "scorzonera alla romana" with hazelnut polenta and Saba (sauce similar to balsamic).  I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture ...

Homemade gnocchi with morel mushrooms, broccoli rabe cannelloni beans, & shaved Parmesan.  I even ate the mushrooms!

Primo piatto
Lobster alla piastra with fennel, orange segments, & zabaglione sauce

Second piatto
Wood grilled Bronzino with pic holing olives, Italian new potatoes & Sicilian lemon-oregano sauce

Strawberry tiramisu with amaretti, marscapone, lady fingers, & fresh strawberries
Fried Nutella ravioli 
Homemade vanilla gelato

GIFTS!  They also passed out roses to all of the women, and gave us all gifts with these beautiful bracelets inside!

 What an experience ...

Peace.  Love.  Serene.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spring is here!

Ok, so I completely retract my "take advantage of the season" post.  That was before winter got much much worse, and much much longer.  I never did get to go skiing last season.  I know, the most snow ever, and I couldn't find time?  It seems like time flew by this year - Halloween - Thanksgiving - Christmas - New Years - Seabrook's Awesome 40th Party - Granny's passing .... and the aftermath.  So now I have these GREAT White Columbia snow pants for next year.  Im hoping my friend Melissa is still up for skiing with me!

BUT NOW I really can get into this spring season.  It feels more amazing than ever.  Like how good food tastes when you're really hungry, or how good it feels to pee when you really have to go!

My garden is really coming along - blooms coming over night to excite me each morning!

The tulips and daffodils are now gone ...

The columbine is AMAZING.  I hope these come back in the fall like they did last year

 You know it's spring when ...

The Glory of the Snow were confused - they came up AFTER many of the plants were already growing.  I had to pull many of them because the plant looks like grass, and I just didn't like how it looked.  And I didn't know which of them were ACTUALLY grass

The Herb Garden is in!  Can't wait till these grow up and fill in!

So many plants coming up - so exciting!

The IRISES are here!!  YAY!!!

The peonies and lilies are just about to make an appearance

And finally, the annual Gazenias that I love so much!

All plants and flowers are beautiful, but the artist in my loves the flowers with interesting colors and textures.  Give me irises, gazenias, columbine, and lantanas all day long!

Peace.  Love.  Serene.