Today was the last day of classes, but also my birthday.. craziness!! I always go through this weird phase of where it doesn’t really feel like your birthday leading up to the day, but then like the day before you really really hope that people will do all sorts of things to make it special, even though you’re really not supposed to expect that people do extra things for you because it’s just a birthday, right??
But anyway, my floor had a birthday celebration last night with cakes from the Swiss Pastry Shop on 19th (http://www.swisshausbakery.com/Swiss_Haus_Bakery.html) that I read from Chowhound had really good hazelnut cake for birthday occasions. Soo we got that, and cherry cheesecake. I of course looked forward to this cake eating for like a week or so… dreaming of those slices of dreamy, sugar and fat-laden birthday celebration. Unfortunately, I think I had too high of expectations as the hazelnut cake turned out to be not as delicious as I had imagined in my mind… The buttercream frosting was actually quite good, considering I don’t usually enjoy buttercream frosting all that much, but the cake part itself was a little dry and tasteless. Doh!!! The cheesecake was pretty good though…very very dense and thick, which is the way I like my cheesecakes. Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, although the taste is good (Vanilla Beaaaannn!!!), are way too light and mousse-y for me to fall in love with. But, that is deviating away…let’s go back to birthday celebration. So, after I had those two slices of cake.. at midnight, I was surprised with a huge Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream cake, with mint-chocolate chunk (my favorite classic ice-cream flavor) and their new Imagine Whirled Peace (a flavor I have been wanting to try). So yes. I had THREE kinds of cake in one night. My friends know what makes me happy all too well. (I’ll try to get pictures of the Swiss Pastry cakes up later)
Okayyy and tonight, I went to Tinto!! I went to Amada earlier this year for Restaurant Week, and of course, loved it. I loved getting Tapas in St. Louis, but Amada and Tinto are on a completely different level with the ingredients used, the way the food is presented, the different flavor combinations, even the restaurant interior. I was afraid that we would get our bill at Tinto and be sad about the price, but fortunately it wasn’t bad at all… it is possible to eat there with $25 per person and still have a wonderful meal. I went with friends who had never had tapas before. (Yes, I said Never had tapas before!) Oh the tragedy! Fortunately, I was able to fix this dire situation, and show them the beauty of tapas. Here is what we got: (Sorry, no pictures… it was quite dark in there!)
CHIPIRONES EN SU TINTA chiperones, squid ink, crab bomba rice
MONTADITOS DE PATO duck confit, black cherry, bleu de basque
BROCHETAS DE POLLO chicken, garbanzo puree, truffle jus
POLLITO poussin, truffled pochas, shaved carrot escabeche
SOPA DE CASTANO truffled chestnut soup, duck&mushroom hash, fried quail egg, pistachio
ARROZ BOMBA morel mushroom bomba rice, green asparagus, lemon oil
JUDIAS VERDES haricot vert, almonds, dates, orange segments, paprika sherry vinaigrette
+ one item not on the menu: Truffled Artichokes with I think lemon oil and some cheese?? I don’t really remember…just that it was a great savory tanginess to it. Probably my favorite veg dish tonight.
Okay, I have no pictures, but really, reading those descriptions should make anyone want to dine there… or in my case, go there again and again, ahhh. For the sopa, they brought it out in this cool asymmetric bowl with the hash and egg, and poured the creamy, sweet, addicting soup around it at our table. For the brocheta, the skewers came in these tall shot-glass-type glasses with sauce inside that I doused my chicken in. The duck confit montaditos had a cherry that one of my friends and I agreed, was the best tasting cherry we had ever had. Seriously, I don’t know what they did to that thing… but it was DARN TASTY. I could go on and on, all the flavors were great, all the platings were wonderful… you get the idea. The French influence on the Basque style tapas was actually pretty easy to tell, especially after eating at Amada. The two are pretty different from each other, in terms of tastes. I’m not sure if I could pick one though. I’ll probably have to make multiple visits to finally come up with a verdict. 🙂
Oh…and…my friends weren’t that intrigued by Tinto’s dessert offerings, so they wanted to go to Capogiro’s after (especially since one of them hadn’t gone at all before). So yes, yet another visit to Capogiro’s!! I should really cut that addiction. But they made meeeee!!! 😉
I got… Thai coconut milk with their dark chocolate, which actually complemented each other quite well. I was pretty proud of myself 😛
A happy happy birthday, filled with food, fun, friends, but mainly food. And I still have more ice-cream cake in my freezer, and a humongous caramel apple from a fruit bouquet gift to devour. Aging really does come with a lot of responsibilities!