It was Thursday, the day before Veterans day which was a holiday for all of us. I sent David an email:
"Cooper and Lauren are going to Halu before their play- want to go out to dinner?"
I make reservations online through open door and get home at 5:30. We live in San Jose, on the Los Gatos border so we are right at the Santa Cruz Mountain foothills, the Cellar Door Cafe is over the hill in Santa Cruz on the other side of the mountain. It would take almost an hour with traffic.
As we drive over the hill I am talking about my "bigness". I want to get big, I am trying to get big and amazingly, my diet has been working. I have cut starches back to only 3.5 ounces ONCE a day (after training) and increased protein 2 ounces every meal, which is 12 ounces more a day- almost a pound of lean meat/eggs/fish. I have grown, I am 13 pounds more than I was 5 weeks ago. And, most is muscle, there isn't much fat, really. I have done a good job.
But, I am still allowing myself to enjoy life and eat, drink and be merry on occasion. Tonight was one.
David said "It's a holiday! We are off!" "Well" I said "I still have to get up at 4 am to go to the gym". "Your choice" he happily shouts as he zips along the mountain road. "Don't wake me up when you go!"
We arrive and I ask to sit at the bar, we love to talk with the chef and watch the action. We love this restaurant and we are lucky to have such a fantastic place so close. We sit and the server greets us "Hey guys! Nice to see you again!" I don't know her name but she is a wealth of knowledge regarding food and wine.
She brings us a glass of wine then places a dish in front of us. "Chef has sent this out for you!"
Notice she said "Chef" and not "The Chef". Jarod Ottley is respected and he is "Chef". He waves and smiles, he has sent out a beautiful dish of Fried Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Chevre.
Heaven. Absolute heaven. Jarod walks over and greets us welcoming us back. Here David is enjoying the sprouts.
And more sprouts. They aren't breaded, just fried and the cheese is smooth and smokey.
Bread from Companion Bakery around the corner, olive oil and salt.
The pizza oven and the prep area where Jarod stands and creates the masterpieces he sends out to the anxious patrons.
We shared Local Greens, Lemon, Almond. It isn't just a salad, it is a lovingly created piece of art. The greens are local and dressed by hand, then carefully stacked on the glass plate. The couple next to me ask what it is, they want one too.
David then has Pork Belly Confit, Cippolini, Torn Bread and Bean. He has had a slightly different version of this before, he likes it very much.
I had Monterey Squid, Squash Blossom, Sunchoke, Corn. Oh I ate half before I took the picture!
A French fellow sat down next to me and we chatted, he ordered the Duck Confit.
I look at the menu and see "chocolate cookie". I ask the server about them, could they be the fabulous cookies I had last month? She talks to Jarod, no they are not the same. But Jarod will make them just for me, as a special treat!
She tells me they changed the serving size, they used to serve 6 and realized it was way too many. Funny, I ate all 5 last time, David had 1.
Here they are, my special cookies, little sandwiches, so I actually did get 6 (two per sandwich). Last time I guess there were actually 12! David didn't even have a bite.
They all watch as I thoroughly enjoy each cookie. Then the two women sitting next to David want to know what I am eating. They don't see this on the menu and they want them. Oops, Chef will need to make more I guess!
David said he would have me home in time for bed, we arrive at 8:30, I relax with a glass of sparkling wine then off to bed, 4:00 am comes early.
Next Saturday is Passport Day, we have wine shipments to pick up and they happen to be in Santa Cruz, I have made reservations for lunch at the Cellar Door again. We told Jarod we would drop off some of our wine for him.