Shamleless Plug

I'm embarking on a new part of my life that is happier and going in a direction! It's really refreshing.

I was married May 19th, 2012 to a great guy I met at the C.I.A and we're go excited to embark on a life together. He has as culinary degree to match my baking and pastry degree. It's going to be a Good life.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts on food and cooking. I am but a humble baker, who happens to love cooking and embraces the joy of food.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

S+P Oyster Company, or "Top Ten Meals of My Life (so far)"

When Matt and I walked out of the planetarium at Mystic Seaport, it was snowing. Which wasn't at all a big deal, I wasn't altogether concerned about it until I began to drive in it. I realized later on I'd be driving in it, and hoped the plow would have gone through by the time we went out to eat.

Matt and I weren't sure where we'd go for dinner. He had seen a nice looking place up on a hill we'd try out. By the time we were ready to go, it was still snowing, and wet and a little icy.

I got into the car and stated that I was nervous about driving. Here I was, in an unfamiliar town, in the dark, in the snow, in heels. And I didn't exactly know where I was going. Ookay! We slowly made our way to the alleged restaurant on the hill. It turned out to be a restaurant at the Mystic Inn, which appeared to be closed. I went up the windy, snow covered hill to discover this.

Now where do we go? I'd sooner eat takeout from a fast food place than drive around blindly. But we decided to drive around a bit, I was sure something would turn up in this cute town.

Out of the dark snowy night, I saw twinkle lights on a housey building on the water (like a beacon from God!). A restaurant! Quick decision! I turned in.

It was the S+P Oyster Co.! We parked and glanced at the menu next to the door. It looked good, I barely needed to read it to find a few things I'd like. We made our way in and got a table. It was a little quiet, but full. Dim, but not too dark. The atmosphere was comfortable. The menu was full of seafood, meats and pasta.

Our server, Robin, came to us and wrote her name on the white paper covered table with a pen. Which I thought was an interesting way to get your name across.

Matt and I ordered wine (Sav Blanc, Root one) while we looked at our menus (I was seriously considering a drink drink, but then decided I'd probably be better off with wine). I finally decided on pork tenderloin medallions with apples and rosemary, mashed potatoes and green beans. Matt got a broiled seafood plate. I can't really comment on that, since I am not one for shellfish. Sorry, New England.

My wine was summer. Peachy, crisp. It was summer in a snowstorm.

When our meals came, I had to take a picture. I begged Matt for his camera, and finally he obliged . I picked up my fork and cut a small sample of the pork. And was lost in a food daze. I put down my fork.
This is too good to eat." I gushed. So, I picked up a crayon and began taking notes. Shamelessly. I took short worded notes, that are illegible to me now. I ate slower than I ever have, savoring and experiencing every tender bite of my meal. I gushed and was completely absorbed in my meal. I could barely talk to Matthew or even acknowledging that he was even eating with me, until I suddenly snapped back into reality and asked him how his meal was. He said he liked it, and pointed out a few things ideas he liked and wanted to remember to borrow them when he opened his own restaurant at some point in his life after graduation. (Ooh! I forgot to mention the bread with an olive oil balasmic dip; an idea he wants to borrow, along with a few other things...that I don't remember)

He also gave a look around. "You know," he said "I can see a few reasons why this is a great restaurant."

"How?" I asked, so enamored with my meal I wasn't aware of anything past my plate and glass of wine (which was- and I'm quoting myself "A pair so perfect not even God could wish for anything better"...But maybe I just have low standards when it comes to wine pairing. If I don't shudder at every sip, I consider it a good pair...Actually, I fall in love pretty easily with any crisp Sav Blanc)

"Well, it's snowing, the economy is terrible, it's the slow season and there's only three or four empty tables." He said. I looked. It was true. The restaurant only had a few tables open. And more people kept coming in.

I nodded, commenting how this is a great restaurant and how glad I was that we happened upon it (and really, isn't that how you find the best places to eat? The stuff blogs are made of) Then I went back to my meal.

I was agonizing over what was in the sauces. I knew one was garlic and possibly shallots, and the other was bright orange, sweet and slightly citrusy. Matt figured it was oranges, but I wasn't sure. All those different flavors on one plate? I had no idea what it was, only that somehow, it went with everything. My greenbeans were crisp and cooked just how I like them. My potatoes were dense and tender, the pork, sweet and savory, perfectly cooked and balanced in flavors. (I was worried there'd be too much rosemary, an herb I've come to dislike with my mother's overzealous use in past meals)

It was surely the best meal I have had in a long time. Probably top ten meals of my life (at this point in time). I was engrossed and enamored in it.

I still needed to know what was in the mashed potatoes! It had this sweet to them that I could not put my finger on. When Robin came by to see how everything was, I asked her what was in them. She replied quite smartly with the standard ingredients (half and half, butter, milk, salt, pepper) and "something else they wont tell us" Lies!! You know you know whats in them! I'm sure it's apples. I'm sure it is. It's something I wouldn't expect, yet logical. I also loved the fact that she told me they piped them. Because I already knew that. I wanted to say "I swear I'm not an insane foodie! My boyfriend and I have degrees from the CIA and I swear I'm not that nuts!!!" But I didn't.

I finished my last few bites and sipped the last of my wine. Matt asked me if I wanted dessert.

"Do you want dessert?" I replied, knowing the answer.

We got dessert. He got bread pudding and I got Tiramisu.

I wasn't disappointed. It was mousse like: creamy, airy, light, but full bodied in flavor. I began to gush again. I can barely put this into words. Usually I gulp down food and dessert. But this meal made me stop and slowly savor each and every bite.

It took me an hour and a half to eat two courses. I barely was aware of time. I was barely aware of anyone. I was aware enough of my boyfriend to have conversations, but it was mostly me gushing over my meal.

Apparently, the bread pudding was quite tasty as well, in case you were wondering. The bread appeared to be processed into breadcrumbs, and lended itself to a more pudding like texture. I'm not one for bread pudding, but if I was, I'd probably prefer it made this way.

So, after an hour and a half of gastronomical pleasure, we left. I carefully ripped my notes off the table and stuffed them in my purse. Matt teased me, saying if I wanted to be a writer of such things, I'd need to learn how to remember everything. But personally, if there are in fact crayons and paper on the table, I'm sure as hell going to use them.

I was so glad we happened upon this restaurant. I couldn't dream of a better meal or a better place to go with my boyfriend. I know not many people read this blog who are also happening to go to Mystic, but if you are in Mystic, you have to have a meal here. I can't say much more than that.

S+P Oyster Company
Dress: Casual/dressy casual (But I wore a dress and heels, and I didn't feel out of place in them)
Price: Moderate, with entrees starting at about $12.95 up to about $30.
Food: Excellent
Service: Also quite excellent. I liked that Robin, our server, knew some locals who sat near us and asked if they wanted their usual. (I dig that stuff)
Menu Selection: for a seafood place, great. Enough for seafood affectionato, but a land lover would have plenty to choose from.
Right on the water, so it's very pleasant and pretty, especially when its snowing

See the perfect cookedness of the pork? The color of the red potatoes? (AH-HA!!! Could it possibly be CHICKEN STOCK!!!? Edit: Matt told me probably not.) The Apples!!? Perfection on a plate. OOh! Oooh! And I got a green bean surprise under the pork. It made me happy. =)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mystic, and S+P Oyster Co

Went to Mystic with the boyfriend, more on that and the best meal I have had in QUITE awhile coming up later.