When I made the reservations, I advised the Maitre'D that we were celebrating a special occasion. It was the 50th anniversary of my date's birth. Kind of a big deal. We were not likely to celebrate the event a second time.
Upon arrival, we were quickly seated, and advised that Tina would be our waitress and would be arriving shortly with menus. Within minutes, Suave Handsome returned with two Blood-orange Bellini's in hand, and a congratulatory smile on his face. What a pleasant surprise!
Tina arrived with our menus, but quickly ran through the specials. Two stood out. The first was a fresh Tomato-crusted Red Snapper served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. The second was her recommendation to celebrate the special occasion. The chef would create a special 4-course meal for us, to include a wine flight, starting with an appetizer, salad, small entree, and ending with a dessert. All were created from fresh, local suppliers, including their own herb garden which we could see directly out the window. Temptation whispered in my date's ear.
As Tina described the 4-course meal, her gestures became more and more animated. Within seconds, she had knocked over one of the bellini's. Oh no! Blood-orange bellini on a white tablecloth. Not to worry! She covered it with a spare napkin and continued to describe to us the morsels of goodness that awaited us.
Sun-dried tomatoes shared the plate with the sumptiously sauteed veal cutlets, along with a mushroom medley, asparagus, artichoke hearts and capers. All the flavors were brought together by the lemon butter sauce. It was a lovely combination of flavors, and was a testament to Northern Italian cooking. Sadly, I was not able to finish the entire meal and looked forward to bringing some home to enjoy on another night. Even more sad, they frown on doggie bags.
But, the evening did not end on a low note! Not at all. The Rosso Toscano was quite dry, a lovely burgundy shade, and complemented my veal quite well. Best of all, it was a Rosso Quartino, which means they serve an extra large portion. As I was finishing my wine, Tina came by again, this time to tempt us with desserts and coffees. We thought briefly about ordering the creme brulee. Instead, we simply asked for the check.
Just as my date turned to gaze deeply into my eyes and utter some romantic sort of comment, Tina interrupted us once again. This time, she brought us a small plate of warm, freshly baked and cinnamon-sugared homemade Italian donuts. I thought I had died and come back as a 7 year old girl in my mother's Saturday morning kitchen. There is nothing as delicious as homemade Italian donuts. Italian mamas used to bake bread regularly, and those with small children, would alway reserve a small portion to deep fry, then coat in cinnamon sugar for their delighted children. Vaccaro's had truly gone above and beyond all expectations to make our special event very special. What an unexpected and delicious ending to an already wonderful meal.
And then Tina brought us our check. While the evening was truly a tasty time, the bill was. Well, let's just say I was glad we had our Living Social coupon to help offset the bottom line.