Sunday, August 24, 2008

Night on the Town, Redlands-Style

Ten years ago yesterday, I put on a spiffy costume and had a wonderful party with my boyfriend-turned-husband, family and friends. Aren't we happy looking?
Anyway, we wanted to celebrate our 10 year anniversary with a nice dinner. Most of our dining out of late has been at places where a quantity is more important than quality - not that the food is bad at those places, but we wanted something special. We finally decided on Farm Artisan Foods in steamy Redlands*. We've been there before (although not recently), so we knew that they specialized in straightforward dishes - many with an Italian flavor - using high quality local ingredients. We weren't disappointed.

We started with an appetizer, the Artisan cheese sampler. There were small tastes of camembert, gouda, asiago, machengo and one other I can't remember the name of, served with freshly baked bread. A great way to start.

For the entree, I was hoping to try the veal raised by the 4-H club of Yucaipa**, but it was unfortunately unavailable. Instead I ordered the duck breast with roasted beet sauce, served with polenta and green beans. My husband had the fillet mignon with mashed potatoes, oyster mushrooms and asparagus. Everything was delicious, and the portion size was just right - satisfying without being overfilling. Here we are enjoying our meal (I cleverly wore a dress that color-coordinated with the walls):
To finish off our meal, we shared the rich espresso chocolate truffles with chocolate mousse, with freshly brewed coffee as a balance to the sweetness. Delicious.

All in all, our dinner was excellent, and I'd happy eat there again, although the prices (most entrees are $20-30) make it a special occasion destination for us.

So, dinner was over and the night was young. Since it was 9ish, we decided to head over to The Vault to check out the band. It turns out the show didn't start until 9:30, but being early meant we could find a place to sit, something I've found more important as I've gotten older. So, sipping a cool Bombay Sapphire martini, we listened to the funky and jazzy sounds of Shoppy. Impressive for a three-piece band, especially the keyboard/saxophone player who switched easily between the two instruments. Nice. We also took a Myspace-style picture of ourselves:

On our way back to the car we decided to check out Redlands Underground, which turned out to be a restaurant-bar hosting Saturday night karaoke. Definitely not our thing, so we headed home. And that was our night on the town, Redlands-style. A+ would do again.

* It was 10 degrees warmer in Redlands than it was up here in Yucaipa. And humid to boot.

** Also on the menu was a mozzarella appetizer served with fresh Yucaipa tomatoes. See this article on Yucaipa's Elser's Country Farm web site for more about the local foods used at the Farm .

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jessie said...

Redlands scares me. I dont know where anything cool is (though you just told me,) the streets move (I swear to god) and just about every restaurant is like $20-$30 a plate.

And your husband looks like he went from nerd to cool nerd in that time span, which I love. Da ha ha...

7:56 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

The thing I like about Redlands is that there is an actual downtown, so there are multiple options within walking distance. Not like Yucaipa, where you have to drive a couple of miles if you change your mind where you want to eat or drink.

Gene does rock the nerd-cool look, doesn't he. The funny thing is up until the week before we got married he looked a lot more like he does now. He felt obligated to cut his hair and shave before the wedding, making his mom (and mine) very happy. I would have been cool with him in a ponytail.

8:44 PM  

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