Last night my sweetie and I took advantage of a Groupon coupon for a really high-end restaurant. It is owned by a chef who was cordon bleu trained in France, has been a James Beard nominee many times and a finalist multiple times. It was a 6 course tasting meal, and the coupon brought the price down from $195 to $95 for two people. Then we bought it on a day Groupon was giving 25% off everything on the site, so we paid $71.00 for two dinners. They pair each course with a different wine, for an additional fee of $55 each, which we paid full price for at the restaurant, and it was well worth it.
I have never had a meal like this. Our server was a young man, 24 years old, who was so knowledgeable about the food and the wine, and was so friendly, and funny. The GM of the restaurant came to our table twice, and made us feel so welcome. The food pleasure built, from a first course of an amazing butternut squash soup, through the salad, the pasta (which was divine) and the main course of fillet mignon or scallops (we ordered both and split them). After the main course was a plate of cheese and fruit, and then a small strawberry shortcake for dessert. They served the most amazing breads, and a couple of palate cleansers during the meal. The wine was so perfectly chosen, and enhanced each course. Our favorite wine was the red zinfandel, served with the cheese and fruit plate. I couldn’t pick a favorite food. Every course was perfect. The intensity rose to a crescendo with the main course and gently brought you down with the cheese and fruit and a small serving of dessert.
We had a 7 PM reservation and left there at 10, and had no idea where that 3 hours went. Talk about being pampered. It reminded me of how I felt when I went to a spa for the day a few years ago, and spent the same amount of money having a massage, a facial, lunch in a terry bathrobe and flip-flops and martinis, lol. Just luxurious. To be spending it with the man I love, and whose company I really enjoy, made it so special, and to be in Florida, where the temperature was around 60, and I could wear a dress with a light sweater and be comfortable made the evening the stuff of my dreams.
The place was packed, on a Tuesday night. We were so impressed by other things, like the kitchen being behind a counter, but not a wall, and the gleaming appliances, and the unstressed attitude of all the staff. We LOVED not being rushed through, but being encouraged to enjoy and take our time and really taste everything. They wanted to immerse you in the experience, not feed you and refill your table.
This evening was something you might do once or twice a year, unless you can regularly spend $300-$400 for dinner for two. It was a special special thing. We found out that they do serve a fixed price 4 course meal between 5:30 and 6:30 for $36 and think we might try that sometime when we are celebrating something special. Also they serve lunch (though you need reservations for that too) and our server said it’s exceptional as well. I’m going to try to get my sis and her hubby up here to do that with us sometime.
The pictures above are of the menu and the wine pairing list. The name of the restaurant is Cafe Ponte (that’s the chef’s name). We told them the Groupon brought us in but the food and service will bring us back. It was so nice to treat ourselves to this. Now we both have to lose a lb or two that were added onto the scale this morning though.
Amazing experience. Feeling blessed this morning to have had it. Love and light.