Saturday, July 10, 2010

Birthday Dinner at Opal

One of my favorite things about birthdays is that we always go out to a really nice dinner to celebrate. We never go out for Valentine's Day anymore, and we rarely go out at all now that I've been cooking so much at home, so it is a great treat to go out to a nice dinner. Dinner for my birthday this year was at Opal, a restaurant that I can't believe we hadn't been to before. Opal classifies themselves as California Cuisine, but maybe I'm just too much of a California girl, because I would just classify it as simply good food. I think of Californian Cuisine as usually foo-foo fancy dishes with far too little food on a plate. Opal has some really inventive dishes, but without too many unique ingredients, so you aren't confused about what you are ordering, and the portions are normal sized. They also have lots of fun cocktails. My husband got his usual martini, but I got a blood orange margarita (ironically, the same cocktail I got at my last birthday dinner!):

You might be able to see just past my husband that we were sitting at a table right next to the window, which allowed both of us to people watch on busy State Street during our meal. It was really interesting to see so many walkers, bikers, etc. in the early evening of a beautiful summer day. On to our entrees. I got the halibut special, as I pretty much knew I would, if halibut was available. This one had an Asian crust (sesame and furikake, I think) Mango Salsa, and mango sauce over jasmine rice (which soaked up the sauce quite nicely):
The husband debated among several dishes before deciding on the Chile Rubbed Filet Mignon. I pushed him towards this one because even though a was having halibut, which I love, I was hoping for a few bites of steak, too! His filet was perfectly cooked (we asked for it between medium and medium well, which is perfect for him, I should remind him to do that more often) and the rich flavor of the chile rub was great. I also really liked the relleno that came alongside, but that was no surprise, since I love all things relleno!

When we finished up, we knew we were going to need to get dessert, since it was a birthday celebration after all, and most of the desserts on the menu looked right up our alley. I was worried about which option my husband was going to try to steer me towards, since he has the stronger sweet tooth, but was pleasantly surprised when we both picked the same thing: A chocolate mousse cake special, for two!
This was very good, and very rich, of course. We probably only got through about half of this! The service throughout was very good. In addition to really working with us to get our steak prepared properly, they also reserved us a great table and then, for the most part, left us alone and didn't bother us, just kept our water glasses full and made themselves available if we needed them. I liked my birthday meal so much that I chose Opal for my team's reward lunch for work the next week with our office director. I got a bay scallop salad at that meal that was also fantastic. I think Opal will definitely be a recurring attraction for R&R in the future (watch out, J+K, we're going to have to take you here!).

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