There is one class in college that I remember not wanting to take…Folklore. I am not even sure why I scheduled it. Of course, this means it became my favorite class. While I was a history major, I overlooked the power of traditions in our lives. The crawfish boils, the hope chests, the drinking competitions at softball tournaments — the things that make up who we are as a people and as a community. Being a single guy for so long, I never paid much to creating my own traditions. However, now I am married. It is time to create our own traditions. One tradition I hope we started is having our anniversary dinner at Herbsaint.
Our anniversary fell on Memorial Day so we actually had our dinner the day after. We are early eaters (thanks to our jobs which has us eating lunch at the wonderful time of 10:30) so we arrived around six. As soon as we finished ordering, the kitchen sent goat cheese on a toast as a little gift for our special day. A perfect one bite to begin a perfect meal.
For our small plates, Cristina ordered the gnocchi while I went with the spaghetti with the fried poached egg. Cristina’s gnocchi was fantastic, yet I think my spaghetti was even better. The yolk from the egg mixed perfectly with the cream sauce to create a new super sauce that should come with its own theme song. It took every bit of reserve in me not to lick the plate clean.
For my main course, I went with the roasted chicken mainly because I wanted to see how a chicken dish could be great. Lesson learned. Juicy and flavorful, each bite left me wanting more. The crawfish sauce and the mashed potatoes were the perfect accompaniments to the chicken. On paper, this dish could have been at many restaurants all over the price range. In execution, very few places could have pulled off such a magnificent dish.
Like most men, I take pride in how I cook my steaks. In fact, most restaurants’ steaks disappoint her. Not Herbsaint. Cristina judges all other steaks by the ribeye at Herbsaint. My ego is not hurt. I changed the way I cooked steaks after reading this.
For dessert, Herbsaint provided me with a chance to prove my vegetable maxim: that if you can order a vegetable in a sorbet form you must. Tonight’s flavor was cucumber. Cool and slightly tart, this was an amazing way to end a meal until Cristina gave me a bite of her warm chocolate pudding cake with salted caramel, cashew ice cream, and cocoa nib caramel corn. Yes, it is a good as its name says. No, it is better. It is so good poets should write verse about it.
Walking out of the restaurant, I realized how lucky I am. I found a beautiful woman who is willing to put up with me. We have settled down near one of the greatest cities in the world. An area where we can make our own traditions. Herbsaint might just be where we create one of our most special ones.