so it seems that BIL had a reservation at a new restaurant in claremont's recently revamped "packing house" area. three forks chop house has been written up in various publications, and is highly rated. anyway, his date had to cancel for some reason, so her loss was our gain - he invited us to come and try the joint out with him instead.
although unlike our lawry's outing, we were *those* parents. we strolled in to the restaurant with the bean snoozing in her carrier, but we were met with nothing but friendly faces, queries about her age, and comments on her crazy hair. and i must say, even though she did wake up somewhere between appetizers and entrees, she was awesome - sat patiently and quietly in our laps and charmed everyone on the staff who came to wait on us. besides, it was a relatively slow night for them, and i was also pleased to see another table nearby with a couple of kids.
the menu was interesting and quite varied. appetizers ranged from crab cakes to scallops seasoned with pastrami spices and served with corned beef hash, to basic french onion soup, and more. you can guess which one i had. heh. and BIL opted for a smoked salmon appetizer that was so pretty when it came out - the salmon was arranged on the side of the plate, topped with a bit of caviar, with all of the condiments lined up and layered down the plate. and then there was a funny little pile of what looked like silver dollar pancakes. between those and the corned beef hash in the hub's scallops, we thought we were having breakfast.
oh, and those crab cakes. yum. BIG - about two inches high and probably 3 inches in diameter, served with some cucumber slaw and two to the plate. they were really delicious, with nice, big chunks of sweet dungeness crabmeat. no crappy filler in those things!
and then the entrees offered included buffalo tenderloin, halibut, pheasant breast, and of course, an entire page of steaks and chops. there was a list of specialty salts and rubs, including fleur de sel, black truffle sea salt, volcanic black sea salt from the big island of hawaii, and what they called 80-million-year jurassic salt. and in the list of steaks, a japanese kobe ribeye steak. 6 ounces. $100. yup. a $100 steak. now, i'm not a real deep foodie, and we've had plenty of expensive meals, but i totally did a double-take at that one.
the hub convinced BIL to order it - since he's an aspiring chef, he had the best reason to have firsthand knowledge of what real japanese kobe beef is like, right? and the hub was buying, so there you go.
i ended up going with a "domestic" ribeye (haha!), which the waiter described as "barney rubble-like." and, OMG, that's exactly what came out. a bone-in, absolutely ginormous hunk of meat that i could've picked up and kicked somebody's ass with. and well. ha! plus, i ordered it with that jurassic salt. the thought of 80-million-year-old salt was just too fantastic to pass up. it was delicious. that salt really brought out the flavor of the meat. and, of course, i have leftovers. steak for lunch! woo-hoo!
i also ordered their "truffled" macaroni & cheese. it was served in the cutest little miniature le creuset oval dutch (or french? i'm not sure) oven, and it was probably the most delicious mac & cheese i've EVER had. cheesy, creamy, toasted on the top - ab fab, folks. i'd go back just for the stuff.
and that pricey kobe steak? it was like buttah. BIL was cutting it with his fork, and served us both a chunk. it was really delicious - tender, flavorful, yummy. i don't know that i'd ever order it for myself, but it was all in the name of "research" for him. ;)
you KNOW i was dying to take pictures. i even said to the hub, "come on! i gotta have a picture of a hundred-dollar steak." and when he said "what the hell will you DO with the picture?" i was sunk. because, duh - the only reason i take pictures of food is for the blog! bleh. BIL managed to snap off a couple with his phone, and again, his career choice saved him. he promised to send them to me, but i haven't seen them yet. oh, well.
and sadly for me, they didn't have their souffle available last night. booooo. the rest of the dessert menu was pretty standard - peach tart, apple something-or-other, cheesecake, oh - and some kind of hickory smoked chocolate tart. that sounded gross, although if it's like the rest of the meal, it's probably divine. anyway, i stuffed myself silly and actually skipped dessert altogether. shocker, i know.
i hear lunch is quite different, and a lot less expensive. maybe i can get the hub to meet us out there sometime. whee!