Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Anniversary Dinner: In which I unknowingly consume the "delicacy" known as sweetbreads...



This year Justin & I decided to forgo the 2010 & 2011 traditions of totally overspending for our anniversary, and instead we opted for a nice dinner at Beatrice & Woodsley


Oh how I wish I had brought along the Nikon, but because I didn't want to look touristy I simply brought our point & shoot Panasonic. Bad idea! Because this restaurant is just gorgeous on the inside... my photos don't do it any justice.


The inside of Beatrice & Woodsley looks like some sort of woodland fairy tale scene. Aspen trees were brought in to make this place look dreamy. 


Old-style camping lanterns hang from the ceiling, the lighting mimics candleglow, and soft curtains drape around the tables in the back. 


Justin couldn't have picked a better place for a romantic dinner, the entire restaurant is built around the romance of Beatrice & Woodsley... whoever they are.


After hearing praise on their amazing cocktails, we each ordered one. Okay, I had a couple. Um, the Violet Beauregard? A.MAZE.ING. Go there. Now. Order it.


{Next time I'm bringing the Nikon, I promise. Touristy or not.}


So the food is where things get interesting. 
First we started with some crawfish beignets. 

"Crawfish and fresh corn batter filled with spicey red aioli"

It was good. Darn good. 
Below is the amazing Violet Beauregarde. 

"Served on the rocks with Muddled Blueberries, Sobieski Vodka, Simple, and St. Germaine" 

Below, the Cauliflower Gratin

"Roasted cauliflower, sweet onion cream, with a herbed breadcrumb, baked in cocotte."
 For an entree, Justin ordered the lamb, as seen below. 
"Rustic ratatouille, sweet onion soubise and corona bean brodo, finished with green olive and white anchovy gremolata" 

But me, see, I got my adventurous eating out of the way when I was a child--during my childhood I ate rattlesnake, Rocky Mountain oysters, and even alligator. I'm not risky like that anymore, so when I looked over the menu and saw lobster, duck leg with veal tongue, and quail--suddenly then I was able to make an exception to my "never eat veal" rule. I ordered the veal. Veal was safe, compared to duck or quail. And I don't do seafood, so... veal it was. 

"I'll have the 'Crispy Veal Sweetbreads', please," I told the waiter.
And that is what I was served:

"Toasted hazelnut, wild rice griddle-cakes, herbed butter with wildflower honey and orange liquor glaze"

And it was so good. 

"It was so good, I was groaning, I ordered the veal with sweet cakes," I told my sister a few days later. We had just passed by Beatrice & Woodsley while on a thrifting tour around town. "I know I said I'd never eat veal, but... it was the only thing on the menu that didn't freak me out."

"Did you mean sweetbreads? Veal with sweetbreads?" my sister asked. 

"Yes! Sweet breads," I said "that's it. It was so good."

"Oh my gosh! You are sweetbreads? I'm so proud of you!"

Awkward pause.

"Why?"

Awkward pause, followed by my sister's burst of laughter. "Don't you know what sweetbreads are?"

"It's a sweet bread!"

"No!" she laughs. "It's the gullet or thymus of an animal!"

"Shut up! What?!"

"You ate sweetbreads!" she said laughing. I was horrified. I laughed, yes, but was still horrified. "I'm still proud of you! Now I'll have to try them," Bea said. {Bea is more "worldly" than me when it comes to fine cuisine, that's for sure.}

And that's how I found out what I really consumed that night. No, I had never heard the term "sweetbreads" before, nor was I aware of what it was. What's worse, when I got home and told Justin, expecting shock, he only replied, "You didn't know?"

"NO!" I said, "do you really think I'd order something like that?"

"Well," he said "I asked you if you knew what it was."

And then I remembered. He did ask me. When I told him what I was going to order, he did ask me if I knew what sweetbreads were. And I thought he was the dumbest person in the world for asking me if I knew what a sweet bread was. Turns out I was the dumb one...

But can I just say, who's bright idea was it to give THYMUS such a nice-sounding name? It's like serving someone monkey brains while telling them it's Cinnabon. Not cool. 

Moving on...


To top off the meal, they served us complimentary port with our dessert, the "Pecandy Bar." More groaning commenced.  

Before leaving, I had to use the restroom. Here's the interesting thing about their restrooms--below you see the doors to the men's room on the left, the women's room on the right. Don't see them? Neither did I. The small restaurant has sinks on the outside of the restrooms, with glass walls, meaning the entire restaurant could see me when I went back there and stood in front of the door like an idiot for a good 5 minutes, wondering where the door even was and how to open it.

"Hey, look! That chick who was dumb enough to fall for the sweetbreads trick again can't figure out how to open a door, now! Bwahahaha!" 

Yep, that's the door. And I stood there, staring at it. For five minutes. In front of everyone. Finally I figured out, you push open the door. Just walk up to that shingled wall, and push. Now you know, and can thank me, when you go to Beatrice & Woodsley. Push.


Upon hearing the waitress say the bathrooms were an experience, Justin decided to go, too. And here he is, washing his hands in front of the entire restaurant. I'm not sure how I feel about this...


The restrooms in this place were put there to distinguish the idiots from the smart people, it seemed. Everyone watches while you go through their labyrinth, figuring out how to first get into the bathroom, then they watch as you figure out how to turn the water on at the sink. {You pull on a cable from the ceiling. The water then pours down a chain. That's right, the water comes down a metal chain. Weird.}


This is the view from the bathroom sink!

When dinner was over, guess where Justin took me?

Well, how could we not? Goodwill is right across the street! 

It was a lovely dinner and a memorable evening. 

And I ate sweetbreads

In attempt to avoid all the freaky sounding foods on the menu and play it safe, I ended up eating the freakiest thing they had to offer. 

May we laugh at me for many years to come...

Happy Anniversary to us!
________________________________

Uh, one more thing.
Tap, tap, tap.
Is this thing on?


8 comments:

  1. You are friggin HILARIOUS! I love you. Sounds like it was dinner AND a show for Justin (and other patrons! :)) How did I never hear of this place?! Keep your antecdotes coming. I needed a smile today!
    <3 Heather B.

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  2. Thanks Heather :) Hey I miss you! When you come back to Denver we should go to Beatrice & Woodsley together. I can show you how the bathroom works. I'm a pro now.

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  3. Thanks for saving me the humiliation of the door conundrum. Sorry I couldn't save you the horror of the sweetbreads!

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  4. PS I love the bow in your hair. Nice Mom Jacket.

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  5. Um, I totally laughed my way through this because that was the same experience I had at B&W. I couldn't find the bathroom, I felt weird pulling the chain ball to release the pee trickle of water. I was not cool or smart enough to go there, but I'm so glad I did. It's gorgeous. Dumb people like us should go to Ihop or something.

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  6. Haha, Colleen, we should! Except Ihop doesn't serve delicious sweetbreads :-/

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  7. What great story! I love the atmosphere of the restaurant, but I'm not sure I could eat there. If I do I definitely won't be trying the sweetbreads. :)

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  8. What great pictures and a hilarious story! I'm glad you survived the sweetbreads. I'm suddenly feeling the urge to become a vegetarian after reading this post. Thanks for informing me so I never make the same mistake! Anyway, I'm glad you and Justin had such a lovely night out for your anniversary, and so thankful that you have each other--for life! Happy Anniversary, H and J!!!

    ~Mom

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