Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Most Perfect Summer Evening with Firefly Grille

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Pimms Cup, Firefly Grille
  • Pimm's Cup, Firefly Grille
To be honest, the recession is really losing its novelty in our house, and one of the things we miss most is our weekly white tablecloth date, due to a cutback in babysitting.

On a kid-free night (thank you, overnight camp!) we planned dinner with dear out-of-town friends. They've lived in Estonia, Taiwan, Korea — impressing them with cuisine is tough. Based on nudges from Carrington over the past months, we made a game-time decision: Firefly Grille.

Yes, I've been there in the last year, with a group of about 15 sozzled high school friends for drinks and again with two women half my size, who picked at their salads. Neither was the optimal way to experience the food (but the bar is so cozy and friendly, I can vouch for the cozy, friendly bar).

Here's my guide for you. I recommend Pimm's Cup. Although in other places, its quality varies widely, for this leap of faith, you'll get a tart, sweet, refreshing, and very tall drink to properly hydrate you on these hot evenings. It's long and strong, and packed with lemon wedges and slices of homegrown cucumber.

Ask about the pasta. I rarely order pasta, because it always seems like an afterthought on the menu. This pasta, someone had specifically designed for maximum impact. Delicate filet tips, twigs of asparagus, minced herbs, pan-toasted mushrooms with crispy edges and paper-thin slices of manchego cheese that melted into a sauce.

And dessert — well, some of the cakes are made by the legendary Leland Riggins, who made my wedding cake and groom's cake, so whatever it is, order it. This one was a blockbuster: a flourless chocolate on the bottom, a buttery yellow cake on top and a thick mortar of caramel icing between the layers and on top. The chocolate deliquesces on the tongue, the caramel lingers with a bit of salt, the buttery yellow cake has just a hint of chew. Don't be surprised if you finish the whole slab.

Our friends were bowled over. The evening was divine. And 21 years later, the dashing Mr. Wood finally got to taste the miracle of the flourless chocolate groom's cake that he missed at his own wedding.

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