And the picture is taken with her other gift to me: the fantastic new Panasonic GF-1, a digital camera that is something in between a compact point-and-shoot and a big SLR. It's almost as small as a compact camera, but has interchangeable lenses and all the settings, options and speed of the much bigger and heavier SLR cameras. And it's taking great pictures. This is a happy birthday indeed.
But she had more surprises up her sleeve to make this a birthday to remember. Clear instructions that I had to be ready, dressed in suit and all, at 5:00 PM. And it quickly became clear why: the stretch limo was waiting outside for a drive to.... how should I know?
We ended up at award-winning L2O restaurant in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Very chique, great food, 8 courses in between which the table setting and silverware apparently needed rearrangement. So a bit stiff, but that made for an even more amusing night exchanging laughs with our neighboring table who where birthday celebrating as well.
So what was on the seasonal tasting menu:
- amuse of oyster with yummy stuff I didn't recognize
- another amuse of I don't remember
- big eye tuna tartare with kampachi and yuzu-soy
- salted cod with creamy potato and caviar
- foie gras a la plancha with blood orange and roasted fennel
- forest mushroom fricassee with brown butter - lemongrass bouillon
- tai snapper with deconstructed green curry: OUR FAVORITE BY FAR!
- caramelized apple with hazelnut and vanilla
- grand marnier souffle with orange marmalade
With a little bit too much alcohol, it was good that the taxi back home was waiting for us. And it had started snowing again, creating a birthday winter wonderland. Thanks Gabi for a memorable 40th. Looking forward to the next 40!