Sunday, August 16, 2009

Xmaskatie's Birthday Dinner At Colington Cafe.

Happy Birthday, Xmaskatie!!!!! (OK. Her birthday was last Sunday. We went out last Saturday for dinner. I'm slow getting this one out and I'll blame it on Glowria because she was supposed to send me a description of her meal and she hasn't.)
To celebrate Xmaskatie's birthday, The Xmaskaties, the Hawthornes, and Glowria went to one of the more upscale dining establishments on the Outer Banks, The Colington Cafe.
Mr. Hawthorne was our designated driver for the evening and he presented Xmaskatie with his present for her - a gift certificate from Billy's Seafood and this lovely pink Tee shirt from Billy's. Here's a tip for you, Xmaskatie. You might consider washing that shirt before wearing it else all the neighborhood cats will be following you around.
The parking lot was full on Saturday night and Xmaskatie had made reservations for 7:00. I love the old oak tree in the front yard with the lights wrapped all around it. Here's our happy little party.
We arrived a little early so we had time to take a stroll in the backyard garden. Very pleasant.
A big pot of impatiens.
Lovely fern.
Statuary among impatiens and petunias and caladium.
Geranium and impatiens.
Back of the statue with another caladium.
Fern and impatiens.
Of course I had to document Glowria's trip to the Ladies' Room. She seems very happy to be going.
There's a definite French influence going on here.
There was enough seating in the entryway for Mr. Hawthorne and the Xmaskaties. Guess where Rosie and Glowria sat.
But I enjoyed it there since I had a wonderful view of all the activity going on in this little mini-kitchen. It was a veritable beehive.
Mr. Hawthorne and Xmaskatie conferring. Xmaskatie to Mr. Hawthorne: "Aren't you glad I snagged these seats for us and Glowria and Rosie had to sit outside the freakin' crap ass location in between the bathrooms?"
Every now and then Glowria's and my presence would be acknowledged.
Oh Yay! The Xmaskaties get some wine while they wait.
Here's our happy little party. Our hostess who seated us offered to take a group picture. And no. I don't really look like that. The camera lies. I must say that the service is excellent.
I believe they're all making love to the camera.
A toast for the birthday girl.
I liked the painting on the wall behind Mr. Xmaskatie. And do Mr. Xmaskatie and the woman behind him have on the same blouse?
We started off with an appetizer sampler: Coconut shrimp, Scallops wrapped in bacon, Crab cake, and a Hot Crab Dip with sliced boring baguettes. And that must be sour cream with chives and a mustard for minimal dipping and slathering.
The rumaki, or bacon wrapped scallops, were quite good. They were topped with a sesame ginger sauce and were quite flavorful.
Both the coconut shrimp and the crab cakes were over breaded and overcooked, rendering the shrimp not as tender as it should have been and losing the flavor of the coconut. The crab cakes were mediocre at best - too much filler, too much breading, and overcooked.
I believe this platter was $24 on the original menu, destined for 4 people. And Xmaskati asked for a platter for 5. The waiter returned, saying an $7.00 extra would be needed.
Mr. Hawthorne ordered the hot crab dip, not knowing it was in the appetizer sampler. This did not blow my skirt up.
I thought it rather bland. Especially since I make a kick ass crab appetizer. See here. And here. So the crab dip was pretty much mehhh for me.
Here's my plate of coconut over-fried and over-breaded shrimp, sesame bacon wrapped scallop, and sliced baguette with hot crap mediocre dip. Oh. I meant hot crab mediocre dip.
Another toast. And a photo, courtesy of David, our very attentive server. Did I mention the service is excellent here?
I liked all the activity going on behind Mr. Xmaskatie and I tried to capture it. Those waiters were scurrying all over the place.
Rosie, Xmaskatie, and Glowria. And I look sooooo much better in person. You'd be absolutely stunned. Here's the Colington Cafe menu so you can see what we had to choose from. A little pricey for my tastes, (And this is why the Hawthornes never go out for dinner.) but nothing's too good for Xmaskatie.
Xmaskatie's entree - a petite filet mignon topped with fresh lump crabmeat and a Bearnaise sauce. $23.95. Ouch. Medium rare filet mignon with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes.
Xmaskatie wrote:

My filet & crabmeat was perfectly cooked medium rare, nice big chunks of jumbo lump crabmeat. Most restaurants don’t cook my meat the way I want it, so I was very happy when I sliced into the filet and saw the center. Green beans & squash were al dente, not mushy, and the garlic smashed potatoes were just right. This dinner was the best I’ve had at a restaurant in a very long time.

I must say I am experiencing extreme entree envy.
Glowria had the pan fried halibut and shrimp with red eye gravy served over grits. And she had no idea what red eye gravy was. Since Glowria hasn't responded to my request for her description, I'll say she thoroughly enjoyed it. Glowria, you'll have to try Mr. Hawthorne's red eye gravy and our stone-ground grits from Byrd Mill. Both excellent.
Mr. Xmaskatie had the salmon topped with crab meat and a Bearnaise sauce with spinach and garlic mashed potatoes. From Xmaskatie: Mr. Xmaskatie said the only way his salmon & crabmeat could have been better was if he’d cooked it himself, but he was also very satisfied with his meal. Salmon was cooked perfect not dried out but nice and moist. Light seasoning to get full flavor of fish, crab topping nice jumbo lump just like I like it. Spinach and garlic mashed taters were fine. He offered me a bite of his. I don't know how it was prepared and I don't normally like salmon, but his was smoky and delicious.
I ordered the She Crab Bisque, described as "full of crabmeat with a hint of sherry." $4.95. I was hard pressed to find any crabmeat and there was less than a hint of sherry. Creamy and just OK. Thick, with body, yes. Kinda floury. On a 1-10 scale, I'd give it a 3-4.
And I ordered the Caesar salad, as did Mr. Hawthorne. $6.95. It was described as "one of the best on the Outer Banks." Ummmm ... I don't think so. On a scale of 1 - 10 we both gave it a 2. Mr. Hawthorne didn't even like the lettuce. He likes his lettuce "perky" and this lettuce was kind of limp. Like it had been sitting around for a while. The Caesar disappointed, but, as you know, Mr. Hawthorne and I make The Best Caesar Salad. Period. See here. And here.
The company was qibswedyk. I love this pic. Bottom line: I'd go to this restaurant again but I'd pick my dinner off of the entrees, not the appetizers. And I'd have somebody pay my way. Way too pricey for me. In other words, I won't be going again. Not worth the price. Now, I'm just thinking of the meal I could have prepared for the amount of money spent.


Anonymous said...

"Now, I'm just thinking of the meal
I could have prepared for the amount of money spent."

And I'm just thinking about how much I'd enjoy finding out if you could meet the challenge and serve me a better meal than I had that night.
Nice job on the pics, my legs looked pretty good in some of those shots.
Thanks again for joining us, it was a fun night.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

"finding out if you could meet the challenge"

Oh ye of little faith.

You already know my coconut shrimp is better. As is my crabmeat boule.

And our Caesar salad and crab bisque is far superior.

I can do a fillet mignon with one hand tied behind my back.

Tuna steaks anyone?

Plus, I would have included lobsters.

Thanks for having us.
We enjoyed the qibswedyk company.

Marilyn said...

Isn't it sad that the better you are in the kitchen the harder you are to please at the table?

In this economy I am striving to frequent my favorite local restaurants so that they can hopefully weather the storm. I feel very strongly about supporting the local restaurants in our area.

And I love the look of lantana, but I found out (the hard way) that I am allergic to them, so I never grow them in my garden.

Donna-FFW said...

You are a cutie Rosie!

Hairball T. Hairball said...

Xmaskatie's dinner looked very tempting!