Last night Ms. J volunteered to watch little j, so Big J and I had an adult evening out. We started at a new wine bar on the Downtown Mall called Siips. It bills itself as a champagne and wine bar, and although it has an extensive wine list it only has four champagnes. That said, the champagne I had was wonderful -- creamy, bubbly, with a clean finish. Big J had a zinfandel blend which was also delicious -- he describes it as bold and oakey.
We had some trouble deciding where to have dinner. We wanted to go somewhere "cozy" although we couldn't really describe what we meant by cozy, we knew there were certain places that didn't meet our criteria. We finally settled on Petite Pois, a cozy little French bistro with no more than 10 tables and a tiny little bar. We've been there before and have always been happy, last night was no exception.
Lately we've been pretty conscious about our portion size so it is not uncommon for us to share an entree which is exactly what we decided last night. We started with a delicious chicken liver mousse -- it was deliciously creamy and complex, the gherkin accompanying the mousse were perfect palate cleansers. We also shared the spinach salad which was quite possibly one of the best I've ever had with goat cheese, red onion, and a light bacon vinaigrette. Yum!
For our main course we chose the seafood stew. They were more than happy to give us a split plate at no extra charge -- it turned out to be the perfect portion of amazing saffron cream broth stew filled with mussels, scallops, clams, shrimp and calamari. It would have been easy to overcook the seafood in a stew such as this, but they were perfectly succulent. It was amazing.
We ended the evening with a trip to Barnes and Noble to look at some books and sip coffee in the cafe. I know, it wasn't particularly in keeping with our "local" evening, but there's really no other place in town that has both magazines and coffee. It was a delicious evening.