Now that you know it was my birthday, expect to hear more about the celebrating. After all, birthdays are all about more eating, as if I could eat any more than usual. Lunch at Eleven Madison Park was an excellent way to kick things off. I was only worried that I wouldn’t be hungry by the time it was dinner. Silly me, that was no problem at all. If you’re already starting to look up where this restaurant called Casa Carol is, I’m sorry to break it to you, but it doesn’t exist. Dinner was in the home of my friend and mentor, the James Beard and Julia Child’s Award winning cookbook author, Carol Gelles.

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Candied Pecans

When I arrived, I saw that appetizers were set out: Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans, Spinach Dip with Pita Wedges, and White Bean Zucchini Cauliflower Crostini. Everything was great, and everyone wanted the recipe for the White Bean and Veggies. Carol gave me a couple of tips so I will try to re-create this.

White Bean and Veg Crostini and Spinach Dip

Lon opened up a bottle of Charles Lafitte Rose Brut Champagne and we toasted in the living room, munching and chatting away. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Carol created a menu and Lon chose wines to pair. My brother and his girlfriend Sophia were there to celebrate with me, and my friend Monica was only 15 minutes late. (If you knew Monica, you would know how special that is.)

Charles Lafitte

When we moved over to the dinner table, we were brought plates of scallop ceviche. The fresh herbs were picked at a rooftop garden (Carol’s friends’).

scallop ceviche 3

Next, a creamy mushroom soup. The touch of truffle was heavenly!

Creamy Truffled Mushroom Soup

The main course was a Coriander Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce. I learned how to make pork tenderloin from Carol, and of course hers is melt-in-your-mouth tender. The Pumpkin and Rhutebega mash was the perfect sweet (but not-too-sweet) pairing.

Coriander Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce Rutabega and Pumpkin

I was now drinking the Helfrich Gewurztraminer 2005, because Lon knows I favor Alsatian wines.

Helfrich 2005

In cool Italian fashion, we finished with a salad. It was a wonderful blend of blackberry, Asian pear, fennel, and watercress. We each had a little plate of blue cheese to add too.

Blackberry and Asian Pear Salad

We were all stuffed, but as my mother always says, there is a separate stomach for dessert. To that I will add that the dessert stomach grows when it’s your birthday cake. MMM, rich chocolate cake is always welcome.

30th Birthday Cake

Sometimes, I just know that I’m the luckiest girl in the world, and it’s not just that I have such delicious food in my life. I am blessed to know the most amazing and loving people. Thank you Carol!

Carol and Jessica 2

posted by jessica at 03:55 PM Filed under Drinks, Events, Wine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.