Wednesday, February 13, 2008

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A Birthday Feast

I don't think I could have picked a better dining experience for Alex's birthday. We went to Bonfire and had a great time. Before we even had dessert Alex was talking about how this wouldn't be our last visit to Bonfire. The restaurant itself is beautiful. It's dimly lit with red walls and brown furniture. The crowd is on the older side and for the first time we felt under dressed (we had jeans on and people were either in slacks or dresses). This restaurant takes on Spanish food and gives it an interesting twist.

Although I had had a few glasses of wine prior, I couldn't resist their drink menu. One of my favorite things to do when going to new restaurants is trying a drink that I have never seen before. At Bonfire I tried their coconut lime martini. I was immediately intrigued because I couldn't picture how this drink would taste. The best way to describe how it tasted was that it tasted like how vanilla extract smells. It was such an easy martini to drink.

We started off with the smoked duck empanadas. 'Smoked' is definitely appropriate because it had a very smokey taste. The empanadas were full of pulled duck and they were layered on a black bean and avocado cream. The creams tasted perfect with the empanadas.

The birthday boy ordered the Brazilian Churrasco. This came with a potato cake and a gorgonzola cheese sauce. At first he was a little disappointed because it didn't look like a lot of food (this dish comes neatly piled up) but once he started to unpack it, it was enough for him. The meat was a tenderloin and not what we traditionally consider churrasco (for us, churrasco is a skirt steak), but it was just right to hit the meat lover's craving for a nice piece of steak. The potato cake was so great I was wondering how I could recreate it at home.

I ordered the paella and wow! It must have been the best paella I have ever had. They definitely were not stingy when it came to the seafood. There was an abundance of mussels, clams, shrimp, and lobster. This dish could have easily fed three people so I had plenty of leftover to eat the next day. The rice was very moist and all the meats in it weren't dried out. It was saffron heaven on my plate and it had a nice, spicy kick to it.

For dessert Alex ordered their chocolate cake. I think I ruined the dessert for him when I told him that they probably had a 'Bonfire' stencil that they used with cocoa powdered. The dessert was what you would expect of a chocolate cake.

I ordered the churros. They came with a spicy chocolate dipping sauce and the churros themselves were sprinkled with some spicyness (maybe mole?) too. It was a good dessert but when you have had a real churro, this dessert doesn't come close.

Overall, we enjoyed the dinner. The food was great but we felt like the desserts were a little too "safe." The rest of the menu was so creative, but the desserts were very traditional. It was still great and I know Alex can't wait to go back so we'll definitely be heading there again.

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