Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cafe Largo

A great local spot for foodies, Cafe Largo, is a hidden gem!  Not our first visit and not our last, Cafe Largo takes me back to France in both ambiance and service where time is not rushed and the meals with sauces are exquisite. Chef Dominique Christini really seems to enjoy his creations and presents them to your table with such pride...just order the soufle for dessert!

Our meal started with the pistachio crusted scallop appetizer - to die for.  They were done to perfection; melt in your mouth!  If they had these for dinner, I would order them, but then again, there were three large diver scallops to enjoy. Our wine, suggested by the chef's son, was Hulotte Pinot Noir.  It has a great berry fragrance and is easy to sip before the entree. The baby greens salad had a delicate vinaigrette and peppers and tomatoes brushed with olive oil; I'd like to get that recipe!  I really enjoy a good wine and bread and salad, and the time to talk, laugh, and anticipate dinner.  So, I found the timing impeccable.

The entree I chose was the Steel-head Salmon with muscles.  I know, not the usual combo, but I knew we could trust Chef Dominique!  It was as expected, delightful with a delicious sauce and tender muscles laid on top with root vegetables, baby string beans, and delicately styled potatoes.  Ed's entree was their special that night - fillet with a deep red wine sauce that I promise, did not over power the dish.  We share everything, and we both concur, the meal was outstanding from start to finish!

A final word on dessert.  Ask about any specials before ordering.  We had the Grand Marnier Souffle which had to be ordered before dinner and is for two.  It is heavenly, don't get me wrong, but I heard (at another table) they also had a mango tart!  I had that in Paris just two years ago, and this, yes my second dessert of the night, was just as delicious as the pastries in France.  With Cappuccino to top it all off, we could not have had a better night out!

Click here for Cafe Largo's Menu and reservations:

Please excuse the phone photos as they are not the usual clarity. Next visit, I will bring the camera and report back on another wonderful evening at Cafe Largo. The Chicken or Rabbit Fricasse on July 26th sounds fantastique.  Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Llangollen's Narrow Boats

Our two hour trip on the motorized canal boat carried us through the beautiful Vale of Llangollen and across the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct built by Thomas Telford between 1795 and 1805. A World Heritage Site, this canal is one of North Wales’s biggest navigable aqueduct towers - a massive iron trough 126ft above the River Dee supported by 18 stone piers. The aqua duct crossing is 1007 feet long, 11 feet 10 inches wide, and 5 feet 3 inches deep. Water is fed from the River Dee at the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen. There are no rails preventing a tumble if you lean out or over the boat; you’d drop 128 feet to the valley floor below!

The motorized narrow boat is fully weather proof and is centrally heated with comfortable seats and excellent views from every table. There is an informative live commentary on board and the bar is open throughout the journey. We enjoyed both. The lady of the boat brews a great cup of tea in her little kitchen in the back, and spins a few good “yarns” as well.

Although our teens were somewhat dismayed by the lack of speed, we adults enjoyed the leisurely pace and country scenery. We were often in close proximity to the grazing sheep, a few wandering rabbits, and other occasional narrow boat’s crew waving hello. The aqua duct was biggest thrill…I’m a bit nervous about heights, but it was slow enough to get great pictures and video.

Afterwards, we all went to the pub across the street! Everybody enjoyed the local pot pies, fish and chips, sandwiches, and selections of beverages.          

Her is the link for The Sun Trevor Family Pub and Restaurant:         

Love Spoons

In Wales, Llangollen, England, there is a quaint shop called the Love Spoon Centre where we happened upon the proprietor at a great moment. He explained that a young man would spend hours carving the spoon with his own hands, in hope that the girl he liked would accept it. If the girl accepted the spoon, she would demonstrate her interest in him and they would commence on a relationship, which is the origin of the word 'spooning'. The owner took our hands and chose a spoon for a short rendition of a wedding renewal. Taken by surprise, we gladly obliged and barely had the time to get it on camera! 

Of course, we bought that spoon and one other representing our love for our family. This is shown by the heart, keyhole, and three carved balls somehow carved in the center hollow symbolizing our united love in an arm hug around our three sons. The stories are beautiful and the craftsmanship makes these souvenirs a real keepsake.

Below are some of the symbolic meanings:

  • BELL Weddings or Anniversaries or Together in Harmony.
  • BALL IN CAGE Love held safe or number of children.
  • BIRDS Love birds or Lets go away together. Stork represents a new birth.
  • CHAIN A wish to be together forever or, Number of children.
  • CROSS A wish to have faith in Christ Jesus or, A wish to be bound together in Christ or A wish for God to bless.
  • DIAMOND Wealth or Good fortune.
  • HEART Love.
  • HORSESHOE Good luck
  • KEY/ KEYHOLE Security or I shall look after you.
  • KNOT / CELTIC KNOTWORK Eternal love or Together forever
  • LOCK Security or, I shall look after you
  • TWISTED STEM Two live become as one, or, Togetherness
  • DRAGON Protection or Symbol of Wales.
This stop in Wales was the kind of find we will long remember. Here is the link to the store: