April 14, 2008

What Sparkly Water You Have!

add to kirtsy

Walking into 23 Hoyt the other night for my restaurant group, I felt a little like I was stepping up a very tall step up from where I usually am. It rained heavily between my car and the restaurant and the heels I was wearing were unsteady. As I followed the uber-stylish hostess up the stairs to our table, I kept envisioning what I would look like falling down into the dining room below, in my rain-spattered, white slacks and now muddy heels, which would surely flip off in the fall and land on my pants, leaving me with a muddy stain in some awkward place, I'm sure. Without going into details, the picture in my mind of my social demise was not pretty.

I made it to our table without incident. But I was not comfortable. Not because the surroundings weren't completely perfect and the service perfectly wonderful, but because they were. And I am not comfortable with surroundings and service that so exceed my beauty and self-esteem level. (Please don't say Aw at this point. That was a joke.)

Because it was my friend Sara's birthday, I called ahead and spoke to the lovely manager, what's-his-name, who wrote it all down and was quite nice about it. They also said they would make up some special non-alcoholic drinks for us, since most of us don't drink alcohol, but we still like colorful, bubbly drinks that make us happy. That was nice.

In fact, when I sat down, the waitress poured me a glass of sparkling water. Did she ask me if I wanted it? I think she did. And I think I might have just been so relieved that I didn't fall on my way to our table that I said sure and didn't think about it. Funny. I think everyone at the table did the same.

Then she told us about the drink they had whipped up - hibiscus infused passion blood orange refresher. Would we like some? HELLO. Yes, of course.

So we had our pre-dinner cocktails, then our fancy appetizers. Potato and Goat Cheese Galette that was lovely and goat-cheesy. Oysters on the half-shell and Cauliflower Soup (!) with paprika also made an appearance. I was actually kind of full after eating my galette and then tasting the soup (which was the best way I've ever had cauliflower: rich, buttery flavor) and drinking my drink. I could have stopped there and been so happy. Yeah right. In whose world would that ever happen? (See my other blog for details on that ever elusive world.)

The dinner menu looked creatively amazing. I ordered the trout. Okay, the full description from the menu is: Sauteed golden Idaho trout in breadcrumbs with horseradish cream, toasted almonds, new potatoes and sauteed spinach. Much better. You know I'm just recently turning into a fish-eater and this was my first ever trout. And what a way to have my first trout. With crunchy non-ordinary salt topping the fish and the potatoes, I was really, really pleased - It was perfect and I didn't want it to ever end.

But it did end. And then it was time for dessert. I was having a little celebration in my head for lots of little good things in my life, so I decided to celebrate with sugar (shocker) and ordered the German Chocolate Cake with coffee ice cream. I was surprised to discover that I didn't really care for the cake that much, and the ice cream was much too strong for my taste. I much prefer dense cakes to the spongy kind of cakes. So my blood sugar lucked out on that one, as I left most of it on my plate.

We always have excellent discussions at the restaurant groups and I can honestly say that my dining companions that night are my very, very, very, good friends. And its such a good thing I was at 23 Hoyt with very, very, very good friends. Which brings us to the bill. Oh the bill. Now we all saw the menu and knew the prices, there should have been no shock there. Except the sparkling water that we all guzzled down all night in quick succession. We didn't think to ask how much it cost and we drank a lot. But it was such a nice luxury to have someone pouring sparkling water all night. It was so bubbly! Sigh. Well, as it turns out, some of us got a little out of control with the hibiscus drinks, too. Oh and then there was the matter of the gnocchi appetizer ordered instead of an entree, but so nice, they made it into an entree. It was only $10 more than the appetizer. Probably not an ideal place for a group of money-conscious people.

After all the laughing subsided that yes, we really did just spend $42.50 on water, we walked outside, me still wobbly on my heels and I realized that while I LOVED my dinner, I might not go back to 23 Hoyt. Mostly because I'm afraid that next time, my social demise might become a reality, either by falling down the stairs in my ridiculous but really pretty heels, or by having to wash the dishes to pay for my water. And well, we can't have that.

In a unanimous decision, we have decided that next month's restaurant group will be at a pizza joint.

23 Hoyt on Urbanspoon


LadyConcierge said...

I bet I know which pizza joint!

Sara said...

See, now I loved the german chocolate cake. I usually go for denser chocolate too, but given that I was pretty full after my appetizer, not to mention entree, the spongey chocolate cake was perfect.

The cauliflower soup. I would go back time and time again just for that soup, as long as I made sure to only get the house water. :)

Lizzy said...

You are so right about the pizza joint!

Lizzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PDX PR Chick said...

Hi Lizzie,

Apologize in advance for "pitching" you. I just discovered your blog
and thought you and your group would like to check out Mercato in the Pearl (I'm doing their PR).

From one food to another - their pizza is great. Try the gorgonzola, bresaola or margherita.

See www.mercatopdx.com or look them up on Facebook for more info (Mercato PDX.)

R/West PR

Salvador Molly's said...

Hey Lizzie,
Sorry that this is not a comment on 23 Hoyt but...
Salvador Molly's is having a private re-launch party (free food!!) and would like to invite you. If you're interested please feel free to email me your email contact info and I'll send you an invite. Thanks!
Marketing Manager