Mr. kenju started a pipe and tobacco smokers group about 17 years ago. They meet once a month and have an "expo" once a year, usually at our fairgrounds. As often happens in groups of this sort, all the hard work for the expo is done by a few stalwart members, while the others attend and reap the benefits.
While mr. kenju is no longer the head of the group, except in an 'emeritus' capacity, his ideas are considered and sometimes accepted....lol. He has been touting a group dinner for those who had been instrumental, over the years, in making the expo a successful event. A few different fine dining restaurants were considered and the group settled on Rey's, Fine Dining with a French Quarter Flair.
We had never been there before, although I had heard of it. I think it will now be fairly high on our list of places to go when we are celebrating some milestone. The service was impeccable! And the food varied from good to excellent.
I started with a margarita on the rocks, which I love and seldom have. It was arguably the best margarita I've ever had, and if I were not the designated driver, I'd have had two.
The menu is a la carte, which pleases me. That way I can order exactly the amount of food I want and not be forced to have a soup or salad if I don't want one. I had calamari for my appetizer. If I had known how good it was going to be, I might have ordered two (as my entree). Served on a bed of creamy, tender lima beans and corn, it was a taste and texture treat for the senses. It will definitely be on my bucket list from now on.
My entree was veal piccata. It was not browned enough for me, but it was tasty and there was plenty of it, resting on a bed of lemon butter sauce with capers. The garlic mashed potatoes were a nice addition and went well with the lemon butter. I forgot to take a photo of that.
When it was time for dessert, my brain said "DON'T do it" but mr. kenju and my mouth won out. We shared a creme brulee, and as you can see, it was topped with luscious fresh berries. I console myself that they were so healthy that the creme brulee
underneath was of no consequence. Yeah, right.....you may say. Topped off with hot pressed coffee, the meal was delicious. The good service (with smiles) was the cherry on top. Kudos to our head waiter, Jim, and the owner, Rey Arias. Another sidelight was watching Rey and Jim prepare Bananas Foster for several in our group.
All this was a conclusion to an evening that didn't start well at all. We arrived at the restaurant in a steady sprinkling of rain and parked in the last remaining handicapped spot, which was across a driveway from the entry. We were early, so we sat in the car and after donning my "Aircast" boot, I pulled out my phone to while away the minutes. As our group started to arrive, mr. kenju got out of the car and I followed, forgetting that the keys were still in the ignition. Do you know what a sinking feeling it is to realize you have locked the keys in the car??? Not only did I not have my spare key (because I changed purses for the evening) I also didn't have my AAA card, with which I could have summoned help.
I said...."Uh-oh, I just locked the keys in the car" and mr. kenju was visibly upset to hear that. I am somewhat unbalanced when I wear the Aircast boot anyway, but getting out of the car while being parked so close to a curb didn't help, and as he reacted to my declaration, I fell backward into a bed of low, ground-cover greenery, which was, lucky for me, not full of brambles or thorns. But I got wet; my black silk pants were damp from stem to stern. A nice young man ran to my rescue, but I was able to rise from the ground without his help. All this was witnessed by at least 10-12 people, so I was feeling mad at myself about the keys, mad about falling, mad about being wet and in general - mad, sad and perplexed.
I called our younger daughter, who fortunately had keys to our house. She was able to go there and get my spare key and bring it to me at Rey's. I owe her big-time (for this and many other things.....LOL) Thank you, sweetheart, for being available and willing to help us out!!