The word of the day has LOTS of consonants but is absolutely delicious!
Vicki and I decided to run over to Boise yesterday to celebrate her actual birthday. (This is the secret double bonus of having a Spring Break birthday, the option -nay obligation- to celebrate for the entire week!) We left the snow behind and cruised the roly-poly hills to the Treasure Valley with those fluffy cumulus clouds that painters love to paint dotted across the bright blue sky.
We got to Flicks in time to have a leisurely glass of wine before the show (Hello! I'd go to more movies if there was more Syrah inside theaters!) Frances McDormand's performance in the gorgeously costumed Miss Pettigrew was fabulous and the message about forgetting the costs of war were subtle but powerful.
There now, that's the politic message of the day.... where was I?
Oh yes, Ziazerbaz Betatako Piperrak!
We decided on Basque food at Leku Ona (NE corner of the Basque Block) in downtown Boise after the movie. We started with glasses of Verdelho and Cava, made a toast to Vicki's birthday and then savored every amazing bite of the shrimp stuffed, smokey sauced Piquillo Peppers (aka Ziazerbaz Betatako Piperrak!)
When Vicki told our waiter Hieme that she was 39, he very excitedly proclaimed that he too was 39. We still haven't figured out if he was part of the ruse, or if he really is 39 and it's a joke that doesn't translate to Basque men! But we got a great laugh nonetheless. They had the Marques de Arienzo Reserva 2000 on their list, so we had him pull the cork to let it breathe - although I have to say, it had a stunning aroma immediately.
We enjoyed every spoonful of the Chickpea Soup to the jaunty Basque music and had to laugh when (as we are now the only 2 people in the restaurant) the music suddenly changed as our salads arrived. Eric Burden and the Animals ?? (maybe the House of the Rising Sun is in Bilbao??)
The busboy heard our giggles and the Basque music came back on as our Txipirioak Bere Tintan and Mina arrived and the real dining began. The '02 Arienzo Rioja Reserva was heavenly!
Our allocation should arrive within the next two weeks at the store and I can hardly wait, this wine has the most perfectly complex aromas and is so rich and smooth and delicious!
The squid (I didn't even try to pronounce Txipirioak) was the tenderest I've ever had and was delicious in the inky black peppery sauce over exquisitely garlic-ed, parsley-ed rice (with no shy amount of butter!) I'd have to say that Mina (beef tongue) is one of the benchmarks in my book for the authenticity of Basque food and they scored perfectly last night!
All in all, a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend the restaurant - the service was friendly and very accommodating, we didn't even walk in until after 9 pm and were allowed to enjoy a very leisurely dinner.
So today is back to work, Vicki is back to Portland, and April may still bring us some spring at last!
Now there's a happy thought!