Stacy's birthday was a few weeks back and I've been totally slacking on putting up these pictures and this post. Blame it on the wildly hectic new job that's got me staying past 9pm twice a week. And the multiple weddings. And the spousal birthdays. And general laziness. But finally here it is... prepare to be gastronomically taunted.
Brian put together the entire 40+ person dinner - the menu, the cooking, the decorating, all of it. Well, he had some help on the cooking end, "borrowing" several chef friends who came in and helped him assemble a (seriously) multi-course meal in Stacy & Brian's tiny kitchen. The dinner was served at a long table (well several tables strung together) in a manner inspired by my and Noah's rehearsal dinner.
It was a beautiful night in Fairfax - sunny early on with some clouds and very, very light drizzle later in the evening. The moisture in the air even brought an auspicious rainbow along with it. So pretty!
The birthday girl herself, in the middle of their small but lush backyard vegetable garden.
This was one of the entrees, an amazing slow roasted pork loin. And the next day it made an even more amazing pork sandwich. Or so I was told, as someone may have put it all in his sandwich and left none for his poor, hungry wife.
This is the remnants of what was probably my favorite course - a black and white risotto. I believe it was a parmesan risotto with artichokes and sausage, with a black squid ink risotto "crust". I am salivating at the memory.
The non-vegetarian friendly ravioli.
The vegetarian friendly ravioli. I'm trying to remember what was inside...maybe beet greens & beets & ricotta? I don't think I got to this course.
The table before everyone sat down.
A view of Stacy & Brian's jam-packed garden. They've got enough tomato plants to keep all the folks who sign up for Patchwork Farms in tomatoes for the rest of the summer.
A delicious spinach, bacon and egg salad.
Probably my third favorite course - a variety of heirloom tomatoes and some seriously good burrata.
An heriloom bean, beet and mushroom salad with arugula. Another winning combination.
My second favorite dish, the homemade ceviche. It went fast, hence the less than awesome photo.
One of my 4 platefuls of food. I believe I am still running off the weight I gained that weekend.
A crappy picture of the traditional Kucserka family birthday dessert - Princess Cake. It's a marzipan shell over a white cake with cream and raspberries. I don't think there's a better cake in the whole world.
Mom's strawberry rhubarb pie. My favorite pie in the world. Mom was going to do an apple pie, but my sad face (I'd just found out I would be starting work unexpectedly that Monday and had to bail on the yearly family trip to Packer Lake at the last minute) made her reconsider her pie choice. I'm so glad you did, Mom!
The last dessert of the night, a "Blueberry Cheesecake in a Jar". Brian invented this one and according to those who could eat it without a lactose attack, it was awesome.
Overall a one in a lifetime, delicious multi-course meal prepared by (in my humble opinion) the best chefs in town. There were even a few sides that I think I missed, not to mention the pre-dinner snacks: cheese, meats, homemade preserved tuna poached in oil and lots of garden veggies to nibble on.
Noah's up in Marin for a few days again, going to concert with his brother and staying with my fam. There's a bbq at Stacy and Brian's tonight and I am super jealous. My takeout chicken just doesn't compare.