Great date night - dinner, percussion, and chocolate.
We started with a visit for dinner at Marco New American Bistro at Forest Hill and Cascade Roads. http://www.marcobistro.com/ I went with French Onion soup and a wonderful House salad - and we split "gratin exotic mushrooms baked in herbed mushroom broth, fontina and asiago cheese". Double yum. Neither of us drank since we were heading out and we didn't have time for dessert, but we enjoyed everything our own Ella Bella set before us (she makes a mean Long Island Ice Tea, by the way).
This would be Ella.
Before reading the program, neither of us realized just how wonderful a job the GR Symphony has been doing the last few years - gaining national recognition and Grammy nominations. They were on their game last night and percussionist Glennie brought the house to it's feet for a sustained Standing Ovation at the end of the Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Joseph Schwantner. Glennie is fantastic to watch and listen to her work her magic.
Wow - she started the Concerto working a kit behind the orchestra which made it hard for us to see her since we were seated in Row E, stage right. But during the second movement she came up from to play a selection of intruments there and we could see everything since she was 15-20 feet away. Wow. Wow.
She is something else. If she ever is in your area, I recommend you take the time to experience her talent in person. http://www.evelyn.co.uk/Evelyn_old/homepage.htm
When the concert concluded, we felt a need for chocolate so we hiked a few blocks to Tre Cugini - a fantastic Italian restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids that Julie introduced me to on our wedding night. http://www.trecugini.com/index.html We wanted dessert and we found one: Sfogliata di cioccolato al’amaretto - which is "Chocolate sheets filled with amaretto chocolate mousse." Three thin sheets of dark chocolate are stuck in the mousse diagonally across your plate with raspberry sauce on one side and chocolate sauce on the other. This will ALMOST cause a Chocolate OD. Almost.
Since we had just enjoyed musical talent from and about Scotland, I thought it was fitting to suppliment my dessert with Bonnie Prince Charlie's elixir: Drambuie. http://www.drambuie.com/ I have enjoyed Drambuie on the rocks for years - but up until last night had never had it along with chocolate. The combination is fantastic - to take a sip of Drambuie with the melted chocolate still floating around your mouth is wonderful.
Arrived home completely satisfied after a great night on the town with my best girl.