September 7, 2022

Thoughts on Birthdays


Thoughts on Birthdays 

My hubby and I are born one day apart, and our birthdays also coincide with our wedding anniversary, which always brings up the question, where do we want to go and celebrate?

As a kid we would go to Pizza Hut, but I liked the Orange Bowl pizza better. Then we moved to Europe when I was seven. I remember eating chicken soup with little stars and a tiny restaurant in Milan. We had fondue for the first time when the parents came to rescue me up from ski camp in France. Then there was the tiny preserved violet on top of the chocolate ice cream when we went to the restaurant in Germany, it was on the Rhine and you actually fished for your own trout.

We moved back to America when I was fifteen. In high school the big fancy dinners took place at Dominique's in downtown Washington DC, now closed. They used to have a sister restaurant in Miami which I went to once. They are known for their exotic fare, such as alligator and wild boar. Alligators taste like chicken, by the way.

Avanti became my favorite birthday restaurant when I moved to Santa Cruz, then became the monthly lunch place with Dad, who thought their food was very authentic. Avanti split into the pizzeria and the restaurant, moving into a second location which happens to be at the top of my street. Pizzaria Avanti has nettle pizza. Restaurant Avanti has a full bar. We started going weekly to visit our favorite bartender, Katie, and feast on steak salad and chicken fusilli. The new owners have a fried cheese dish that I could bathe in.

Maybe we'll go to the French Laundry one year. I've not really intrigued by their menu posted online, but it sure does get rave reviews as a unique experience. My daughter loved to go to La Fondue over in Saratoga every birthday, which is where we also celebrated her recent bethrothal.