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A meal to remember…

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There’s a very good reason why I haven’t posted for a while . . . I’m engaged!!!

The view we had at our proposal picnic in Newport

It all began with a plan to go to Newport for a picnic. To our delight, we found out that the weather was expected to be beautiful. 70 degrees, sunny, minimal wind. Perfect for a picnic, don’t you think? We planned our dinner all day, shopping at Stop and Shop for essentials. We were all dressed up to the nines (why not? It’s fun dressing up even if it’s a picnic!), and we had a picnic spread, wine, cheese, bread (gluten-free for me and a regular baguette for Alex), grapes and a pasta salad.

Little did I know what was in store for me.

We found a stunning view overlooking the water and set up our picnic. We both laughed and talked as we ate our bread, cheese and grapes. Sipping white wine as we gazed in each other eyes and appreciated the view before us (okay, we’re saps but I love it). It really was perfect.

Then Alex got up, and asked me to stand up with him. So I did. After a few words, which made me realize what was happening, he got on his knees and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t stop smiling, and of COURSE I said yes! An already perfect day became utter bliss for me. My best friend asked me to marry him!

After eating some more, he told me that we were going somewhere and that we wouldn’t have the pasta salad. Okay, I thought. We ended up having it for dinner the next day. It worked out perfectly. So we got in the car and enjoyed the view of the famed mansions. Then he turned the car around and took a turn. I thought he got lost, and waited for him to get directions from the valet. Then he looked at me and told me to get out, climbing out himself. I looked at the beautiful building before me and realized that we were having dinner here. Castle Hill Inn. We were ushered to a table by the window overlooking the water. We were also able to enjoy the sunset. The view was stunning, and the setup was spectacular. I couldn’t believe we were eating there!

Then the maitre d came, and asked what we would like. My fiance (ooh, I love saying that) ordered champagne. Then out of habit, I asked him to speak to the chef and find out what I could have due to my food allergies, which was … “Gluten, corn and soy.” He said, nodding. He told me that I can look at anything and the chef will let me know if it’s doable. I was so impressed that he even memorized my food allergies from the phone call my fiance made. Talk about quality service!

The first course at Castle Hill Inn

Then we began our three course meal. I had scallops with truffles, chanterelle, and sugar snap peas. It was … phenomenal. I could only sit there and relish in the taste. It was beautiful. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and the mushrooms complemented it just right. Alex had a soup with chanterelle and truffles (actually, that’s what we remember, but we’re pretty sure). The way they served it was exquisite! They brought out a bowl with the mushrooms in it, but no broth. We both were surprised, unsure of what to think. Then the maitre d opened a tiny pitcher and poured the steaming hot broth over it. It was a way to ensure that none of the heat was lost on the trip over from the kitchen to our table!

It was time for the main course! He ordered duck, which came with small round cut up watermelon. It helped maintain the balance since duck is a heavy meat. He didn’t expect it to work, but it did wonderfully. I had lobster. The tail, claws, along with potatoes. It was delicious. Even mouth-watering. I was still in disbelief that we were eating like this!

The dessert menu came and we were immediately drawn to two selections on the menu. We agreed that if I could have only one, I’ll order that one and he would order the other. Keep in mind, I cannot have gluten, corn or soy, so imagine my surprise and delight when I was told that I could have the Espresso & Amaretto Semifreddo which is an almond cake with kumquat jam and cocoa syrup. Now they made modifications, and at the moment I cannot remember what. I can only think of that first bite I took. After checking to be sure I could actually have it (okay, cake at a restaurant? Never been possible for me since I went gluten, corn and soy free!), I decided to go for it. Ambrosial. Absolutely ambrosial. It was to die for. Alex had a cardamom cake, which reminded him of chai tea (it is a spice used in it). He loved it. Everything about this meal was amazing, more than what we could have ever imagined.

It was a once in a lifetime meal, and fitting since this was a once in a lifetime occasion! So excited that I’m going to marry Alex. I can only imagine what it will be like! I know I resemble the Cheshire Cat with my grin that doesn’t seem to ever go away. Hee hee.

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