DINNER 1: Sunday, January 1, 2006

For the first dinner of 2006, we met Chris, Rebecca, and Ted for dinner at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Wendy enjoyed her usual dish of Penne Rustica, and Drew had a servicable-if-not-very-tasty-or-imaginative Chicken Canniloni. The company sure was enjoyable — Chris & Rebecca are our dive instructors who recently moved to Florida. We miss them a lot and it was great to see them while they were in town.

DINNER 2: Monday, January 2, 2006

On Monday, January 2, 2006, we had for dinner a large amount of green salad, consisting of lettuce, tomatoes, celery, yellow pepper, mushrooms, carrots, cilantro, and dressed with a squeeze of lemon, and all topped with 6 ounces of delicious (if I do say so myself!) roasted chicken breast without skin.

All of this was part of a three-day miracle diet that Wendy, Tory (one of Wendy’s techs from the hospital), and I went on. Starting at 8:00am on the first day and every two hours after, you drink a protein shake and a bunch of water. At 6:00pm, you have the aforementioned salad.


DINNER 3: Tuesday, January 3, 2006

For this evening’s dinner, we dined one the second of three days on the fantabulous three-day miracle diet that Wendy, Tory, and I were suffering through.

Having loaded up on proteins the day before (and getting rid of those pesky glycogens that slow down weight loss, if the wacko author of the magazine article (that should tell you something right there) was to be believed), today we dined on fruit and plenty of it. Starting at 8:00am and every two hours until 6:00pm, we had two cups of fresh fruit. Our mix was pineapple, watermelon, black seedless grapes, kiwi, and melon. And loads of water.

Dinner was another giant plate of salad, just the same as the day before… Lettuce, tomatoes, celery, yellow pepper, mushrooms, carrots, cilantro, and dressed with a squeeze of lemon, and all topped with 6 ounces of roasted chicken breast without skin.

When I weighed myself at the end of day two, I’d lost about 3 pounds.

DINNER 4: Wednesday, January 4, 2006

On day three of our horrendous three-day miracle diet that Wendy, Tory, and I suffered through, it was a duplicate of day two… Fresh fruit every two hours from 8:00am until 6:00pm and loads of water.

At 6:00pm, Wendy had yet another giant salad of lettuce, tomatoes, celery, yellow pepper, mushrooms, carrots, cilantro, and dressed with a squeeze of lemon, and all topped with a nice fresh avocado on top. Drew had had enough and had a horrible (but delicious) dinner of cottage cheese and potato chips (which is a delight), Doritos, and pistachios.

Surprisingly, at the end of the day, Drew had lost a total of 4 pounds.

DINNER 5: Thursday, January 5, 2006

Our three-day miracle diet trip-through-hell done (Wendy lost 4.5 pounds, Tory lost 7, and Drew lost 5), we jumped right back on the crappy food bandwagon.

For dinner, we dined at Frisch’s restaurant, a glorified greasy spoon comparable to Shoney’s. The main attractive feature of Frisch’s is the proximity to our house and the fact that it is never ever crowded. Wendy had her usual — a Tuna Melt and Fries, while Drew enjoyed a nostalgic dinner of Open-Faced Turkey with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes. This dish reminds Drew of his latchkey childhood, and microwave-able after-school-snacks of Turkey and Gravy over white bread. Crap food, yes, but it was comforting.

DINNER 6: Friday, January 6, 2006

Tonight was a busy night and a lot of fun.

After a full work day, I headed to a local tavern called Holy Grail where I was meeting my old boss (he just retired), two colleagues, and their spouses for drinks. Because I got there an hour before everyone else, I worked on some notes for the show I’ll be directing soon (DINNER WITH FRIENDS at Falcon Theater) and enjoyed some Reuben Eggrolls.

When everyone else arrived, I stowed my work and enjoyed hanging out with these kind folks. Around 7:00, we headed up to Martino’s to participate in the college‘s charity auction. I was able to stay only an hour before heading over to meet my wife and our friends for a wonderful dinner at Ambar India. Wendy had Saag Paneer — creamy spinach with cubes of unmeltable cheese, and I had Chicken Tikki Masala. From there, we all headed to the Esquire to catch a screening of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.


DINNER 7: Saturday, January 7, 2006

Tonight, a group of us (Holly, Ed, Colin, Wendy, Jay, and myself) met at ONE DINING, a new restaurant situated in a converted city building in Mason Ohio, for a surprise birthday dinner for Angel (who turns the big 3-0 on January 8th).

One Dining

Ed, Holly, Colin, Wendy, and Drew arrived early to be in place for the surprise. A nice red wine started flowing, followed shortly by a bottle of white (one of Wendy’s favorite whites, a Chenin Blanc/Viognier — our personal favorite is the Pine Ridge Clarksburg — while tonight’s wine wasn’t Pine Ridge, it was still very nice). Sean Kagy, the executive chef, came out to greet our table and offered us a tour after the meal. Our mutual friend, MichaelB, had alerted them that we were visiting the restaurant. After a bit, Jay & Angel walked in, and Angel was suitably surprised.

We started the meal with a sampling of appetizers — butternut squash ravioli (excellent); beef carpaccio; Maryland crab cakes (excellent); salad of maine lobster, crab & rock shrimp (lovely); and shrimp & crab chowder (very nice).

The main courses were osso bucco; ahi tuna with foie gras; rock shrimp, scallops and lemon linguine; duo of salmon and sole; and the seared duck breast. All the entrees were very tasty and nicely plated. The corn and mushroom crepe served with my generous ahi tuna was delicious. The tuna was well-prepared, too; seared on the outside and cool in the middle, topped with a nice piece of foie gras.

Desserts came out and were very nice — chocolate mousse crunch; lemon crush; pecan pie and others.

After the meal, Sean gave Wendy & I a tour of their new kitchen (which used to be the jail when it was a city building — fitting for a bunch of cooks, don’t you think?!), the prep area, and the rest. Not an inch of wasted space.

We thought it was a very nice touch that the restaurant laid a birthday card on the table for Angel, signed by the chef and staff.

The meal was very good and the service was about where you’d expect it to be for a new restaurant (10 weeks open at the time of this writing). No major mistakes in service, but not yet perfectly smooth. Two annoyances were that Wendy was looking forward to ordering a monkfish dish which was advertised on their website, only to find that it was not on the menu. For patrons attempting to become familiar with a new place, not having something that is advertised is a mistake. We were pleased by the wine list, but ordering a bottle of wine for dessert, we were told that it wasn’t yet in stock.

These small errors should not turn anyone away from trying ONE. It’s a fine meal and these service issues will be resolved in time.