Tuesday, June 07, 2011

oy yay!

We had a big swearing-in with the Virginia Supreme Court yesterday. Well, X did, I just sat in the guest section and tried to lean into as many ‘swearing in’ home photos as possible. I’ll probably end up in about two dozen mantelpiece photos of Johnny or Diane getting sworn into the bar of this court and the courts of the Commonwealth. The ceremony was nice, short, and sweet with about 200 lawyers joining the ranks of the bona fide.

We drove down to Richmond on Sunday afternoon, did a bit of shopping, and then checked in at The Jefferson downtown. As far as high-end hotels go – excellent. The lobby is more than grand with massive furniture and everything you’d expect at the top hotel in a southern capital, aside from guys named Boss yelling out things like, “I will not be to the Senate floor until 3 o’clock. I’m at the Jefferson. Unless I get that four-lane road to Minniville, you will not be seeing your new dock.” (Try reading that with a more southern, gentlemanly accent.) Dinner was at Lemaire (in the hotel) on Sunday night. Brilliant food. Garden out back for fresh ingredients. Excellent service. Big room, nice space, no music, quiet but not library like. Also, the bar within the restaurant is beautifully appointed (Hendricks and tonics). I opened with the beer battered blue prawns presented with a great tomato and jalapeno sauce (seemed more a chipotle to me…), easily an A. X had the special: fried green tomatoes with a shrimp succotash made with fresh veg from the back garden. Aside from being a bit over-peppered, it rated well. I had the halibut for an entrée and X pulled the fettuccini; again, both were beautifully presented and without any missteps. As with any fancy dinner, we look to bread and coffee as the first/final measure: the first thing they give you, the last thing out the door. Both were very good. (We sort of split a peanut butter cheesecake/chocolate dessert.) For wine, it was a Santorini (Greece) dry white that about knocked both of us on our collective arses. Very tasty; very strong. (I just did some research and its 13.7% alcohol; versus a Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling, that’s popular on the Hilltop these days, at about 12%.)

The shopping and funky side(s) of Richmond were impressive. There’s an an area out west, Carytown, that has about eight blocks of unique (and locally-owned) shops that managed to pry loads of cash from our bank accounts. Our lunch at Can Can in Carytown yesterday was superb: the roasted pepper and gruyere quiche, beet salad, frites, and ice tea – all exceptional. Hard to know about the rest of the lunch/dinner menu since we were limited to the mid-afternoon café menu.

We are already planning another trip down with the whole clan in late summer or early fall. I think we also found our new couch. Items that get Richmond props: good bookstores, good coffee, good food, nice shops (no chains in town, for the most part), nice hotel, short drive. Top marks all around.

I’ll leave you be.

(The kids survived our absence.)
(The cats survived our absence.)

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