George W. and Condi never did show up at lunch today, though I heard the restaurant was a favorite of theirs. Rise is a small restaurant in North Dallas, very French. They specialize in individual souffles--for your main course such things as cheese, smoked salmon, lobster (cooked in the lobster shell) and several orthers, too many to remember. For dessert, chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, strawberry, etc. Each comes out perfectly puffed and browned. How do they do that? You think just one would fall flat! Jeannie and Betty split the Salad Nicoise--no canned tuna here, it was seared ahi. I had a Parisian jambon sandwich--translates to a delicious ham sandwich on a baguette with Gruyere, cornichons, and butter--no mayo, no mustard. They both had pumpkin souffles for dessert, and I got a bite of each--delicious. My mom used to make a spinach souffle that I loved but that is still a bitter topic with my brother. Back to Rise, it's lovely with old-world decor and yet a casual, comfortable place. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And it was fun to visit with Betty and Jeannie--I see Betty once a week but Jeannie has been so busy I haven't seen her in a while.
From the sublime to--well, maybe not ridiculous, but home cooking. I came home and started on food for my cocktail open house Friday night. While I cooked, PBS had a Christmas music special that was glorious. Featured Natalie Cole, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and David McCullough telling the story of the song, "I'll be Home for Christmas." That choir is simply magnificent.
Of course it was a good thing I started on the food--discovered I don't have enough veggies, and I don't have the can of canellini beans I need for one dip. Besides Jordan has been calling me all day with items to add to my shopping list, particularly to feed little mouths. There will be ten or twelve children. When my kids were young I thought of this as strictly an adult party--the kids either disappeared into their bedrooms or slept through the whole thing. Must be the change that comes with being a grandmother--it is now definitely a kid-friendly party, although they won't like much of my menu (I'm afraid Jordan and Christian won't either--oh, dear!). I'd tell the menu, but I don't want to give it away. Read on Saturday. The desserts are all baked and in the freezer, ready to come out tomorrow.
And speaking of food, I'm watching Guy Fiery's show about diners, drive-ins, and dives. Somebody is baking three huge meatloaves. If there's a comfort food I love, that's it. This cook slices them (thick slices) and then browns quickly on the griddle, serves with gravy. Must find out where that place is! I keep thinking my friends at the Star Cafe should write to Fiery about their restaurant.