When the initial reception was over and it was time for dinner, rather than all preceding to a private dining room, we all went to the main dining room at the Grand Hotel, Salle a Manger. We had met two young couples at the reception and enjoyed their company, and they asked if we could all have dinner together, which we accepted. I felt that the Salle a Manger was the perfect setting for the first evening’s dinner, as it reminded me of the main dining room on a large ocean liner. The Salle a Manger requires proper attire for dinner, but this was not a problem, as all of the attendees at the reception were dressed, and a lot in period clothing or formal apparel.
As we studied the menu and the wine list for dinner, we formulated our choices. My Bride started off with a Maine Lobster-Diver Scallop Terrine with a Red Onion Confit and Saffron Aioli. I ordered a classic Escargot en Croute with a Garlic-Herb Butter. For our second course my Bride had a Roasted Butternut-Ginger Bisque with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and I had the Michigan Beef Broth with Gruyere Cheese Celestine. As a side note, one of the other diners had the Chilled Pear and Rhubarb soup with Candied Fruit and raved about the dish, and proclaimed that it should have been a dessert. The Salad Course was a Caprese Salad for my Bride, while I just request a House Salad, as I am not a fan of Buffalo Mozzarella. The selection for our Entrée Course was also quite easy and we both knew what the other one would select. My Bride had the Maple Barbecue Glazed Salmon Filet with Hazelnut Polenta Cake and a White Bean Puree. I dined on an entree of Sautéed Veal Medallions with Sweetbread Crepinette, Hazelnut Polenta Cake and Brandied Shiitake Cream. We sampled each other’s dishes and enjoyed each other’s selections. For dessert, my Bride showed ample restraint and requested Lemon Sorbet, while I went for the gusto and had a Milk Chocolate-Cherry Bread Pudding with Chambord Cream.
When I studied the wine list, I was relieved to discover that there would be more than just the house wines offered, even though I knew that they would have all been fine. I began by ordering a minor chateau wine from Pomerol, but they did not have the wine, and I would presume that because they had just opened for the season, that the wine had not arrived yet, but was on order, I was offered another wine, an Haute-Medoc, but I asked to see the wine list again. I chose Chateau de Pez 2006 from Saint-Estephe, which is a commune in the Haute-Medoc, but I thought this would be a better wine than what was offered. The wine was wonderful, perhaps a bit over powering for the salmon, but with the barbeque glaze, it worked and my Bride had no complaints, and neither did I.
We had such a wonderful time at dinner with our guests, that we missed seeing the film for the evening “A Night to Remember,” and as we all agreed, that we knew how the film concluded, we enjoyed our company more. Afterwards, my Bride and I went dancing. My only complaint was that there was a group of “Ball Room” dancers, as well as two dance instructors that were attending the weekend as well, and they rather commandeered the dance floor, doing their choreography, while my Bride and I attempted to dance.