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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of you will not really relate to this place, but it is definitely an interesting place for me.

I have, for many years now, run in gourmet circles. Probably 90% of our friends are wine snobs, and we frequent fine restaurants regularly.

For the past 10 years or so, our favorite French Restaurant, L'Etoile, has held specialty wine dinners a few times per year. These are events that we NEVER miss. I have memories of some of the best meals that I have ever consumed paired with amazing wines and finished off with desserts that take your breat away from these events. I have always made it a point to attend these without fail, and they are great times with my dear friends and my husband.

Today I received an invitation to one of L'Etoile's famous wine dinners:

Gourmet Dinner wtih Harold Wood, the highly respected epicurean.

The menu is 6 courses with six different wines.

1) Duck Foie Gras Pressed with Apples and paired with a Perrier Jouet Rose Champagne

2)Veloute of Maine Lobster, Infusion of Porcini Mushrooms & Corriander paired with a Montmains 1999 Chablis Premier Cru

3) Fillet of Yellow Edge Grouper, Barigoule of Glazed Vegetables, Jus of Seafood & Artichokes paired with a Grenovilles 1999 Chablis Grand Cru

4) Partridge Breasts, Galette of Celery, Foie Gra, Pommes Maxim's, Fruit Gastric paired with a Domaine Billard Gonnet 1999 Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru

5) Chaurce Cheese, Plum with Cloves Scented Oil

6) Pinapple Ravioli with a Trio of Exotic Fruits, Verjus Sorbet, Coulis "Arc En Cief" paired with a Close Labere 1998 Sauternes

I am very lucky because I have plans to be down at South Padre Island during this dinner, but I can't imagine what I would have done, had I been here at home. I see how much this is my old life, and I would be very sad to miss out on such an occassion with my husband and my good friends. However, I know without any second thoughts that I simply could NOT consume those foods. I used to love Foie Gras, and Lobster was one of my most favorites.

I guess that I would have called the restaurant and asked them to prepare something for me, even if it wasn't quite up to main menu. However, it is a really big eye opener for me that this will ALWAYS be an issue from this point on.

WOW.

Again, I am SO glad that I have already purchased the plane tickets and hotel room. I shudder to think what I would have done. It is bound to come up again, and is definitely something that I will have to consider long and hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know. Foie Gras is a nightmare. Perhaps one of the worst examples of animal cruelty for cuisine.

I am very thankful that I won't be around.

I am going to call them and as them if they could prepare something for me at the NEXT wine dinner. We know the owners and the chef. If they can't, well......?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are a few upscale restaurants in Austin. I think that my husband has to go up there today, and I'll ask him to get some info.

I know that it sounds swanky, but this is my life. The dessert does sound OK. I guess I could always go in and just eat dessert and wine!

I'm going to NYC the fall with my Mom (we go on a trip each year), and we are both looking forward to eating at some of the finer Veg*n and raw restaurants.

The whole thing is just so strange. 6 months ago I would have been miserable that I wouldn't be in town for this dinner, and now it is a relief. *sigh*
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, SunnyK. Just FYI - I have worked very hard for what we have. We don't live in a fancy house - just a nice one. We don't have brand new cars (Yes - we have a Mercedes - new in 1991 and with 220,000 miles on it - I hope to put on 500,00 before it collapses), just decent used cars that are paid off. I guess you would call us upper middle class.

I have lived through times when I counted the change to buy lunch - not in the so distant past - and I wouldn't be shocked, horrified or dismayed if I someday found myself there again. I accept and am grateful for each new day and different experience - at least this is something at which I work always.

However, travel and food have always been a big thing for us. This is truly a new place for me, and I am not sure how I am going to handle it. One of our really good friends gave me crap when I went Vegan, but since then have gone out of they're way to prepare delicious Vegan food when we go over to their house. Some of my other friends, who aren't as well off, have eaten here and have been really impressed by how much they like much of the food that I eat.

I do have to say that I miss gourmet meals, and this is definitely something on which I am going to have to work in order to find a new path.

Just remember my feeling about living in the relative. To some I am rich, to others I am poor. None of that really matters, does it? I still struggle with the same issues as all do, rich or poor, happy or sad, young or old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I don't consider myself a snob at all. I believe that each and everyone of us is made from the same "stuff" and that we are each an intigral and unique part of the only thing that really exists.

I do a lot of stuff at my house. Everyone comes over here because we have a pool, and we all pitch in with the food or to purchase foods. It isn't the same as going to dinner where everything is prepared for you in the most amazing ways imaginable, paired perfectly with wines. No cooking. No cleaning. Just fun. It's nice to be pampered. Even if you are paying for it.
 
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