We went to the quiet little restaurant, Equinox, Thursday night to celebrate Augustin and Cecile's engagement! Chef Todd Grey walked around talking to the guests/patrons as we waited for the happy couple. He's a really nice, gregarious man!
The menu looked great, and it apparently changes often, if not daily. You get the interesting choice of four or six mix and match courses. Say, if you want four, you can get two first-courses, one second, and a cheese plate. Or you can have two firsts, two small seconds, cheese and dessert. There are almost limitless possibilities. I had never seen this before.
Anyway, the best part is they allow corkage (and as you know, G loves corkage). So we brought Champagne (you'll remember Cecile gave me this bottle as a gift for my bridal shower--what better way to enjoy the wine than for her engagement toast?!);
and we also brought a red and a white: 1996 Chateau Montrose
and a 2008 Linden Avenius Sauvignon Blanc (a local Virginia winery and vineyard).
Here's the happy couple!
They regaled us with the fantastic story of their engagement. And much to my chagrin, our wedding did NOT in fact inspire the proposal. Augustin had planned months in advance the ultra romantic sequence of events that included a trip to the super chic Commune at the edge of a remote part of the Great Wall outside of Beijing...sigh. I'll keep their story private, but needless to say, it was lovely.
Check it, they made these rings out of ferns and grass and took a picture of the moment. Is this not the sweetest, most creative thing?:
We had a delicious mushroom-y-themed amusee bouche of soup in shot glasses and the ever-so-popular spoon server of egg rolls.
Then we decided on our combinations of food. I wanted something on the lighter side. So I started with two firsts: watermelon and arugula salad with preserved lemon and the seared fois gras.
At some point someone ordered a very nice cheese plate and the beef.
I love soft-shell crabs, and on the menu was a very summery egg fettucini with a lightly pan fried crab on top with a bit of fresh tomato sauce. Not extravagant, but definitely delicious. The chef gave the pedestrian dish a bit of flare with a dollop of mint foam. How "El Bulli", remarked Augustin (referring to the THREE Michelin-starred Spanish super-star that is famous for its foams and other trendy/quirky innovations).
And then I had a lemon and ginger ice cream sandwich. Much to my delight, it turned out to be ginger sorbet in a GIANT macaron. Um, hello? I've been mired in macarons for the past four months! Ironic. Is the word ironic or just a funny coinkydinky?
Anyway, overall the service and the food were very good. However the coordination of the various permutations of the four courses between four people left a bit to be desired. That aside, I would definitely go back. Equinox is an elegant, intimate place that's great for celebrating or a date!
It was a nice way to have a little engagement something for our friends! Congrats and best wishes, Augustin and Cecile!