Saturday, October 30, 2004

Blue Nile Scores 5 Stars from Us!

Hubby and I just went out for our anniversary dinner, almost two months late. You see on our actual anniversary we were having Hurricane Frances, so all the restaurants were closed and a lot of the local landscaping was airborne. Well it was worth the wait. We had been eyeing this restaurant for some time because we knew it had an exotic menu. It isn't the sort of place you spring on unsuspecting guests who might prefer normal food. And even after personally rating it with five stars I would still say that in order to enjoy The Blue Nile you would have to either A) already know that you like Indian or Pakistani food, or B) Have an adventurous palate. But we went in there with high expectations and this restaurant exceeded them! It seemed like the kind of place that would prosper in a big city, not a sleepy burg like Lakeland. I might have to start going every week to make sure they stay in business. (Note to Hubby: Just kidding!) Now first of all we didn't have the kids with us (God bless grandparents!) so we were able to actually notice the food, and didn't have to shovel it in at an alarming rate. Everything from the appetizer to the soup to the entree was top-notch. I WANTED the dessert but didn't have enough room for it. Oh, and this place is also a wine bar, and had a nice selection. Hubby had picked one out and was going to get a glass. I thought it would be more efficient to split a bottle. The waiter brought us out a sample. We tasted. We looked at each other and said, "San Francisco!" This wine reminded us of some of the fabulous things we had tried on our honeymoon, starting in San Francisco. It was in fact a California wine. I went with the "spicier" entree. It turned out to be the perfect choice. Hubby's tilapia meal was excellent too. The thing with Indian food is the funky spices. The food is as strange as Chinese but tastes nothing like Chinese. If that makes any sense. You can't expect it to taste like anything American at all. There are certain Indian dishes I do NOT like, especially one greenish side dish that looks like relish and tastes like Mr. Kleen. I avoid ordering anything that resembles that dish. (And don't ask why I would know what Mr. Kleen tastes like.) Fortunately The Blue Nile did not seem to offer this dish, and everything I tried got the maximum number of stars. I would give it six if I had an extra star lying around. I think the local newspaper rated this restaurant something nondescript, if they rated it at all. This is the same newspaper that gives us detailed reports on the quality of the local mozzarella sticks. So I'm not sure they are qualified to rate a restaurant like the Blue Nile. But all I can say is, fabulous! Let us know if you have an Adventurous Palate when you visit!

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