I love my job but the first quarter of the year is always the hardest. While the snow is blowing outside all of us are sitting in our offices crunching numbers and working away. It is just the nature of our business.
One of the perks of this is at the end, when we are all done and the sun comes out, we are treated to a wonderful celebration dinner. The intent is to say thank-you for all the work we have just done but it is also a nice way to try and get to know each other a little better when we are more relaxed. I love these times and as a bonus I get to taste some truly great meals.
Some of the dinners have been catered at a coworker’s home but we have also tried some amazing restaurants over the years. It is always nice to enjoy places like Piato, Rouge, Wildwood and Catch when you are not paying. I have always appreciated this gift.
This year, on a warm sunny evening, we were treated to a meal at The Ranchmen’s Club. No, this is not the place on Macleod Trail with all the cowboys but the private member’s club down on 13th Avenue. I have had couple of meals here before and I knew we would be treated to something good.
Our meal started with a Vine Ripened Tomato & Gin with Basil Olive Oil Soup. The bowl was a little messy by the time it reached my spot but I was willing to overlook that because it tasted so good. It was rich and creamy and if I was at home I probably would have licked the bowl.
Our next course was Mixed Greens with the Chef’s Vinaigrette. When this came to the table I was completely taken with the presentation. The colours popped and I couldn’t wait to dig in. And the plate did not lie because those vegetables were as fresh as they looked.
Our entrée course was pre-selected and I always end up picking the beef. What can I say, I’m an Albertan born carnivore. The Whole Roasted Alberta ‘AAA’ Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Infused Veal Jus and Stilton Crumble came to our table and I was happy. The meat was cooked just the way I like it and there was a good variety of tasty root vegetables to accompany it. This dish made me happy.
Then we had the dessert. They called it Coupe Ranchmen’s and it was a Waffle Cookie, Vanilla Gelato, Berries, Chocolate Shavings and Whipped Cream. The presentation was creative and I especially liked the “RC” cookie on the top. However, I was a bit disappointed in the dessert. I would have preferred something chocolate but it is hard to cater one dessert that fits a larger group. This was a safe choice and although it was nice I was hoping for something a little sweeter.
All in all, this was a delicious meal. It was not flamboyant but I think that it shows excellent skill when you can take simple dishes and make them taste extraordinary.
I wonder where we will get to go next year?