I have a biggie wedding anniversary coming up next month - one of those that ends in a ‘5’. We had all kinds of plans for some kind of special celebration, but fate intervened, and now that we have the time to make arrangements for a trip or other fabulous outing, it’s almost too late. Besides,it’s been a long, hard year, and we’re both pooped (not to mention broke.) So we’ve decided to do several special things around the Phoenix area all through the month of November. We’ll see some shows and symphonies. We’ll check out some Arizona sights - and believe me, if you have to confine your sightseeing to your state of residence, Arizona is a mighty good state to reside in. And of course, we’ll eat.
I have a friend who, with the family, celebrated her daughter-in-law’s birthday by pulling out all the stops and having dinner at a Phoenix restaurant called “Quiessence”. Her description of the experience was so mouth-watering that we’ve put Quiessence at the top of our special anniversary eatery list.
Here’s the deal: Quiessence is one of three restaurants located at The Farm on South Mountain, on the southern edge of Phoenix. The Farm is actually a working farm, with a pecan grove, raising organic vegetables and herbs, and livestock. One of the eateries serves only breakfast, one only lunch, and the aforementioned Quiessence does dinner. Since the Farm raises its own food, the menus at the restaurants is local and totally organic, and at Quiessence, the menu changes every day, depending on what the chef wants to make. The cuisine is extremely haute and correspondingly expensive.
They offer an a la carte menu, but they also offer something called “the Farmer’s Feast.” For a c-note per person, the chef will create a six-course meal just for you, and pair each course with an appropriate wine. You don’t order, you just sit back and wait to see what the waiters bring you, and by all reports, it’s to die for.
Here’s the problem: After all of Don’s health issues, he has such a bizarre and restricted diet that I don’t know if one fabulous culinary adventure is in the cards for us. One can request a vegetarian meal, but can one ask for a low salt veg meal with no beans, tomato sauce, spinach, or eggplant? And if one could, would one want to eat it? I think that our gourmet meal will have to be off the a la carte menu, with a lot of fudging, because after all, this is a special occasion.
Sometimes I’m tempted to subscribe to Julia Child’s philosophy and sit down with a big old steak, a glass of gin, and a happy grin on my face.