Best. Duck. Dinner. Ever. Or, to put it another way, now we have two favourite restaurants in Walla Walla. Let’s recap: we made reservations at T Maccarone months ago, because Creektown Cafe is closed Sundays. I am reminded that I pooh-poohed Caroline’s notion of making reservations months ago, but she insisted because many other restaurants are closed Sundays. She was right, I was wrong, people were being turned away.
T Mac is walking distance from our hotel, whereas the CC is way across town, so we walked. It’s cool tonight, I actually put on my suede jacket. Caroline forgot to pack her jacket, despite it being on her list, and had to make do with her hoody tonight.
We had a little table on the upper level. It was a great pleasure to see that they had an Abeja wine on the winelist. A ‘house red’ blend, it was mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, and quite lovely. The menu is fairly short, and loaded with pitfalls for the ‘culinary conservative’. Olive tapenade on this, gorgonzola glaze on that. I find these flavours overpowering. I actually began my meal with a gin and tonic. Caroline tells me that in the book Waiter Rant, the author defines the characteristics of people who drink certain cocktails. G&T is “kind of boring, but a great drink when it’s hot out.” I wouldn’t give this any credibility, but the slightly annoying lady at the next table returned her Cosmo because it was too sweet, or not sweet enough, or something. “Cosmopolitan: prissy, over-ordered and passe. Favored by Manolo Blahnik-wearing Candace Bushnell devotees who spend all their money on shoes but live in rathole apartments. Rapidly becoming an old-lady drink.” And I thought I was rude.
One of the appetizers is T-Mac & Cheese, a penne with a creamy four-cheese sauce. We split one. One crock-pot of that and a salad would have been a whole meal for Caroline. She moved on to spaghetti bolognese, made with ‘milk-fed beef’ and in a kind of parma rosa sauce, while I had the duck. Let me tell you about the duck. There were fabulous roast potato wedges, and slender slices of tender medium duck breast, and savoury bits of roasted duck leg meat, and some kind of leafy thing that might have been arugula. Oh, and a rich sauce, but not too much.
Our waiter was Michael. He just moved here from Portland two weeks ago, and is studying wine-making at the community college here. He may or may not have spent some time with the chief trainer at French Laundry, a famous restaurant in Napa. He probably did have car trouble today. Whatever the case, he looked after us well. We passed on dessert because we were getting full. Besides, the hotel has cookies in the lobby at night. Walked back, a great way to cool off. Lobby cookies excellent, remind me of Tim Horton’s. Made a decaf in the room gadget. Gimme my Timmies!