Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Wickedly Delicious Evening + Chef Frank Stitt!

Do you ever have those magical nights that you just don't want to end? Well, last night was like that for us. As you may know by now, I am a big "Wizard of Oz" fan. In fact, I wore a pair of custom-made ruby red slippers under my ballgown-stlye wedding gown. I love those shoes! Haha. So, when I found out that the Broadway musical, "Wicked" was coming to Birmingham, I immediately was get my point...

Well, the big night was last night. Brad and I got all dressed up and went to dinner at Bottega. We are so lucky to have one of the best chefs in America right here in Birmingham, AL. You may have heard his name - Chef Frank Stitt.

Frank Stitt has received accolades from Gourmet magazine, the Discovery Channel, The New York Times, the James Beard Foundation, and he was recently named one of the culinary "Legends of the Decade" by Bon Appetit magazine...pretty darn impressive, huh?? I have an autographed copy of his first cookbook, "Frank Stitt's Southern Table", which is equally as fabulous as the companion book - "Bottega Favorita".

Last night was our first visit to the famous Bottega. I have to admit - I knew exactly what I was going to order before we even arrived. We had:

Parmesan Souffle with Prosciutto, Mushrooms and Thyme
Tanglewood Farms Chicken Saltimbocca
Riesling wine

Michael Deen's Lettuces (Ricotta, Spring Peas, Asparagus and Carrots)
Rigatoni with Niman Ranch Pork Sausage
Pinot Noir wine
Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake with Candied Pecans and Jack-Daniels Ice Cream

Everything was absolutey delicious. The meal was kicked off with scrumptious, warm bread, the finest olive oil, and a divine little plate of assorted olives. The parmesan souffle just melts in your mouth...the prosciutto and mushrooms balance it out perfectly and add texture. The Chicken Saltimbocca was pan-seared to perfection and the classic prosciutto/sage combination makes a heavenly marriage on the plate. Brad and I shared the dessert...and let me just say that this chocolate cake is so divine that it's sinful! The inside of the cake is nothing but oozy, delicious chocolate. The candied pecans at the bottom of the plate and the ice cream leave you wanting more!
Photo courtesy
The highlight of dinner for me, was certainly getting to meet Frank Stitt himself! From across the room, I thought that I saw him at the bar....but, I could only see his profile so I wasn't positive. I had read that he was usually at one of his other restaurants - Highlands Bar & Grill. So, I wasn't really expecting him to be there (I was secretly hoping he might be!). After finally deciding that it was him after all, Brad asked our wonderful waiter if I could meet him. He said "I'll see what I can do." After only a few seconds, out walks Frank our table! I was SO excited!!! Chef Stitt was so nice...we talked about our recent trip to Europe and I even mentioned my little food blog. I can't believe I didn't get a photo with him, though! I wish I had.
We enjoyed our dinner so much...Needless to say, we walked out of Bottega with full bellies and big smiles. We truly felt that we had been transported back to Italy for 2 hours. ;)

Be sure to check out these articles from Gourmet magazine about Frank Stitt:

And now on to WICKED...

So, we arrive at the theatre and I go straight to the souvenir line...I'm such a dork! There was a t-shirt that I wanted. You can see it HERE. After securing a shirt, we raced in to find our seats. We thought our seats were in the 5th row...and we were REALLY excited about that. But...our seats were actually in the 2ND ROW! Can you believe that? I was beyond excited. The show was AMAZING. If you ever have a chance to see Wicked, please don't pass it up. Everything from the acting to the songs to the props and costumes was just incredible.

What a wonderful, wonderful evening! :)


Christy said...

I'm so jealous of your evening-I've wanted to see Wicked forever! It will be here in Indy the first of June and I'm hoping to get tickets (and really good seats)!! I'm glad you had a fantastic night!!

Maryanna said...

I went to see Wicked this past Saturday night. I absolutely LOVED it!!!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Bottega's is one of my favorite places in Birmingham. I like it much better than the 'fancy' side. The atmosphere is even better than the food (if that is even possible).
I have those cookbooks too!!

Joelen said...

Ooh - this sounds like a fabulous night!