My first amazing meal

Going out to dinner was the last thing that crossed my mind following the sailboat ride through choppy waters which caused one member of our party to vomit and everyone to feel nauseous. But it turned out to be one of the top five meals of my life.

Tomorrow, my family and I are going back to Madeline Island for a long weekend. The center piece of the trip is returning to that restaurant where I had my first amazing restaurant meal. Like a good book, I wanted to wade deeper into the meal, to taste everything, but also didn’t want it to end.

I’ve had better meals since, at TruCharlie Trotter’sJean Luc Figueras and now-defunct Trio (when Alinea‘s Grant Achatz was there). But this meal was the first time I became truly excited about the eating experience. I wanted to talk about the food, not just eat it.

I have lost my copy of the menu, which I kept stuffed into my copy of Larousse Gastronomique, but I still remember what I ate. Duck “saltimbocca” with wild rice-stuffed crepes and seared foie gras.

It was the first time I had eaten fatten duck’s liver. I was amazed to find how it did melt deliciously in your mouth and coated your tongue in a bath of fatty goodness just like I had read about.

What will be most interesting for me to discover upon my return is whether the restaurant can live up to my expectations this time. The first time to Wild Rice I had no expectations but now what I expect from a restaurant is much more.