Thursday, April 4, 2013


The girls (SWMBO and the BRD) and I dined at the House at Secret Garden last night.  It's a wonderful restaurant co-owned by a mother and son, Pat and Dustin Christofolo.  Dustin is the chef and a fantastic one.  Unfortunately I took no photos so you'll just have to savor this in your mind.

We shared an appetizer of the house specialty - Sweet Potato Planks.  They are grilled rounds of sweet potato, topped with creme fraiche, scallions and pancetta wheels.  They are two-bite-sized and delicious.  We also shared a cheese tray of (our choices) Black Mesa Goat Cheese, Life in Provence Double Cream Brie, and Point Reyes Blue Cheese accompanied by grilled bread, dried cranberries, golden raisins, figs and salted almonds.  It sounds like a lot of food but it really wasn't.  

And we went on!  The girls each had Shrimp and Grits with bacon, baby carrots, corn and Serrano peppers for their entrees and I had (what do you suppose?) Lemon Chicken with smashed potatoes.  I had a taste of the grits because I am a notable opponent of them.  They were good and tasted more like risotto to me.

All of that and a bottle of wine made for some happy campers.

The restaurant is located in an old Spanish mansion under tall trees near to South Mountain.  It's a wonderful place with exquisite food.

And then when we got home, I found an email from my cousin Bonnie in Montana (she of bluegrass fame) with a picture of one of my favorite cookies from my childhood.  My mother used to make these.

They're chocolate cookies with chocolate frosting.  They may have been my start into a life of chocolate addiction.  Thanks for the picture, Cuz.  I haven't seen these in many years.


  1. While you were pigging out last night; I was watching a Nova program on the value of fasting; especially the new 5-2 Diet of 5 days of eating anything and two separate days of 500 calories for women or 600 calories for men.

  2. Sounds and looks worth a bite or two.

  3. It appears that you've found a wonderful place. Delicious.

  4. You had me at the Provence Brie. Guess the move has put you perilously close to the fine food belt

  5. Chocolate cookies with chocolate frosting? Can't beat that!

  6. Wow! That sounds wonderful.

    Like you I'm not a great fan of grits. I don't hate them, I just find then tasteless. But they slide down easy enough, so there's no work involved in eating them....meh. :)


  7. Love Grits. Glad to see thet're making it on more and more menus. In the old days, could only get them at Dennys or home. I rfemember how shocked I was that my aunt served potatoes for breakfast.

  8. It's sounds like a very good address. Very close to The Farm then... a nice place to discover too.
    Yes Chandler has radically changed over the last few years...

  9. My mother made the same cookies with a pecan on top. I would bet your mom and my mom shared the recipe.


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