Enchanting Evening at Vermilion

Last night, Husband took me to a restaurant called Vermilion to celebrate my birthday. I had been to Vermilion somewhat recently, but I knew the menu had recently changed, and I was excited to go back. One thing I love about Vermilion is that they use local, farm-raised products whenever possible. We opted for the tasting menu with wine pairings.

The waiter said “I understand we’re celebrating a birthday tonight?” and my face must have looked panicked. I said “I’m sure you don’t sing here” and he assured me I didn’t need to worry, but that he’d take care of recognizing my birthday another way. That way, incidentally, was with extra wine and dessert. My kind of waiter.

The experience began with this amuse bouche*, butternut squash soup with pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds. It’s about the size of a shot glass and was delicioso!

So cute! I love to eat food with interesting presentation.

* Husband pulled that term out of his you know what. We Googled it right there at the table because I didn’t believe him.  Merf: 0, Husband: 1

Four courses, four half-glasses of wine. First glass was a 2009 Patrice Cacheux Chardonnay from Burgundy, France. See Husband back there? This is the most you may ever see of him!

The first course was supposed to be Carolina White Shrimp, but they hadn’t received their shrimp delivery, so instead we got fried oysters over a slaw made of fennel and spearmint. I was very hesitant and almost substituted something else, but I decided to trust the chef. Glad I did – it was very tasty!

Next up was Chesapeake Bay Rockfish with brussels sprouts, local apple, hazelnut, squash and pancetta. This was paired with a 2007 Francois Mikulski Pinot Noir, also from Burgundy, France.

Rockfish is Maryland’s state fish and is also known as Striped Bass. The meat is bright white and has a texture similar to salmon. It is listed as a “Best Choice” by the Seafood Watch program (we have this app on our iPhones and always check it before ordering seafood).

Next up was local all natural beef striploin served with pastrami, wild mushrooms, spring carrots, and green peppercorn. This was paired with a 2008 Celler Cecilio “Negre” garnacha blend from Priorat, Spain.

I am no wine expert, but I can tell quality wine from box wine. These wines went down very easily. It was absolutely worth the additional $30 to have the wine pairings.

P.S. I totally missed on the menu where it said this came with green peppercorns. I thought they were capers and ate five at once. So gross. The rest of this dish? Delectable.

All good things must come to an end, and the fourth course was dessert. The dessert on the tasting menu was rhubarb upside-down cake with candied marcona almonds and marscapone ice cream. It was paired with my new favorite wine ever, a 2008 Elio Perrone Moscato D’Asti from Piedmont, Italy. I absolutely must go buy a case bottle of this.

The bottle was almost gone, so check out my pour versus Husband’s. Lovely waiter.

My last little lovely surprise from the waiter was an extra dessert plate. It’s called “cookies and confections” and has homemade versions of a Hostess cupcake, cashew snickers, oatmeal cream pie, pudding pop, and black mint-chip ice cream.

They served it with a candle… and no singing.  This place really amuses my bouche.

This entry was posted in birthday, eat, review, vermilion. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Enchanting Evening at Vermilion

  1. Happy Birthday! I've never tried doing the tasting menu at a restaurant before, but for a birthday, it seems perfect! 🙂

  2. Hannah says:

    That cookies and confections plate! OMG! Birthday heaven! Happy birthday my dear – it's been such a pleasure getting to know you 🙂

  3. lindsay says:

    enchanting evening indeed! we all need those precious times with our loved ones. Just to soak in all the flavors, the conversation, etc.
    Looks perfect!

  4. Cherry Lane says:

    Yum! Looks like a great birthday celebration. What does your hubby think of you snapping pictures of all the food? People laugh at me when I do it.

    I don't know what I would have done if I'd been given oysters instead of shrimp. I'm not quite that adventurous. Good for you!

    I've sampled those Cookies and Confections – they are sooo good! Who knew a hostess cupcake could be improved? My favorite is the pudding pop.

  5. 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

    This looks totally perfect to me! And I've never heard of amuse bouche, too, I just know amuse gueule. Alas – Kath: 0, sophisticated culinary art expert who is also fluent in French: 1.

  6. Haha. It all looks as if it would amuse my bouche as well. 🙂

  7. That dessert looks too good to be true! Even better that there was no singing. I find that so humiliating, which means that my parents insist on it!

  8. Michele says:

    Great blog! always looking for new restaurants to try, you've sold this one and it's now on our list to try!
    hope you had a great bday.
    Michele K

  9. Happy birthday! I can see why you want to eat here forever:)

  10. Christine says:

    He doesn't mind me taking the pictures at all. I took them with my iPhone. He said, oh man, I meant to remind you to bring the nice camera, to take pictures of the food! ❤ my husband.

  11. Happy Birthday!!!!!

    The food and wine look amazing!
    So happy you didn't have the “singing”. I have nightmares about that type of thing after some bad experiences. My brother and I have the same birthday (seven years apart) and servers would always make a HUGE deal out of our birthday wherever we went out to eat as kids. (I think sometimes they thought my parents were lying, too). And, a few years ago at a lively Mexican restaurant for my birthday, I had a napkin full of whipped cream smooshed into my face, while being sung to. Classy, no? I. Was. Mortified.


  12. […] to be the best me that I can be. Skip to content HomeAbout MerfBooks to ReadRecipes ← Enchanting Evening at Vermilion What I Ate Wednesday […]

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