The scale may tell a different story, but a week after leaving fat camp, I am feeling quite good about my menu choices and portion control. It helped to be in the land of the beautiful people of course. Cuisine in Orange County, CA is a far cry from the choices offered in Itchy Ankle, MD.
Last night Milhous treated me to dinner at the Studio restaurant at the Montage, Laguna Beach, which must be one of the most beautiful places to eat in America. We sat outside at sunset, overlooking the ocean and were waited on by the charming and attentive Cameron, who looked like a young Michael Douglas. Our amuse bouche presented no problems–a tiny piece of tiger shrimp with a micro-salad. These portions were designed to find favor with the Real Housewives, who are much more strict about calories than Duke Diet and Fitness Center.
My appetizer was sashimi and was almost too beautiful to eat. I managed though.
Peter tucked into steak tartare—fabulous, but it doesn’t photograph well–followed by a lamb chop, lamb loin, tabbouleh and bok choy. I had halibut with roasted and shredded brussel sprouts and ratatouille-stuffed squash blossom. Divine.
We both drank only water but when we got back to our bungalow we crumbled and opened a bottle of Malbec provided compliments of the hotel. It’s just too hard to pass up free drink. We had a glass each and shared the chocolates left by the PMW pillow–two each and completely delicious.
Out and about in Laguna Beach earlier in the day, we had lunch at Nick’s. We shared some shrimp ceviche (it looked and tasted great although the shrimp had been cooked, not just allowed to marinade in the lime juice) and then I had an ahi tuna appetizer which came with a miso-dressed salad—edamame with zucchini cut in small perfect circles. This was a sodium crime, but otherwise entirely DFC approved.
The night before we tried the Maro Wood Grill, which an Argentine chef opened at the beginning of 2011. It’s a tiny restaurant, but you should go if you can get a seat. We each had a mushroom and onion empanada to start (I know–pastry. But they were made on the premises and too good to pass up) and then a 6oz filet mignon which was served with 3 colors of beets. It also came with sourdough toast with a marscapone schmeer. I ate one piece –it really was the perfect compliment to the meat and jewel-colored veg.
For breakfast every day I had fruit and a cup of coffee. The rest of the time I drank water. I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t feel short-changed.