October 6, 2008

Happy birthday to me

Our cozy table at Chez Panisse
We sat right by the open kitchen. It is so fun to watch them cook, but it did get a bit toasty!
Last time I was here, that pedestal with the peppers on it,had beautiful persimons on it
the restaurant is very dimly lit,so I apologize for this one and the next one

My sister gave me these gorgeous PJ's along with a matching travel bag
Nicole and Pierre gave me this beautiful necklace and....
these charming place card holders for the table. I can't wait to use them for Thanksgiving! Thanks guys.
Caitlin always makes great cards for the family,some are hilarious with inside jokes,and others are just plain old adorable like this one

I always get a little bit of birthday money from my in laws,and this is what I bought with my birthday money this year,along with some nice pants.

As you can see from above I had a very lovely birthday with the family this weekend. The dinner at Chez Panisse was wonderful as usual and I love where we sat. Like I said above though, it can get a bit toasty,as they are cooking over a grill in the corner. The menu was as follows:

An aperitif

Catalan Salad

Local spiny lobster
with tomatoes and saffron

Grilled Wolfe Ranch quail with chorizo,sweet peppers,and vegetables paella

Black Mission fig tart
with caramel ice cream

Chez Panisse always has a surprise it seems,because if you looked at the web site to see what they were serving on my birthday, instead of the Catalan Salad, they were going to do a white gazpacho soup, and instead of the lobster, they were going to serve fresh prawns grilled. Its a combination of the chefs changing their minds at the last minute or,the ingredients not being available to them,either way, I think that is what makes this restaurant unique and just fantastic.The menu in the end always turns out great. Some people have an issue with the prix fix menu, and if you are picky ,then this might not be the place for you,since you can't order anything else.They do have an upstairs cafe,that you can choose what you want,and not as fancy. I have on occasion, looked at the menu that we had reservations for,and wasn't thrilled. I reserve my opinion until I finish the meal though, and I have always been surprised in a good way and sometimes completely blown away with what they can do with say, chicken. It is hard to describe unless you have been there, but everyone must go if they can.
You may have noticed that I didn't post what my lovely husband gave me for my birthday,but I'm doing a post on it tomorrow,since it deserves a whole post to itself. He is the best gift giver EVER, so you will have to stay tuned until tomorrow.
I didn't want this post to be super long, so I didn't include the other lovely gifts I got from friends and other family members. My dad gave me a beautiful needle point kit for a pillow, I'll show it at a later date,when I start working on it. I also got a nice fall decoration from my friend that I blogged about(my pen pal Carolyn) Thank you everyone for a great day!!


  1. So, let's just say that there's no END to my jealousy right now. !!!

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Happy Birthday!!
    It looks like you had a wonderful day! Yayy!!! I hope the special birthday feelings keep going on and on and on.

  3. looks like a wonderful birthday! i love those shoes!

  4. If you want more of your birthday pictures im going to put them on my flickr soon!

  5. Happy Happy Birthday! What a wonderful time! Everthing looks perfect...the family, the place, and THOSE SHOES!!! L-O-V-E! Hope the rest of your week is wonderful too!

  6. wow, looks like you had a wonderful birthday!

  7. who are those 3 beauties ?!!!
    every lady that night chez panisse must have been jealous (and every gentleman too !)
    i absolutely love the card you got from Nicole ! and the shoes are very very feminine -- what are you going to wear them with ?
    glad to read about a great time and a lovely evening (thre's nothing like love and good company on a special day !)

  8. Happy birthday to you! It looks like you had a splendid birthday! By the way, you look way too young to have an 18 year old!

  9. Your daughter could be the sister of a 16 year old girl I know. The resemblance is amazing to me. I'll try to get a picture and send it to you