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Christmas Dinner

This weekend I took members of my family out to a nice lunch as part of their Christmas present, a tradition I’ve maintained for years and likely will for a long while yet, given how much we all enjoy it.

The food itself, of course, is part of the pleasure, since we tend to go to higher-end restaurants. This year was The Snow Squall Restaurant, and we were all excited that an actual snow squall didn’t keep us from going. (Considering the number of storms and amount of snow earlier in the week, we definitely lucked out.)

We all had wonderful food, with very generous portions. I loved my salmon roasted on a cedar plank, with a side of quinoa and vegetables. The fish was perfectly cooked, moist and tender to cut with a fork, the cauliflower and shaved Brussels sprouts in my salad still had a crunch, and the spinach had a perfect amount of olive oil.

We also tried to leave room for dessert, since all of their options sounded so good. I went for the turtle tart – it was smaller than I expected, but I certainly didn’t need more. The combination of chocolate and caramel is a hard one to beat for me.

So all that was good, but the experience itself is also what makes this such a treasured tradition. It’s wonderful to gather in a relaxed time and place sometime after the holiday craziness has died down, to have a chance to catch up and visit. It’s also a nice change to occasionally have someone else do the cooking and cleaning, and to be served, particularly when the wait staff is as attentive and considerate as at The Snow Squall.

For instance, we initially sat by a window, which was cool enough that a couple of people put on their coats. The staff immediately noticed and invited us to move to a table next to the fireplace, which was much cozier. They were also great about keeping our water glasses full, making sure we had refills of other beverages if we wanted them, and maintaining that fine line between keeping an eye on us and giving us space.

Overall, I don’t think it could have gone any better, and while I probably ate a little more than I needed, I’m okay with that, since I thoroughly enjoyed it and will remember it for a long time to come.

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