AKA – my epic birthday dinner.
Yesterday was my birthday. And my birthday used to be my most favorite day of the year. The thrill is gone.
Well, not entirely. I still love the excuse to get together with all of my favorite people. And the excuse to indulge in a truly decadent meal. This year, Jerry took me to a place I’ve been wanting to try for a while, Off The Hook.
As you can imagine, it’s a seafood restaurant. And if you’ve ever been to Monterey Bay, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for. Off The Hook is the brainchild of MB’s former owners. The menu is very similar and just as delicious.
After we were seated, the waitress came to our table to review the specials. “They are baking some fresh bread but while we wait, let me tell you about our features this evening…”. Excuse me? You had me at baking bread.
Here’s the low down on our meal:
Fresh baked, herb rolls – hot, herby and amazing
The Combo Appetizer (2 Jumbo shrimp, dusted in Cajun seasoning and seared on a white hot skillet. Served with orange horseradish marmalade, a skewer of bite size pieces of tuna, salmon & swordfish marinated in a ginger soy sauce and finished with a Ancho Chili aioli and a signature Jumbo lump crab cake served with Remoulade sauce) – the star of this was the Ichiban skewer. That fish was so flavorful! Even a fish hater would like it.
Jenny: French Onion Soup – That massive mound of cheese covered some of the best FO soup I’ve ever had. Tons of flavor but without the saltiness that sometimes overpowers it. And did I mention massive amounts of cheese. It was really good. I could’ve ended dinner right there.
Jerry: Caesar Salad – Jerry opted for no anchovies. And he said it was decent.
Lobster Whipped Potatoes – allow me to repeat…Lobster. Whipped. Potatoes. These were insane. The sides are served family style and this could feed 4 people easily. The lobster was perfect and the potatoes were whipped with at lease 5 lbs of butter. So creamy and rich, I only had a small portion of them. But they were worth every calorie.
There was really no reason for me to eat another bite. But we both ordered entrees…and it was my birthday, soooooooo….
Jenny: Halibut Parmesan Style – Coated with Parmesan cheese, sautéed, with a white wine, lemon and black pepper cream sauce
Jerry – Black Grouper with Chorizo and cream – char grilled chorizo sausage with sautéed fennel and onions and smoked paprika cream
I win! I win! Jerry’s Grouper was good but it paled in comparison to my Halibut. At this point I was so full that I only ate a quarter of it. But that fish was unreal. It was light (surprisingly) and flaky, but moist. Just perfect.
And because it was my birthday, I got a free dessert. Crème Brulee for the win! Bourbon vanilla bean custard, torched to perfection. Yes, yes it was.
The food was outstanding but really, really heavy. They supposedly have a great happy hour with 1/2 priced appetizers and 1/2 priced wine/beer/cocktails. We easily could have split the Appetizer combo and each had a salad…and been completely satisfied. Next time.
It was a great birthday!