Imperfect Paradise by Dan Dembiczak - I'm so proud of Dan Dembiczak, whose first novel - Imperfect Paradise - is available for sale in both eBookor Paperback on Amazon.com! The story follows ...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
For breakfast today, I just grabbed a carrot muffin at the hotel before we headed to the airport.
After arriving in Hilo, collecting our bags, and getting our rental car, we still had several hours before we were okayed to check in to The Falls at Reeds Island, so we got some lunch at a little sports bar type pub called Cronie's. Both Dan & I went for the Kalua Pork Caesar Salad - which was a delicious way to get some of our favorite kalua pork without it being heavy. It also came with some really great bread, worth mentioning. It was grilled on both sides, but unlike the bread usually tossed on the side of a salad plate, it was soft and tasty - not dry and overbaked.
Although our official anniversary was yesterday, today we celebrated in style by checking in to the house we were married at (for the next 3 nights), and having an anniversary dinner at Cafe Pesto - the restaurant we had our 'rehearsal' dinner at last year.
I started out with the Pohoiki Passion - a Cuervo margarita with mango puree and lilikoi juice, plus a rim of li hing mui. It was what I drank at the rehearsal dinner, and really loved (and if memory serves, so did Anna, my sister, and a few other folks at the dinner).
We ordered some of their delicious, uncharacteristically thin focaccia bread, topped with locally made herbed goat cheese.
I enjoyed a bowl of the soup of the day, a black bean & eggplant bisque that was very flavorful - so much so, I think I slurped it all down in record time.
Dan opted for the Volcano salad, featuring lots of locally grown ingredients, and topped with a pile of crispy fried onions.
For my entree, I couldn't resist the fresh catch of the day - ahi tuna - seared rare and served in a leek cream sauce, paired with truffled mashed potatoes and a little caprese salad of local tomatoes, pea shoots, and capers. I'm glad I did, because it was incredible.
Dan chose the chicken & mushroom risotto, which was apparently also really, really great.
We had originally planned (or so Dan thought) to partake of the great desserts at Cafe Pesto, but I made other arrangements. Since we couldn't save the top tier of our wedding cake, freeze it, then enjoy it on our anniversary, as is the tradition, I tracked down the pastry chef who made the cake for us and asked her to remake the top tier for us. She expressed her artistic license with the purple frosting that wasn't on the original cake, but she also added some purple dendrobium orchids, a touch I hadn't bothered to request, using a picture she had of the cake that we sent her after the ceremony as a guide.
Filled with lilikoi filling and covered in vanilla buttercream, it was just as good as I remembered it. If you're ever in Hilo and in need of pastries or a cake, I highly recommend e-Claire's Bakery on Waianuenue.
(Dan's writing all about our trip over at our other blog, The Dans In Hawai`i, so I'll just stick to writing what I know: food.)