Monday, September 8, 2008


Sometimes when you least expect it, someone comes along and does something nice for you. My mom is often one of these somebodies! Last week she offered to cook dinner for us every night. Am I lucky or what? After some hesitation, I mean she does watch my child 3 days a week so I don't want to overwork the poor lady, I agreed. To say this was wonderful would be the understatement of the century! She had treated like this once before the week of my birthday but somehow I enjoyed this one even more. I think it's because it was one of those no-need-for-a-special-occasion-type of things that made it even more special and of course appreciated. Mom, Wes, and I (and Colin) all have similar palates and will eat just about anything. She and I both love surprises so each meal was a total surprise. That was nice but the real treat was not having to plan, shop, prepare, and clean up for an ENTIRE week! Although she used many recipes I had made before, they somehow tasted even better when she made them. If you cook at all, you know that someone else's peanut butter sandwich always tastes better than the one you made, probably because you didn't have to make it. Thanks Mom, I enjoyed each and every morsel!

To show some type of gratification, I treated Mom to dinner Saturday night at Serafini's in Frankfort. This is the sister (or brother) of Portofino and The Summit in Lexington. Since both of those restaurants are generally good, I thought this one should be of the same caliber. Thankfully, it was! It was even perhaps better than Portofino's. Since Colin was it tow, I was glad that we were the only patrons when we arrived. Not that Colin is bad, he is just a remorseless eating machine and wants to tell everyone about it. A few other diners did come in and I'm sure they were glad when we left. Colin literally grunted (this is what he does to indicate he wants another bite, despite the fact his mouth is already crammed full of the last bite) the entire time we were eating. I ultimately stopped eating so that I could get him out of his seat because he had taken to crying hysterically. It could have been because he wanted more to eat, he was tired, his teeth were hurting, or he was just being a pistol. We walked over to the windows and he calmed down. I took that as I sign that I had eaten enough, which was probably very much the case. The evening was absolutely beautiful and the restaurant is on a quaint, railroad split road, across from a city park. There was some type of festival going on in the park so there was live music. Mom thoroughly enjoyed herself and that's what the night was all about.

On to the food review. The menu is divided similarly to that of Portofino's - appetizers/salads, pasta dishes, and main entrees. Then of course they have nightly specials, as if the regular menu wasn't comprehensive enough! I am not a huge appetizer fan because I find they are usually grease laden and fill me up too much before the much anticipated dinner course. I am, however, often tempted by salads. Now that I am so interested in cooking, I find myself looking at restaurants to get ideas that I can copy for dinner. The menu included 2 salads, one a KY Bison Flank Steak Salad, and the other a Apple & Goat Cheese salad. Although the steak salad was quite tempting with the various nut, cheese, and dried fruit garnishments, Mom and I both opted for the Apple & Goat Cheese salad because it was offered as a "small" salad. Wow, I could have stopped there. It's not that the salad was particularly large, it was just so darn tasty. I'm not usually one to rave about salads because I generally find them quite blase, but this salad garners special attention. There wasn't anything inventive about it, the flavors just melded well. A bed of mesclun greens were topped with thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, super soft goat cheese crumbles, candied pecans, and tossed in a mustard vinaigrette. My taste buds are dancing just thinking about it!

Although the reviews I had read online all commented on the service, or lack thereof, we found our server to be quite attentive and very efficient. Perhaps it was because I had a loud infant and he was trying to graciously push us out the door, but whatever the case may have been we appreciated it. Our dinner course followed quickly behind the removal of our salad plates. Oh yes and somewhere in between here we were served a small plate of ciabatta bread slices, nothing fancy, nothing to write home about, in fact Colin was the only one to even sample the bread. The entrees arrived and were quite ample. I ordered the Spinach and Three Cheese Ravioli and I added salmon. My mom ordered the Sauteed Sea Scallops with Yukon mashers and wilted kale. We ordered these 2 dishes with the intention of sampling each others but with Colin in full on grunt mode, I was distracted and we didn't really get to divide half and half. We did however sample one another's food. My ravioli were huge, probably 4x4 squares. They were green, thus the spinach, and were filled with a ricotta, and I'm guessing parsley, mixture. The sauce had a smorgasbord of ingredients, ranging from sun-dried tomatoes, to nuts, to mushrooms, to pearl onions, all in a tomato-based sauce. The optional salmon that I selected was atop the bowl, chunk style. I'm not sure I would opt for the salmon on a second visit because I don't think I got enough salmon to merit the up charge. It was also slightly overcooked and just didn't provide much flavor intensification. As I mentioned earlier, I ended up taking half of my entree home, but Wes was thrilled the next day to have it for lunch. For what it's worth, he agreed that it was quite tasty.

My mom's entree, the scallops, were in a pool of blood orange, cranberry, browned butter sauce. The sauce was quite tasty but a tad sweet and I think I would be tired of it after a few bites. The scallops, 5 of them, were quite large and cooked well. I've developed a bias about the cooking of scallops since eating them at Azur - no one cooks them as perfectly as they do, but I digress. Her scallops were arranged around a mound of mashed potatoes, Yukon mashers as they called them, and topped with a few leaves of wilted kale. I would have preferred more kale and less mashers but she thoroughly enjoyed her entree.

We had to skip dessert since Colin was ready to go. I must have been distracted though because part of the reason I had chosen this restaurant was because of a blurb I had read in the Herald about them featuring peaches in their desserts. Both Mom and I love peaches and I was eager to see what concoctions they had come up with using peaches. Of course I didn't think about that until we were almost home. Oh well, must have been yet another voice telling us we didn't need it. Darn those voices!

If you're looking for a nice restaurant, somewhat off the beaten path, while enjoying a picturesque country drive, I recommend Serafini in Frankfort. To my knowledge, they do not have a website so you'll have to call for a faxed copy of the menu, if you're interested.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading your review! The sound of the salad alone makes me want to drive to Frankfort...