Ok I admit it…. I am a planner……the phrase ‘failing to plan, is planning to fail’ it really should be tattooed on my body. I am not sure this admission will in anyway facilitate my rehabilitation, as my predisposition to planning is so strong and I would argue genetic that it possible that it will never be overcome.
I have thought about this personality trait quite a bit. I have even tried to squash it in the face of opposition, read non planning lazy ex-boyfriends, but despite my best efforts it persists. Why? Personally I think that the reason I plan is that I love anticipation. The reality is that most pleasurable experiences are only fleeting. The anticipation of the rapture to come can last days, weeks and even months, depending on your delay of gratification skills 😉 Planning allows you to extend the excitement, by glimpsing, contemplating, preparing and even fantasizing about that future event. This is why I love to plan a menu for a dinner party and think about the table setting, the wine to be served, the shoes I will wear and equally importantly the music, because music like a dress code sends the signals of what to expect. Think about it, Cold Chisel and thongs, you are not thinking confit of duck! I suspect that this is not an unusual female trait. Who doesn’t love knowing that you have a special dinner coming up somewhere fabulous? You start thinking about what to wear, whether to go for cocktails first or what colour your nail polish should be.
My love for planning truly comes in to its own when going on holidays. I do a lot of research and plotting of my adventures, to ensure I can squeeze every last bit out of the experience. You can just imagine the frenzy I whipped myself up into for Orange….. all that wine and food, pleasure central! Now I realise that such unbridled enthusiasm and forethought is frankly annoying for other people, so when travelling with Miss Wallflower to Orange I tried very hard to limit my absolute must do’s to a few things only. One of these was dinner at Lolli Redini. I had heard such wonderful things about the restaurant and had looked at the menu and decided I could not leave Orange until I ate there. Miss Wallflower was happy to indulge me.
I booked us in for dinner on Thursday night. The menu is structured so you can have 2 courses for $60.00 or three for $80.00. We had decided to do two courses. One of us would get an entrée and the other a dessert thereby getting the best of both worlds and limiting our gluttony. The restaurant is situated in town, in a small house. There are a reasonable number of tables but it maintains an intimacy and was well heated, which I was very grateful for given how cold Orange was during our visit.
We started with the cheese soufflé, I am told this is Lolli Redini’s signature dish. The soufflé was made with Gruyère cheese. As you would expect it was light and fluffy, while at the same time having a silky consistency. A mouthful was like a cheese cloud on your tongue.
It came with a sauce that carried a hint of blue vein character. The sauce was the perfect complement to the soufflé as it was luscious and velvety. On top of the cheese soufflé was a chiffonnade of spinach which at first I suspected was one of those unnecessary cheffy embellishments, but it was in fact a perfect sharp contrast to the cheese. It had been cooked with pear and hazelnuts which gave crunch and tang.
Miss Wallflower had the veal with potato dauphinoise, with spinach and mixed exotic mushrooms. The veal was rare and was buttery and tender. The mushrooms were superb, robust in flavour and fragrance.
I had the lamb on Caponata with eggplant and an olive mash. The Caponata was a perfect balance of sweetness and the pine nuts popped in the mouth when chewed adding a toasty aromatic counterpoint. The salty olives against the medium rare cooked lamb and the sharply sweet tomatoes created a balanced and truly delightful plate. I had a Collector Wines 2008 Marked Tree Shiraz with my main course.
We finished with a strawberry parfait Mille Feuille. The pastry was a flaky buttery delight that cracked as we plunged our spoons in. Between the layers of pastry was a strawberry parfait that was creamy but not heavy on the palate. The strawberry sorbet that came on top was clean and fresh and the whole dish really showcased the flavour of the strawberries. I really needed a private room in which to consume this delightful dessert and I think Miss Wallflower was grateful that the tables were spaced a good distance apart so that people couldn’t hear my lip smacking and little moans of delight.
The service was attentive without being overbearing and the staff knew what they were serving and were happy to answer questions. While the meal may only have lasted hours, I can tell you the anticipation was worth it! 🙂
Are you a planner?