Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Brunch at Grand Hotel Europe

I'd heard about this brunch, and finally an opportunity to go arose, so Terry and I decided to have an early anniversary celebration. Our reservation was for 1pm, which is when the brunch opens. I take issue a bit with a brunch that does not begin until 1pm - that's lunch - but I quickly got over it.

We started with a glass of champagne and headed to the cold zakuski and salads. The smoked fish (3 different kinds) were all too smoky for me, the beef carpaccio too bland (although later it seems to have gotten seasoned, so I guess I just dove in too early). The satsivi was good, as were a couple of other salads I no longer remember. Should have been taking notes during the meal! They also had a whole row of fresh juices and milkshakes so I made a carrot-orange mix. Later I tried something red and it's some kind of mixed berry with an emphasis on strawberry. Both were very yum. Terry got the fresh OJ alone and reported it was very fresh squeezed.

Next was blini with red ikra, smetana, and chives plus potato pancakes I dabbed some cranberry vodka sauce on, a few pieces of sushi and maki, and some fresh salmon, one cold smoked and one one marinaded. The blini was excellent, the potato a bit too spongy but the sauce was delish, and I thought the smoked salmon was the highlight. The tuna sushi was inedible and I unfortunately warned Terry too late so we both got a mouthful. The rice was off too, but the salmon maki wasn't too bad and it satisfied my seaweed craving. We were served a small glass of vodka for this course.

There's some Asian theme running through the hotel this month so a cart came by with duck moo shu. I jumped on it as I super love duck. The bird was a bit dry and the sauce a bit too salty. Disappointment, although I should have known better to expect good east Asian food in Piter.

Next up, the meats. I got a slice of prime rib, a slice of veal, and a too-big portion of fish pie. These were, hands, down, the highlights thus far. The fish pie was too much only because I was already stuffed to the gills by this time, but it was 3 layers of different fish with the rice layer and the pastry all around it. Y.U.M.  We had red wine with this.

Finally of course came the dessert. I said to Terry I was going to find a way to stuff some of everything into my belly but really, that was an empty threat. I did manage to taste the blini with fruit sauce, a small skewer of fresh fruit, a cake we were attracted to by its enormous blackberry adorning each slice, some fresh passion fruit, several truffles (mint, coconut, some kind of tea) and a cappuccino. Later the waiter also brought me mint tea, which my belly sorely needed.

We spent a bit more than three hours eating, and it is now 5 hours since we stopped. I still haven't felt the slightest pang of hunger, although my stomach is no longer bloated or painful.

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