Yesterday was my wife Teresa’s sixtieth birthday. We have had some very memorable experiences on her birthday over the years. Eleven years ago, she said yes when I asked her if she would marry me at the Grove Island Hotel in Coconut Grove. I took her for her first visit to New York City when she turned fifty. We visited the Met, climbed Lady Liberty, snagged third-row seats for the Jersey Boys on Broadway, enjoyed an after-show dessert at Sardi’s, and so, so much more. We did a trip to Vermont the next year where everything I planned seemed to go wrong, but we had a fabulous time that we still laugh and smile about.
When I started to plan her birthday this past summer, I wanted to do something special. Like everyone, last year was a “bust” for us from a travel perspective. Unfortunately, the Delta spike just started to ramp here in the US as I was planning what we might do. It was hard to tell if transmission rates would curve down by October. Even though we were both vaccinated, I discussed it with Teresa and we decided to be cautious and not travel again this year. I made reservations at a couple of our local favorite restaurants for this weekend to celebrate instead.
We kicked off the weekend last night with a fabulous dinner at Chef William Lawson’s Mimi’s Table. Mimi’s Table prepares French, Italian, and Southern-inspired cuisine. I have posted about some of the great dinners we have had there before. It is a small, comfortable, and inviting dining room. The building dates to the 1950s and was originally Dalton Pharmacy. We enjoy the tables by the front windows.
Reservations were simple through the online form on the Mimi’s Table website. I sent a message through the site letting them know we would be celebrating Teresa’s birthday and requesting one of the tables by the windows. We got there a few minutes late. We were greeted as soon as we walked in and taken to the corner table by the window. Our server Caroline came by to meet us and see if we wanted water and anything else to drink.
We have some favorite dishes on the Mimi’s Table menu. Last night we decided to branch out and try some dishes we hadn’t tasted before. If you have read any of my previous posts about our dining experiences, you know that Teresa and I like to share plates. We do each plate as a “course” so we can enjoy the experience of each dish together. Caroline gave us great insight to help us make our choices.
Since it was Teresa’s birthday, we ordered a bottle of the Zardetto Prosecco. It was light, dry, and very flavorful. The chef also sent over a small tasting plate to start our meal off. It was a very pretty, multi-colored couscous. The acid balance was perfect which made it a very refreshing way to start the meal.
Our first course was the Crispy Artichokes Hearts with preserved lemon, garlic & parsley aioli. Chef Lawson has a very deft hand preparing fried dishes. The batter is light and the dish sheds almost no oil once it is served. The artichoke hearts were fresh and meaty. The seasoning was done just right. We love the calamari he serves, but this will challenge it on future visits.
The next course was the Wild Sea Scallops which are fresh jumbo scallops served on a bed of grilled corn salsa, arugula, and creole remoulade. This dish is a favorite of ours. We have it on almost every visit. As always the scallops were cooked perfectly. We did feel the amount of salsa and remoulade was a bit less than they normally serve. That took away from our enjoyment of the dish just a bit.
The next course was the Australian Lamb Shank. This was the star of the night. The lamb is served red wine braised and deboned with Moroccan spice. It is served with toasted couscous, crispy Brussel sprouts, and sweet potato ribbons. The flavor profile of this dish is just fabulous.
To wrap up the meal, we each ordered desserts to share with each other. Teresa ordered Mimi’s Key Lime Pie with a graham cracker crust and whipped cream. I had the Tiramisu which is done with mascarpone cream, ladyfingers, espresso, and rum. We ordered a glass of the Quinta De La Rosa Tawny Port which tastes of figs, honey, and roasted almonds to go with our desserts. We also ordered the Chocolate Decadent Brownie to bring home to our son. It is topped with salted caramel chocolate and whipped cream. Teresa’s key lime pie could have been just a touch tarter, but it was delicious. The tiramisu was also done very well, but the flavors were a bit light for me. I was raised on the tiramisu made in the North End of Boston where the expresso and rum flavors are really bold. The brownie lasted about 10 seconds after we got home, so I think it “hit the spot” as well.
Thanks for a memorable night!
We can’t thank Will Lawson and his entire team at Mimi’s Table enough for helping us celebrate Teresa’s birthday. The chef came out to wish her a happy birthday and thank us for coming. It is just fabulous having a local place that creates such great food and wonderful experiences. If you live in the area or are visiting, we strongly recommend having Mimi’s Table on your “must try” list. You can make reservations here.