Ali and I Celebrate Three Years Together at Rocco

Today is the day Ali and I first met three years ago … who can believe it? Huh? You?

Anyway, we went to the new Italian place Rocco (165 Monroe Ave., formerly The Olive Tree). I saw some notes on RocWiki on challenges in getting reservations [yeah, I know — in Rochester] so we set up ours two days earlier. As it turned out, the relatively small establishment was not completely full at any time while we were there.

The food was very good. Both of us were more impressed with the lasagne that Ali got than with the penne with pepper and spinach that I got. The tomato sauce on the former was the best Rochester has to offer. We had a nice bottle of wine (off the slightly confusing page of "everything is $25").

We decided to try 3 desserts, expecting them to be quite modest in size. My favorite was the maple and almond dish, sort of like a crème brûlée, minus the crisp top. The hazelnut gellato was great too. Although the canoli's were merely tasted (before being stored at my house, and consumed before they lost their freshness on Sunday), the nice lemon zest flavor was perfect.

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Ten Whole Years

As best I can remember and as best I can tell, the first official meeting at O'Bagelo's (165 State St.) happened on January 16, 1999.  So now it's ten years later to the day and, despite not stopping by this weekend, I'm still basically going every week.  It used to be a hub of activity for all my college friends to catch up on the week.  As the years passed, though, friends moved away, or they just stopped coming.  In the interim, I started writing up events for this crazy website and have pretty much kept with it every week.  Looking back, it sure seems like a lot of work.

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Two most excellent years with Ali

Today is Ali's and my second anniversary together.

To celebrate, we decided to go to Rooney's Restaurant (90 Henrietta St.) for a fancy meal. I was fortunate to have discovered a postcard under the computer that reminded me they had a special chef coming for the week so I made reservations a few days early. [Can you imagine that?: reservations. A few days early. In Rochester. Who knew?]

The guest chef was from Brasserie Georges Lyon (30, Cours Verdun Perrache, Lyon, FR) and had set up a special French menu. We started with the Lyonnais salad — a mesclun salad topped with chopped bacon and a poached egg, perfectly matched to the mild vinaigrette dressing. For dinner, Ali had the beef tenderloin over mushrooms with mashed potatoes — the beef was spectacular and the potatoes were deliciously prepared with a massive amount of cream. I ordered the Lyonnais pike quenelles — essentially puréed pike made into a soufflé and floated in a puréed lobster-and-mushroom bisque. Although the word "purée" doesn't sound all that appetizing, the meal certainly was. We even got dessert: Ali the crème brûlée and I the flourless chocolate cake. Both were amazing.

Afterward we headed back home. Unfortunately this was the start of a flu-like illness that kept Ali home all weekend, so I was left on my own while she rested.

In the end, though, I wonder how we can keep having such great anniversaries. After all, we have a lot of them to come.

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