My Irish Greek Valentine

Photo Feb 13, 4 03 03 PM

 

Presidents’ Day and Valentines Day have been on the same weekend the past 2 years, and I’ve spent both of them in Ireland since it’s a long weekend. This has not gone over well with D. But the flights are so cheap in February, and I’m just going to visit a girlfriend, so good weather is not a necessity when we spend most of our time drinking tea and catching up.

While I was there, M’s mother-in-law won a cake at her grandson’s cake sale at school. (That’s Irish for bake sale. :)) Aside from being gorgeous, it was a very interesting “cake”. They call it chocolate biscuit cake, and it’s apparently quite the thing there. The “cake” tastes like fudge chock full of shortbread cookies. It is dense, a tiny bit dry, and really unlike cake in every way. A few bites are good, but then it becomes cloyingly sweet. I found a recipe for it on Epicurious, but I’m not sure I would actually make one.

Photo Feb 14, 4 01 01 PM

 

For Valentine’s Day, M and I had a girl date at a lovely Greek restaurant called Cape Greko  in downtown Malahide. With a very modern, and non-traditional Greek interior I wondered if we would get standard Greek food or an interpretation of it. Having not been to Greece myself, I can only speculate, but it seemed to be the contemporary version of Greek food – like one would get at a nice restaurant in Athens. All of the usual suspects were on the menu – spanikopita, moussaka, gyro, etc. – as well as some other items, such as a vegetable mezze. Once I laid eyes on this mezze I couldn’t consider anything else. And I was astounded at the bountiful, beautifully arranged wooden platter of vegetables they placed in front of me.

Starting on the left and going clockwise, there were thinly-sliced roasted beets with tatziki sauce, grilled holumi, some of the most flavorful grilled vegetables I’ve ever had, and two beautiful falafel. Alongside this goodness? Two adorable miniature crocks of tatziki sauce and roasted red pepper hummus. It was spectacular.

But even better was the company. We shared a bottle of wine and talked and talked. Which is the best part of any meal.

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