Birthday Dinner Report

Last night Bill took me out for my birthday dinner. Yes, it was two weeks late, but that's just how the schedule worked out. We went to Forbes Mill Steak House, which we had discovered earlier this year when we went to Pinot Paradise. The restaurant had a booth there and they were giving out free kobe beef (American kobe) skewers. The restaurant is in downtown Los Gatos, which incidentally is a lot bigger and more upscale than downtown Palo Alto, IMHO.

We had 8 o'clock reservations and we got there right on the dot. The place was packed. Walk-ins were still being entertained, but they were having to wait 90 minutes to get tables. Patio seating was open, but since it was chilly last night there were few takers, even though they had heat lamps out. We weren't seated right away, and we had a chance to do some people watching while waiting.

Ran into Anton, an old friend/coworker of mine from back when I worked at the PD. He's a cool guy. He always used to give me wine, for my birthday and Christmas. He mentioned that I used to email him and now I don't. Maybe I should start again... free wine? LOL.

We also saw two players from the San Francisco 49ers. Cody Pickett was there with a girl from his hometown in Idaho (yes, I was sort of eavesdropping). Alex Smith was there with his family. Cody was nice and fit. Bill didnt' think Alex was cute, and I'm still undecided. He definitely looked better in person than on TV, though. He was wearing this ugly black and red shirt with an argyle print.

Ok, enough of that. Back to the restaurant:

The dining area is dimly lit, which is how practically every high-end steak house is in this country. I don't know why. We were seated next to a fireplace, which was nice. The waiter was a middle-aged man who spoke with the excruciatingly clear diction of a gameshow host. He was good, though. We asked for wine recommendations (by the glass) and he suggested the Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast pinot noir. Very good! A little bit strong, but fruity and earthy as well... perfect with steak house food.

For an appetizer, we split the sesame-encrusted seared ahi tuna. It was served with julienned mango, some grainy mustard, and soy sauce. There was wasabi on the side, which we didn't use. It was very good. The tuna was perfect sushi grade and it went great with the mango.

We were also served some excellent fresh baked bread to go along with our meal. The bread basket had a very good sourdough, the kind which you can only make in the Bay Area. It also had fantastic molasses bread, which was deep brown, dense, moist, and perfectly flavored.

We came to Forbes Mill for the waygu beef, so that's what we both got for the main course. I was going to get the 10-ounce New York strip, but Bill convinced me to get the 14-ounce one. He got the same thing. His was medium, and mine was medium rare. Holy Mother of God, was that beef good! It's the kind of steak that makes you stop and hold your breath when you take your first bite. The expression on Bill's face when he took his first bite was precious. He just stopped, looked at me, and smiled. Hehehe. I'm sure I looked just as elated.

The steak was very tender, perfectly caramelized on the outside, and warm and juicy on the inside. They obviously did very little to it. I could hardly even taste any salt or pepper. But the flavor was fantastic! Perfectly marbled, as well. It was so good that even the fat & gristle was incredible. We both finished every last bite!

With the steak we split some mashed potato, which was incredibly soft and airy. It tasted so good and buttery. They probably used one part potato and two parts butter. Hahaha. Very good heart attack on a plate!

We decided to skip dessert because we were completely full and satisfied.

Overall, it was a great dinner out. The only black mark was that we had to wait 20 minutes to get seated, even though we had reservations. But I suppose that's par for the course at any popular restaurant that does more than two seatings a night and takes walk-ins. Other than that, everything was very good - the food, the ambience, and the service. Total cost for both of us was about $170, including tax and tip.

After dinner we walked around downtown Los Gatos a bit, in order to stretch and breathe a little. Perfect end to a perfect evening out.