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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Della's After Dark, Brandon, FL

UD and I decided to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary a couple of days early last night (because how much fun can a boozy "school night" celebration really be?).  Being the AARP card-carriers that we are, we didn't want to go too late or drive too far...so we thought Della's would do the trick.  Della's serves up the best and most creative cuisine east of Ybor City (by far...we are truly ensconced in Chain Restaurant Hell on this side of the world) and it's never disappointed.  One of the most interesting things about it is that it disguises itself as a deli by day and then transforms itself into a New American Bistro on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (by way of starched linen tablecloths, elegant place settings, rich draperies that close off any view of the kitchen and deli counter, and live jazz music).  Service is also unfailingly and impeccably professional...it's really amazing for Brandon.

Let's get this party started!
















The bread arrived fairly soon...hot and wonderful, with olive oil, herbs and balsamic vinegar for dipping.
















Next up, an order of the moist, herbaceous and deep-fried, veggie-laden goodness of Della's Zucchini Fritters with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Ancho Yogurt.    
Since it was special occasion, we thought it only appropriate that we pull out all the stops and really gorge ourselves...so we followed the bread and fritters with a couple of soups.

Jimbo tried the soup of the day...a Tomato Bisque with Shrimp...which was good, but didn't quite meet our expectations.  
I had my tried and true standby...Creamy Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup with Andouille Sausage and Lobster, which did not disappoint.  
The spousal unit followed with New Zealand Rack of Lamb with Olive Tapenade Crust and Lemon Risotto...so good!
While my dinner was tasty, the Duck Confit and Mushroom Ragout with Creamy Fontina Polenta was a little more rustic than what I was in the mood for.  No real complaints, however...this was more about me and my chronic buyer's remorse than it was the duck. I kind of found myself wishing I'd gone with the Duck Breast with Port Wine Sauce that I have really loved on several occasions in the past. The dish was hearty and loaded with duck and fresh mushrooms, and the fontina polenta...well, I could've eaten an entire plate of THAT. <3
Of course we ordered dessert...the Carrot Cake/Carrot Pudding/Carrot Sorbet trio for the mistah, which was beautiful and apparently delish (I wasn't offered a bite :/ ).
I couldn't resist the lure of Sticky Date Pudding with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce...dense, moist and amazing!
Not sure why I look a little tipsy here. 
















Happy Anniversary, Dog of My Life!


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