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Indigo report plus bonus: Esther's German Bakery (long)

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Indigo report plus bonus: Esther's German Bakery (long)

Anya L | Mar 16, 2006 05:17 PM

My husband, Nils, and I got to go out to a pre-symphony dinner last night for the first time since our baby was born in December. We went with our friends Jeff and Christine, who had just flown in from New York the night before. I'm disclosing this so you'll know that we were all pretty exhausted, which possibly affected our taste buds. It definitely influenced our choice of restaurant - we were not looking for eclectic menu choices; Indigo's straightforward, familiar menu fit the bill. Their prices are also very reasonable.

Overall, service was polite and efficient, which is really all you can hope for when all the diners have to make an 8 pm curtain call. Ice water was brought promptly (no annoying upsell to bottled water) and glasses were refilled frequently, which I really appreciated, since I am always thirsty.

Nils ordered a champagne cocktail to start. Turns out he meant to order a kir royale, and we all enjoyed poking fun at his "prom date" libation. Actually, Indigo makes a decent champagne cocktail that is not overly sweet. The only quibble was that, although the cocktail was ordered before any of the other food, it was not brought out until our bottle of wine was served.

As a first course, Christine and I both got the arugula salad ($8.95) with asian pears, blue cheese, and pecans, which we shared with our SO's. This salad was great: not heavy at all and very refreshing.

For the main course, Nils and Jeff both ordered the ribeye steak special, which was served with bacon-blue cheese mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach (with more bacon!). At $25.95, it was a bit pricier than the regular menu entrees, but worth it. The meat was perfectly cooked and everything was very flavorful - with all that bacon, how could it not be? Christine got the chicken breast with cannelini beans and escarole ($16.95). She said it was exactly like you'd expect boneless chicken breast to be - not that exciting - but it was just what she wanted, and the accompaniments were quite tasty. I ordered the pork chop with cherry zinfandel sauce, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and sauteed bok choy ($17.95). It was a hefty double rib chop, cooked just through (which I prefer), but actually not that flavorful on its own, which might be because the pork was so lean. When eaten together with the sides, however, it was delicious. Portions were quite hefty, but we all cleaned our plates.

Indigo has a fabulous wine list. We were budget-conscious and chose the Vinum Pets Petite Sirah, which complemented the food quite well. At $32, I think the mark-up was on the high side, but I suppose that's often the case with less expensive wines.

We passed on dessert and ordered coffee instead. The desserts that other diners ordered looked fabulous (and generously-portioned) though. At $4.50, the trio of sorbets or ice creams looks like a deal.

Well, the coffee was not enough to keep us awake for the whole symphony, so we went home at intermission. The upside was that we had enough stamina to enjoy a couple of Nussecken (nut triangles) from Esther's German Bakery. Did you know that Esther's German Bakery has a stand at the Kaiser Farmers' Market (more like a mini-market) on Wednesdays? This discovery was actually the true highlight of my day. We enjoyed Mohnschnecken (poppy seed snails) and Bauernbrot (Farmer's bread) for breakfast this morning too. Yum.

I would definitely go back to Indigo next time we go to the symphony. In fact, I wouldn't mind going *after 8 pm* sometime in order to try their $49 all-you-can-drink wine dinner. Double yum.

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