Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

As we get older, birthdays, once glorious events of our childhood, no longer seem to have the same appeal. Instead of growing up, we just get older - what's there to celebrate?! So we downplay each year's advance, and reserve the occasions to round dates. But when those come around, we often find ourselves too swept up in the hurries, worries, chores and routines of our lives to really enjoy with our hearts and souls.

Until this time.

The Place
Donato Enoteca - this is my new dining home outside of my wife's kitchen. This place which opened just several months ago in downtown Redwood City cannot be described in terms of yelp stars or carefully crafted food and wine adjectives. It's more like one of those places that you read about in memoirs of people recalling their mother's cooking in a small town in Italy when they were a kid. It's not what they feed or pour you there (which is phenomenal, of course), but it's how it makes you feel when you are there, and when you leave, always knowing you will be back for more, not just because you enjoyed it, but because it's a part of you now. I am blessed to have made friends with the chef and owners there, the wonderful people who I also respect for being incredibly smart professionals.

The Crowd
Ever since I had the brains (and funds) to follow my wife's command to move from Alamo to Palo Alto two years ago, my life has improved in vast and immeasurable ways, because we met a whole new group of kindred souls who share our passion and values for food, wine, lifestyle, life. I call them my "wine friends", but they are much more than that.

So when Rona asked if I wanted to do anything for my birthday, right away I knew that doing a wine dinner with my wine friends at Donato's was going to be great fun. On a Saturday evening of September 12, a small group got together for an amazing evening of food and wine debauchery, that made me feel like a child again, for which I am so grateful to all these new wonderful people in my life, and especially Donato who went out of his way to hand-craft an amazing feast of never-ending delights that dazzled my eyes and boggled my taste buds.

The Dinner
Donato really outdid himself, preparing an entirely custom menu omakase style. The chef was unstoppable that night, as the courses kept pouring in till midnight, till we begged for mercy. This being a wine blog, I could analyze at length the wines and the dishes. Instead, I will let you experience the amazing array of food, drink, and humanity through photographs, rather than mere words. This was one of those nights when I just didn't feel like being analytical, for this celebration of food and wine was the celebration of life itself - and for me finally realizing at the age of 37 - that life is not just about making oneself happy, nor is it about making others happy, nor is it about making yourself happy by making others happy, but it's about arriving at a place where making yourself happy makes others around you happy too.

Click here to view the rest of the dishes and wines.


Do Bianchi said...

I've heard about Donato and am DYING to try it. I believe that Eric Lecours is the wine buyer there... I can't wait to try it... happy (belated) birthday!

Iron Chevsky said...

Thanks Jeremy! I am good friends with Eric L. - I believe the two of you are connected on facebook? Check out my recent post Enoteca 100 - - where I talk about Eric. When you are here, ping me and we should all meet up over there.

Anonymous said...

"it's about arriving at a place where making yourself happy makes others around you happy too."
How perferctly stated....this is the secret of raising children. Being aware of doing the stuff that makes you happy is not selfish it is essential to the energy that your children sxperience as their world. All to often new parents give up everything and sacrifice everything for their children...but the children are the fruit growing off the tree of you and you must feed the tree for them to flourish.

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