I was lounging around on the
dining room table when my human companions suddenly burst through the door. OK,
OK, I know that cats are really not appropriate for the dining room table, but
it's just so much fun to jump up on it and slide for a foot or so, and then dig
in those claws. What? You never heard of distressed furniture before?
I said, my humans came home from a second outing at this local treasure called
Amani's. I understand (with my limited understanding of human speech) that Jonathon,
the human who prepares my leftovers, is somewhat of a celebrity in these parts,
being named the "Alpha Chef" (in my terminology) in Chester County.
All this means to me is that I'd better not steal a mouse he's legally caught
or I might end up banished to a feral colony down by the airport.
is the second time my humans have brought me scraps from Amani's, and I must say
that being a table scrap reviewer has its perks. Jonathon asked my humans if I'd
be interested in some scottish salmon trimmings. My humans have carte blanche
to just accept such offers, and I'm happy to tell you that I'm writing this weighted
down with a pile of the most tender FRESHLY COOKED table scraps -and I really
can't call them scraps, since they were just some edges and smaller pieces that
were deemed not "plateworthy". Tomcat slowly poached these morsels with
a little butter and presented them to me properly cooled to room temperature.
Not typically for a very old cat (really UNUSUALLY old!), I snarfed up every bit
of that succulent protein and started my normal campaign for more. Sadly for me,
Tomcat & Rainey were busy making sure that the rest of this bonus was appreciated
My humans had decided, without a lot of scratching &
biting, that they'd go back to Amani's. After all, it was time to check up on
their table scraps.
But beyond that - Who has a restaurant
just down the hill receiving such accolades (somthing akin to a chorus of horny
males after a female in heat....I vaguely remember something that sounded like
that, but now it just seems like love.....so let's go with love)? The accolades
are hard-earned by Alpha chef Jon, and appropriately bestowed recently on the
Chester County courthouse steps.
rarely see my humans coming back from a restaurant talking like they've been at
a lovingly prepared family meal. But it really doesn't matter that much as long
as I get my scraps.
humans decided to bring a modestly-priced Pinot Grigio to their meal. Fortunately,
it was just a normal bottle, and not a box, because you just can't put a box in
a wine bucket (a bag in a box, soaked in a bucket).
did say, however, that Amani's provides a variety of mixes to add to one's favorite
spirit. Rainy zeroed in on their Cosmo mixer, and made a note to bring a small
quantity of vodka on her return engagement.
So, getting to the meal that was
consumed fully with absolutely no leftovers for me:
chose the entree this time, and Rainey got to pick the appetizer.
appetizer, it turned out, was pretty much a slam dunk for Rainey, who picked the
artisanal cheese plate. The previous meal they'd enjoyed also featured this treat,
and Rainey knew that Chef Jonathon would have a brand new locally produced trio
of cheeses. What they got was an aged goat cheese from Amazing Acres in Elverson
(PA) called Seasmoke. Next was a local sheep's milk Brie from Highland Farms (local,
as well), and finally a cow's milk cheese from Virginia named Grayson. Now
I understand why other furry living things exist....for cheese!.
three cheeses were accompanied by blood orange coated pecans, champagne grapes,
raw honeycomb, quince paste, and an ancho cherry jam. I got none of this (and
I do resent not even being offered this), but it was served with little toasted
baguette slivers, and of course, there was the warm bread and a warmer smile,
which my humans have come to expect from a lovely and gracious woman named Sara.
Geez. I wish she could be a cat (but I'm way too old for her).
(most recently reviewed 11/26/11)
his last outing, I remember Tomcat talking about those champagne grapes, but I
have yet to bat them around on the floor. So I can't speak to them (the "grape
something called an "amuse bouche", which is French for "one more
thing I didn't get in my box". The co-owner, Jeanine, brought it over between
courses, and it was apparently a couple little mouthfuls of a tasty bit of chicken
to "amuse the mouth," sent by the Alpha chef as another little turn
in the road in Tomcat & Rainey's "voyage culinaire". My humans remembered
this added touch from a previous visit to Amani's, and they seemed to find it
a welcome surprise to their meal.
a main course, which they shared, as well, Tomcat chose the Red Grouper with Pumpkin
Butter Glaze. It is served with Crushed Pumpkin Seeds, Bourbon Molasses Sauce,
Roasted Root Vegetables, & Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes. My humans were not
familiar with this fish, and were pleased to discover a light, but thick, tenderly
flaky fish with a pleasing outer seared coating. They were making a lot of happy
human noises about these flavor combinations, and since there was none of this
in my box, I guess they ate it all.
finished the meal with a chocolaty parfait (shared, naturally), and regrettably
distributed randomly across the white tablecloth. Don't let me hear about my messes
from this day onward!
was apparently flawless, with all those on the floor watching to make sure my
human beings were made to feel like cherished housecats. Add to that a waiter
who knew the menu, and who had memorized a vast offering of special additions
to the menu, like the scottish salmon and a super premium strip steak. He even
gave my humans the scoop on their grouper (a "grouper scooper"), which
was line caught & numbered (a rare fish these days, but not unexpected from
want to break out my fifth paw, here. It is, however, only applicable when there
is some mousey element to the meal. If only Tomcat could have succeeded in making
that salmon into a hash, molded into & decorated as a mouse. Or, I would have
even accepted "chocolate mouse." But this is a solid "four paws.