A Meal Fit for a Marriage
It's been two weeks since I last showed up in this blog space, as I had to step away for a bit and go get married.
That's right; I'm now a married lady, with vows, rings and smooches exchanged and a magic carpet ride on Vieques, a small island just due east of the mainland of Puerto Rico.
Our journey, which began Sunday, Feb. 25, was off to a wintry start, with enough snow to force delays and a night holed up at the Hyatt Dulles. We resigned ourselves to a snowy afternoon sucking back cocktails at the hotel bar, but as luck would have it, the hotel was undergoing renovations, which meant the bar as well as the restaurant were a makeshift combo deal in a nondescript banquet room.
Within 24 hours, I forgot all about our snowed-in hotel dining extravaganza (I recall ordering Mister Groom to fetch candy from a vending machine just in time to watch The Oscars); by then, I was sniffing the bougainvillea outside my cottage at Evamer, my home away from home.
The images -- of sun, sea, rum cocktails, hot sauce, romance, family drama, lunar eclipse movement -- are too many to mention, but are embedded in my brain as a symphony of color, a collage of textured emotions, a melding of Mother Nature, friends and family.
At first blush, a destination wedding seems easier to plan than one in your hometown because in all likelihood it's a more intimate, more casual affair without the trappings of big ballrooms, wedding planners and guest shuttle buses. However, the distance is exactly what gets in the way of sampling catering menus and meeting vendors in person. If you want to do a destination wedding, you've gotta bring a lot of faith with you and leave the Type A attitude at home.
Although we had heard good things, neither Mister Groom nor I had actually eaten the food that would be served up by Eva Bolivar, chef/owner of Bili, a Nuevo Latino restaurant in Esperanza, the main town on the south side of the island. For someone in the food business, this was a huge leap, but I had to trust that Eva would take good care of us.
And so she did.
Once the minister pronounced us Mr. and Mrs. Mighty Appetite, bite-sized cocktail vittles began to appear, black bean mousse atop plantain cups, brie and tomato jelly-filled turnovers and salt cod/snapper croquettes with an herby aioli for dipping.
Dinner was a buffet that included skirt steak with a banana chutney, mahi mahi fillets with an orange adobo sauce, rice pilaf with pumpkin, the most sublime avocado I've ever eaten (Eva tells me Puerto Rican avocados are simply the best) and a simple salad of mixed greens. The food turned out as close to what I would have done myself -- packed with flavor, fresh, lots of local stuff, lots of tropical notes and not too fancy.
We drank wine, we drank mojitos and we danced under a nearly full moon to the sounds of DJ Stylus. The rain held out until early morning, and I awoke to Tinka, one of the property dogs, diving into a few leftover windblown cupcakes.
This marriage was off to a scrumptious start.
Tomorrow: Vieques eats and drinks...
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2007 10:43 AM
Posted by: Yay! | March 12, 2007 10:48 AM
Posted by: Oh Boy! | March 12, 2007 10:53 AM
Posted by: Foodie Consort | March 12, 2007 11:16 AM
Posted by: DC | March 12, 2007 11:25 AM
Posted by: Meg in PA | March 12, 2007 11:26 AM
Posted by: Glad! | March 12, 2007 11:26 AM
Posted by: M-VA | March 12, 2007 11:54 AM
Posted by: Steubenville, OH | March 12, 2007 11:56 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2007 12:23 PM
Posted by: Puff Mama | March 12, 2007 12:32 PM
Posted by: Sass | March 12, 2007 12:35 PM
Posted by: Christine | March 12, 2007 12:39 PM
Posted by: LouiseL | March 12, 2007 12:42 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2007 12:57 PM
Posted by: Kathryn | March 12, 2007 1:14 PM
Posted by: Pru | March 12, 2007 1:21 PM
Posted by: Pat | March 12, 2007 2:42 PM
Posted by: M Susan | March 12, 2007 5:24 PM
Posted by: cristen | March 13, 2007 9:11 AM
Posted by: Budd Lake, NJ | March 13, 2007 10:55 AM
Posted by: Adrienne | March 13, 2007 11:21 AM
Posted by: not dj stylus | March 13, 2007 1:01 PM
Posted by: Bethesda Mom | March 13, 2007 1:43 PM
Posted by: DC Cubefarm | March 13, 2007 1:58 PM
Posted by: Sean | March 13, 2007 4:22 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.