So, if you make the recipe below, please read the whole thing first. Turn the oven on, start the brine, roast the garlic (covered), drain the chicken, finish roasting the garlic (uncovered), turn up the oven, cook the chicken. Don’t turn the oven on, brine the chicken, and then a half hour later say, “Oh, I was supposed to be roasting the garlic that whole time?”

The ‘rents and I went to Jardiniere last night for my birthday dinner. We had a lovely meal. For starters, Mom had some scallops that were beautifully cooked, I had duck confit which was just falling apart under its crispy skin, and Dad had lamb and bean soup. He didn’t volunteer any “OMG it’s so good!”-type comments, so I’m guessing he was not overwhelmed by it. For our main courses, Mom and Dad both got shortribs, which they said were good, except for the fact that the mashed potatoes kind of dissolved into the sauce. I had… let me copy it from their site… Loin of Cervena Venison with Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Glazed Baby Spring Vegetables, Smoked Bacon and Creamed Nettles, Sauce Au Poivre. It was tasty! That was my first time eating nettles, and now I’m keen on trying them again. (If I can find them, that is. Eddie made a nettle risotto a month or two ago that looked good.) My only complaints were that there were two cipolline onions that weren’t fully cooked (which was sad because the ones that were fully cooked were so ridiculously wonderful), and that if anyone else had been eating it, they would have found it too salty. I think that could be said for pretty much everything we got, actually. A little too heavy on the salt. And we love salt in our family.

None of the desserts really interested me (although if I had gone for one, it would have been the date and pine nut tart). I really wanted to end the meal with a glass of vin santo, but I was so full. I was afraid I was going to lose my dinner on the way home. Thankfully, I didn’t. I felt bad, though. Dad was interested in getting their grappa sampler (to which I say, ewww), but I was just too far gone.

Service? Impeccable. Atmosphere? Lovely. Food? A bit salty, but in general, quite good. Prices? High, but probably worth it. Would I go again? If you’re paying.

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